AI Puts the Zap on Energy Bills

by Jack Watts

Bills, invoices, statements. Nobody likes them. Perhaps even worse is trawling through them to make sure you got what you paid for.

For large businesses this process can be onerous, especially for energy bills, where entire company operations, potentially across multiple sites, have to be accounted for.

Due to the complex and time-consuming nature of buying energy, many businesses choose not to work directly with suppliers. Instead they often use what are known as third-party intermediaries or energy brokers. In the U.K., to cite one example, 70 percent of businesses use these.

However, for many businesses, enlisting the help of an energy broker doesn’t solve their problems. Energy procurement has long been based on traditional business models, and many of these processes are outdated. Many energy markets are also unregulated, so firms are left vulnerable to exploitation by suppliers and brokers.

Manchester, U.K.-based Energi Mine aims to bring the energy procurement and review process into the 21st century. Using AI powered by NVIDIA GPU technology, the startup is making the experience more efficient, clear and effective.

Out with the Old, in with the New

Using deep learning on AWS GPU-powered instances, Energi Mine analyzes and predicts their customers’ energy usage patterns. By automating processes that were previously done manually, they can free up time and resources which can be spent on looking after the customer instead.

Energi Mine mainly focuses on invoice validation, in which companies cross-verify their energy bills against the amount they actually consumed. Traditional invoice validation involved a retrospective audit. A team of full-time staff would compare bills and energy consumption from a company’s previous six years, and they’d manually enter and process data. Not only costly in terms of salary, the process was incredibly slow.

Energi Mine’s AI-driven system costs a fraction of traditional methods — and reduces the time an audit takes from two months to just 20 minutes. What’s more, the system promises a higher level of accuracy.

Energi Mine is already working with 1,100 sites across Europe, including those linked to the U.K.’s largest independent construction materials group and its seventh largest law firm. The company is also promoting energy efficiency through its Energi Token initiative, which rewards customers’ energy-efficiency with tokens that can be used to pay energy bills.

Inception Program

Energi Mine is one of more than 2,000 startups in our Inception program.The virtual accelerator program provides startups with access to technology, expertise and marketing support.