{The Wall Street Journal} BrightFarms Raises $55 Million in New Funding Round

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Indoor farming specialist will use backing to expand a greenhouse network that grows produce close to metropolitan areas, reducing shipping costs

June 28, 2018: 10:00am ET

Indoor farming startup BrightFarms Inc. said Thursday it has raised $55 million in a new funding round to open more hydroponic greenhouses across the U.S. as it seeks to capitalize on rising demand for locally grown food.

The Irvington, N.Y.,-based company sells packaged lettuce and other salad greens to retailers including Kroger Co. , Walmart Inc. and Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV. The crops are grown in glass-roofed, 140,000 square-foot farms near metropolitan areas, a method the company says reduces freight costs and ensures a year-round supply of greens with a longer shelf life than lettuce trucked in from the West Coast.

American tastes are changing as consumers turn away from packaged products. Shoppers also increasingly want to know where their food came from, a factor thrown into sharp relief by contamination episodes like the deadly E. coli outbreak this spring linked to romaine lettuce, which rippled through the U.S. food supply chain.

BrightFarms is one of several startups looking to capture market share from conventional growers by raising crops indoors. They employ technology, including LED lights and temperature and moisture sensors, and typically use less water and land than traditional farms.

Many focus on lettuce and herbs, which have short growing cycles and do well in controlled environments. This week, for example, “vertical farming” operator Crop One Holdings Inc. announced a joint project with airline catering firm Emirates Flight Catering to build a $40-million facility in Dubai that the companies said will produce three tons of leafy greens a day.

Founded in 2011, BrightFarms has more than 120 employees and operates three farms in Bucks County, Pa., Culpeper County, Va., and Rochelle, Ill. It is opening a facility outside Cincinnati this summer in Wilmington, Ohio, and is about to begin construction on another in Abilene, Texas, that it expects to go online in early 2019. The company is also scouting out additional potential locations, including two in California, where much of the lettuce in the U.S. is grown.

“We’re taking a model that has already been proven in Chicago and Virginia, and replicating it in about 15 additional locations in the U.S.,” said Paul Lightfoot, the company’s chief executive. “Basically anywhere where there is a high population of salad-eaters, a good concentration of supermarkets, and where there is not a combination of high-heat and high humidity.”

Mr. Lightfoot declined to disclose annual revenue figures for BrightFarms. He said although the farms already operate “very profitably,” the company isn’t seeking profitability at the corporate level, and instead is focusing on growth.

The Series D round is led by Cox Enterprises Inc., the media, communications and automotive services company, which has spent more than $100 million to reduce its own environmental footprint and is now looking to invest in sustainable technology businesses. The round also includes funding from existing investors Catalyst Investors, WP Global Partners and NGEN Partners.

Companies across the food sector are grappling with increased transportation costs as rising freight demand outstrips the supply of available trucks. Not having to pay for long-haul trucking gives BrightFarms a cost advantage, said Mr. Lightfoot, who said the company’s prices and costs have remained the same despite the tight trucking market.

By Jennifer Smith for The Wall Street Journal - jennifer.smith@wsj.com

{New York Times} PepsiCo to Acquire the Fruit and Veggie Snack Maker Bare Foods

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For PepsiCo, the purchase of Bare Foods is its latest effort to diversify its food and beverage portfolio and move toward the more natural, less-processed foods that are now in favor by increasingly health-conscious consumers.

May 25, 2018: Continuing to bet that consumers want to crunch on healthier snack items, the food and beverage giant PepsiCo announced Friday that it was acquiring Bare Foods, a maker of baked fruit and vegetable snacks.

For PepsiCo, which did not make public the financial terms of the deal, the purchase of a company that makes products like salt-and-vinegar beet chips and Granny Smith apple chips is its latest effort to diversify its food and beverage portfolio and move toward the more natural, less-processed foods that are now in favor by an increasingly health-conscious public.

“We have been on a journey of broadening the snack portfolio for many years now,” said Vivek Sankaran, president and chief operating officer for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America unit, noting the brand’s earlier development of Simply Tostitos organic tortilla chips, Simply Organic Doritos and Off the Eaten Path, which makes crispy snacks using vegetables like black beans and green peas. Since 2006, the percentage of revenues coming from healthier food and beverages at PepsiCo has climbed to 50 percent from 38 percent.

The acquisition was one in a string of purchases of healthy snack-food companies by large conglomerates. 

Earlier this year, Campbell Soup, which had already acquired the organic products maker Pacific Foods, closed on its $4.9 billion acquisition of Synder’s-Lance, the maker of Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels and Cape Cod potato chips. Late last year, Hershey announced plans to buy Amplify Snack Brands, the maker of SkinnyPop Popcorn and Paqui tortilla chips, for $1.6 billion, while ConAgra picked up Angie’s Boomchickapop for $250 million and Kellogg’s bought the Chicago Bar Company, maker of the RXBAR protein bar, for $600 million.

In the past four years, snack sales in the United States have jumped more than 12 percent to $145 billion, according to Nielsen Retail Measurement Services. A large portion of that growth has come from consumers seeking out healthy snacks or those that are organic or have so-called clean labels — no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or sweeteners. Sales of nuts, trail mix, and organic savory snacks in the United States jumped to nearly $9 billion last year from $7.8 billion in 2012, according to Euromonitor International.

As consumers’ appetite for healthy snacks has grown, so has the number of products fighting for a spot in their cabinets. In 2017, a study by Nielsen showed thousands of small manufacturers collectively held 60 percent of the fast-growing clean-label market.

That competition poses a challenge for PepsiCo and other food and beverage conglomerates looking to acquire small manufacturers: picking which healthy snacks will stick around for years or even decades and which ones will wind up being just a fad.

“About eight or 10 years ago, you had a lot of small companies come into the world of snacking,” Mr. Sankaran said. “Many of them didn’t stick. Consumers tend to be fickle and try lots of different things. If something isn’t a powerful concept, it doesn’t last.”

Bare Foods was founded in 2001 by a farming family in Washington that was searching for a way to extend the consumer life of its organic apples. Its founder, Eric Strandberg, partnered with a friend and began slicing and baking the apples. They began offering the baked snacks at Pike Place Market in Seattle and soon discovered they had a hit.

The current chief executive, Santosh Padki, was brought on a couple of years ago to help oversee the company’s expansion.

Today, Bare Snacks are sold across the country in grocery store chains as well as Whole Foods and Target, with Walmart scheduled to come on board soon, Mr. Padki said.

By Julie Creswell for The New York Times

{Renew Press Release} Renew Financial Elevates Financial Services Veteran Kirk Inglis to CEO

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PACE Inventor Cisco DeVries Announces His Successor, Assumes New Role as Chief Innovation Officer


OAKLAND, California, May 31, 2018 Renew Financial, the inventor of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and a leading provider of financing for home improvements, today announced that Kirk Inglis, currently Renew Financial’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), will succeed Cisco DeVries as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. Mr. Inglis brings more than 20 years of experience in financial services and technology with a deep expertise in consumer lending. His career includes senior finance and operating roles with Calypso Technology, Prosper Marketplace and Providian Financial Corporation. Mr. DeVries will become the company’s Chief Innovation Officer to focus on key growth opportunities and to help innovate new financing tools for clean energy. DeVries will continue to serve on Renew Financial’s board of directors.

“Over the past decade, Renew Financial grew from three people sharing one small office to 300 employees across five states. So far, we’ve financed $1.5 billion in projects and helped more than 90,000 American families to live more efficiently, comfortably and securely,” said DeVries. “As we enter our next phase of growth, I chose to initiate this transition because I can’t think of a better person to lead our company than Kirk Inglis. He combines a keen understanding of what it takes to build a consumer lending business with a rock-solid commitment to our mission.”

“I’m honored to step into this new role and glad I will have an opportunity to continue working alongside Cisco to grow our business,” said new CEO Kirk Inglis. “Cisco built a tremendous team here at Renew Financial, all committed to the same mission: empowering property owners with a free-market financing option that saves energy, creates jobs and reduces carbon emissions. The most effective way for us to achieve that mission is to continue our growth. For more than a decade, homeowners have trusted us to help them make critical home improvements. By increasing efficiency and execution across the company, we can continue to be that trusted partner for many years to come.”

For the past three years, Mr. Inglis has served as Renew Financial’s CFO, expanding the company’s capital markets, financial operations, accounting and FP&A functions. Prior to that, he held the same role at Calypso Technology, a leading global provider of technology solutions for the capital markets industry. Mr. Inglis also served as Chief Operating Officer and CFO at Prosper Marketplace, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that uses technology to allow investment in unsecured consumer loans. He also served in a variety of roles with Providian Financial Corporation, a leading credit card issuer. His roles at Providian included leading a team that executed strategic transactions to raise capital and liquidity, managing Providian's debt buying and collections operations, serving as CFO of their internet lending operations and managing the companywide FP&A function. Mr. Inglis began his career as a Treasury Analyst with First Tennessee National Corporation.

Renew Financial has been a national leader in PACE financing since 2008 and has played a central role in establishing a robust regulatory framework for PACE programs across the country. PACE is one of the fastest growing financing industries in the U.S. and has empowered more than 216,000 American families to make energy upgrades and resiliency improvements to their homes. As a 100% privately financed program, PACE is widely supported for its ability to save homeowners money on their utility bills and insurance premiums, create jobs and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions – all without a single dollar of taxpayer funds.

About Renew Financial

Renew Financial Group LLC (“Renew Financial”) is one of the nation's leading home improvement financing companies. Renew Financial administers and provides multiple financing products across the country, with programs available in several states, including Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs operating in California and Florida. PACE is a financing tool enabled by state and local governments that provides homeowners and business owners with access to private capital to finance the entire cost of energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable energy, seismic, and wind mitigation upgrades, and then pay for those upgrades on their property tax bill. PACE was named by Scientific American as one of the "top 20 ideas that can change the world." PACE is a job-creating policy tool that enjoys broad support, having been championed in state legislatures and local communities nationwide by business leaders, advocacy organizations and elected officials from both sides of the aisle.

By Colin Bishopp for Renew Financial Group LLC

{Finance.Yahoo.com} PepsiCo Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Bare Snacks, Expanding Better-For-You Portfolio into Baked Fruit and Vegetable Snacks

PURCHASE, N.Y., May 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Bare Foods Co. (doing business as Bare Snacks), a U.S.-based maker of baked fruit and vegetable snacks. The transaction will expand the company's snacking portfolio and further deliver on its Performance with Purpose vision to offer consumers more positive nutrition options.

"For nearly a dozen years, PepsiCo has been committed to Performance with Purpose, our vision of making more nutritious products, while also reducing added sugars, salt, and saturated fat. Bare Snacks fits perfectly within that vision," said Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo. "The Bare Snacks leadership team has done an outstanding job building a top-tier organization and a strong brand with authentic roots, and I couldn't be more excited to welcome Bare Snacks to the PepsiCo family."

Bare Snacks was founded in 2001 by a family-owned organic apple farm in Washington, that began selling packaged baked apple chips in local farmers' markets. Under its current leadership team, it has expanded steadily to become the leader in apple, banana and coconut snacks. It has recently expanded into vegetable chips and offers the industry's broadest assortment of baked crunchy fruit and vegetable chips.  Bare products are made from simple ingredients that are baked, not fried.  They are Non GMO Project verified, feature clean labels and are sold online and in natural and conventional retail channels across the United States.

"We are thrilled to work with the PepsiCo team to further our mission of bringing simplicity to snacking," said Santosh Padki, CEO of Bare Foods.  "With a shared passion for crunchy, better-for-you snacks, PepsiCo is the right partner to help bring our simply baked fruit and vegetable  snacks to even more consumers across the world and continue to grow our brand."

Upon closing, Bare Snacks will continue to operate independently from its headquarters in San Francisco with its leadership reporting into Frito-Lay North America, a division of PepsiCo.

"Bare premium baked fruit and vegetable chips are an exciting expansion of Frito-Lay's better-for-you snack offerings," said Vivek Sankaran, president and chief operating officer for Frito-Lay North America. "While we will continue to offer the current Bare Snacks product line, we look forward to working with the Bare Snacks team to deliver new, innovative options, and ultimately expanded distribution, to meet the ever-growing consumer demands for authentic and nutritious snacks."

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2017, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world enable PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.


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Chicago, IL - May 2, 2018

Soraa amplifies its architecturally designed directional luminaires portfolio with the introduction of downlights

Soraa, the world’s leading innovator of LED lighting technology and illuminator of the world’s most renowned historical buildings, museums, hotels, and luxury shops, today announces the availability of Soraa Arc™ downlights. This latest line in directional luminaires brings greater product flexibility and advanced features to the Soraa Arc portfolio, giving lighting designers the ability to create fully equipped end-to-end Soraa lighting designs for any project or application.

Ease and flexibility

We designed Soraa Arc downlights with the customer experience in mind. The downlight system features a flexible design and the ease of a modular ordering process; Soraa helps simplify potential obstacles such as installation, local stock management and schedule delays. Ordering consists of choosing a frame-in kit, a light module and a magnetic trim, giving designers and contractors the flexibility to order the components separately at different stages of their installation.

“Giving contractors the ability to purchase components independently makes it easy to confidently order our downlight products well in advance of final detailed lighting decisions for any given project,” said George Stringer, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Channel Marketing for Soraa. “Additionally, Soraa Arc downlights have the added benefit of modification with our unique light modules and magnetic trims, giving our luminaires greater longevity."

Raising expectations in downlight features

Soraa Arc downlights feature several key differentiators: The light module can be switched out anytime for a different effect without disrupting existing construction. The adjustable downlight features a custom designed retractable device with 35° aiming and full 360° rotation. The wall wash downlight features uniform illumination and top-to-bottom light coverage. Lastly, Soraa’s unique magnetic trim, which functions just like the Soraa Snap System™, gives designers the ability to change trims on a whim.

“The additional flexibility we’ve introduced in our directional luminaires means lighting designers and specifiers have breathing room when creating lighting plans for a wide range of applications,” said Jeff Parker, Chief Executive Officer of Soraa. “Our customers are excited to have the option to specify fully integrated, modular downlights in addition to all of the benefits of Soraa’s signature quality of light.”

Perfect light inspires perfect design

Soraa’s signature LED technology allows the slimmest, most versatile luminaires in the industry. Stunning form follows remarkable function in fixtures engineered around an ultra-thin profile die-cast heat sink. Optimized for superior thermal management and endowed with Soraa’s signature quality of light, they feature rich colors, perfectly rendered whites and clean, crisp beams. Soraa Arc fixtures are available in multiple mounting styles and finishes, and feature the unique Soraa Snap System™, offering total control over lighting design for an infinite range of applications.

“The Flea in NYC is a multi-year project that grew from its inception as a small theater on White Street in New York, to this exciting, new multi-functional space," said Kyle Chepulis, Owner & Principal Lighting Designer at Technical Artistry. "Using Soraa Arc fixtures was essential to the growth of The Flea, solving all of the space’s lighting needs – design, lead time, costs, flexibility and quality of light."

The quality of light matters

Soraa harnesses cutting-edge color science, paying special attention to its well-known red-rendering index R9 and contemporary TM-30 color rendition method, revealing a natural saturation and precise rendering of specific colors. Soraa is also leading innovation in the field of white rendering and has developed its own calculation method to render white tones faithfully, which underpins Soraa’s Natural White™ technology. The careful optimization of these techniques results in rich, authentic colors and infinite shades of white—just like natural light provides.

Arc availability and Pricing

The Soraa Arc downlight series will initially be offered in fixed, adjustable and wall wash configurations in flange and flangeless designs. Color temperatures will include 2700K, 3000K and 4000K. All downlights feature Soraa VIVID™ COB light engines with full-spectrum 95CRI, R9>95 and Rw 100 typical. Black and white finishes are standard; custom colors are available. Arc downlights with 15° beam spreads are compatible with the Soraa SNAP SYSTEM™ to further customize beam and color. The price range for Soraa Arc downlights is $190 to $250 MSRP per fixture, depending on the frame-in kit and light engine. All downlight frame-in kits are part of Soraa’s Quick Ship program with 48-hour shipping. Light engines and trim finishes have four-week lead times.

Soraa at LIGHTFAIR International

Stop by and see the Soraa Arc downlight series on display May 8-10 at LIGHTFAIR International, Booth #3835. For specifications, photometric details and compatibility, please visit www.soraa.com or email us at quotes@soraa.com.

About Soraa

Since 2008, Soraa has focused on delivering a unique LED lighting experience, with the singular purpose of leading the world in superior lighting products where color matters: high-end retail, world-class art museums, premium restaurants and hotels. Pioneering LEDs built from pure gallium nitride substrates (GaN on GaN™), Soraa’s full-spectrum lamps and fixture products have superior color rendering and beam characteristics compared to others using LEDs created from non-native substrates. Soraa is based in Fremont, California, where it manufactures its LEDs.

By Dawn Andersen for SORAA

{Realwire.com} Over $479 million returned to US consumers through smartphone trade-ins during Q1 2018

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HYLA Mobile Q1 2018 trends report shows consumers hold onto devices for longer; Apple iPhones dominate returned devices and payback twice as much as Android devices


26th April 2018—HYLA Mobile, the world’s leading provider of software technology and services for mobile device trade-ins and reuse solutions, has released its Q1 2018 trade-in data trends report, indicating that US consumers received more than $479 million from smartphone trade-ins during the first quarter of 2018. This represents a $35 million increase compared to the same period last year (Q1 2017). The late release of Apple’s iPhone X and the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ had a big impact, driving trade-ins to improve affordability for the premium devices.

HYLA Mobile’s quarterly trade-in trends report analyzes new device entry price points, competitive market trends along with historical performance. It offers a unique perspective on the North American pre-owned device market, including which devices retain their value and which are in high demand from customers. The key findings of the report highlight:

  • US consumers are holding onto devices for longer: the average age of a smartphone at trade-in was 2.66 years, up from 2.49 years during Q1 of 2017 and 2.59 years from last quarter
  • The device with the highest trade-in value was the Apple iPhone X at $580—showing that the latest iteration of the iPhone has lost almost half its value in just three months. This was followed by the Samsung Galaxy S9+, which had a trade-in value of $543
  • Of the top five most traded devices, the Apple iPhone 6 was the most traded at 39%. It was also the top-traded device in Q1 2017 at 34%
  • And perhaps unsurprisingly, the top 5 traded devices from Q1 2018 were all Apple iPhones— potentially due to the introduction of the iPhone X
  • The average trade-in value of an Apple iPhone in Q1 2018 was $163, more than twice the value of Android smartphones which, on average, returned $80
  • EIP plans are now the norm for most US consumers, with 84% favoring them over standard contracts.

With an overall perception of lack of innovation in the market, and the high-cost of new devices, mobile trade-ins are playing an important role in driving uptake of new devices. Carriers and retailers, along with OEMs such as Google, are taking a more aggressive stance with trade-ins and are having success with it.

“The latest Apple iPhone X has ignited a lot of industry discussion around rising device prices and the impact this will have on consumers and the industry alike. But our data shows that neither ought to be worried—mobile trade-ins, which have continued to grow in Q1 2018, have contributed to increased upgrades by consumers,” said Biju Nair, CEO & President of HYLA Mobile. “Not only are mobile trade-ins making high-cost devices affordable, but consumers are beginning to realize the latent value their old devices hold. In order for this upgrade trend to continue, operators and OEMs need to do more to educate and encourage consumers to trade-in their older devices. Trade-ins don’t just enable subscribers to upgrade to the latest smartphones, giving them a great network experience, but they also increase the sale of high-margin accessories.”

Data from HYLA Mobile’s Q1 2018 trade-in trends suggests that trade-in values of smartphones have increased, as consumers hold onto their devices for longer—an extra 63 days than in Q1 2017. Increasing trade-in values is a way for operators to entice customers to upgrade.

But according to CCS Insights, the global growth of the new smartphone market is predicted to hit an all-time low of 0.2% this year, where sales of smartphones in the US could drop by 3%. But while there are reports on growth in the global smartphone market slowing down, the secondary smartphone market is growing at 13% year on year.

Having collected more than 50 million devices since its inception, HYLA Mobile helps mobile operators, OEMs, retailers and insurance companies retain their subscribers, increase new revenue streams, drive down costs as well as contribute to sustainability efforts. By using analytics and insights as well as software and automation focused on maximizing recovery value, HYLA Mobile gives customers the solutions to operate a seamless mobile trade-in programs that improves efficiency, reduces churn and drives profitability.

HYLA Mobile’s Q1 2018 trade-in trends infographic is available to download here: http://contacts.hylamobile.com/mobile-trade-in-industry-trends-q1-2018


About HYLA Mobile
HYLA, Inc. (“HYLA Mobile”) is one of the world's leading providers of software technology and services for mobile device trade-in and reuse solutions, backed by Venture Capital firms Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Silver Lake, OpenAir Equity Partners, RRE Ventures, SJF and NGEN. Since its founding in 2009, HYLA Mobile has worked to develop technology and solutions that extend the lifecycle of mobile devices to build economic opportunity and enable information access for new users, while helping to protect our planet.

HYLA Mobile partners with leading wireless carriers, retailers, OEMs, insurers, and online brands to provide lifecycle management for pre-owned mobile devices. HYLA Mobile extends the life of these devices to consumers around the world, providing access to affordable, high-quality wireless technology in developed and emerging markets.

HYLA Mobile has completed more than 50 million mobile device trade-ins since its founding. To learn more about how HYLA Mobile is changing the way people think about pre-owned mobile devices, visit www.HYLAMobile.com.

By Nicole Louis for HYLA Mobile

{Globalnewswire.com} Nlyte Software Teams With IBM’s Watson IoT to Leverage Machine Learning for Enhanced Data Center Operations

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New Analytics and Machine Learning Solution Enables Easy Adoption of Powerful Predictive Management and Optimization of Workload Infrastructure


SAN MATEO, Calif., May 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Datacenter Dynamics, NY -- Nlyte Software, the leading data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software company, today announced the company has partnered with the IBM Watson IoT group to offer its first cognitive DCIM solution – Nlyte Machine Learning. The company is tapping into the analytical and machine-learning power of IBM Watson IoT to unlock hidden patterns from millions of environmental, power, systems, thermal and other operational data-points, to improve the process of placing and managing workloads in the data center.  In addition, Enzo Greco, Chief Strategy Officer at Nlyte Software, will discuss the importance of machine learning at DCD Enterprise Innovation Stage, May 1st at 2:40 pm.

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.@nlyte teams with @IBMIoT to create 1st cognitive #DCIM solution infused with #MachineLearning to improve #datacenter management. #WatsonIoT #IoT #AI #IBM

.@nlyte's Chief Strategy Officer, Enzo Greco will discuss Machine learning at #DCDEnterprise Tuesday at 2:40 pm on the #InnovationStage - find out more ow.ly/ZE4S30jEJds

Data centers continue to increase in complexity as they are fragmented into edge computing, containerized deployments, hybrid IT and multi-cloud environments while still being interconnected to deliver applications. The level of sophistication needed to optimize these facilities and ensure application performance, requires operators to collect, harness and understand a tremendous amount of data from the facilities and IT stack. The IT industry needs intuitive tools to rapidly collect and analyze information, enabling data center operators to better understand how to manage workloads and their impact on critical facilities infrastructure.

“Regardless of the type of data center or business model, operators need to leverage analytics to minimize operating costs and understand the infrastructure where workloads are running,” said Enzo Greco, Chief Strategy Officer, Nlyte Software. “Nlyte has always been the thought leader that brought together facilities and IT operations.  The next step in this evolution is applying IBM Watson IoT’s leading machine-learning capabilities to head-off potential power and performance issues while also optimizing workload infrastructure operations and ultimately workload placement.”

Nlyte Machine Learning, powered by IBM Watson IoT, is addressing the data center analytics issue by collecting, normalizing and creating patterns of facilities and IT data and streaming the information to IBM Watson IoT. IBM Watson IoT then uses its machine-learning capabilities to extract predictive models and send the analysis back to Nlyte for a visual dashboard display of potential vulnerabilities, such as future hot server rows. With this information, data center administrators can proactively identify potential future issues and preemptively move server workloads. The net result is greater control of the infrastructure with more resiliency and increased reliability.

“Workload infrastructure continues to grow in importance and how an organization manages it directly affects application performance and availability,” said Doug Sabella, CEO & President, Nlyte Software. “Nlyte Machine Learning will allow organizations to incorporate critical infrastructure information to make actionable decisions that will help reduce costs and increase performance around their application delivery.”

The new IBM Watson IoT-enhanced DCIM platform will be available in July 2018. For more details please contact info@nlyte.com or call (650) 642-2700.



About Nlyte Software
Founded in 2004, Nlyte Software is recognized as the industry leading data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solution provider.  Nlyte’s DCIM provides unmatched functionality that supports all data center processes across the entire “dock to decom” lifecycle.  With a 98% customer retention rate, Nlyte’s DCIM solution is used by many of the world’s largest and most sophisticated data centers, as well as many small and medium sized organizations. Customers can quickly deploy the Nlyte DCIM solution and begin to immediately enjoy reduced costs and increased efficiency across all data center processes. For more information, visit www.nlyte.com or follow @nlyte on Twitter.

By Jackie Abramian, BridgeView Marketing for Nlyte Software

{IBM.com} Learn the genesis behind the world’s first cognitive DCIM solution

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April 27, 2018 | Written by: Amy Bennett

Data, it’s the foundation and the DNA building blocks of technology — and the power behind the IoT.  When it comes to data, IT professionals are always concerned with knowing. How much do they have? What are the best methods to collect data? What is the absolute value? How can you leverage it to improve customer experiences? And what are the best methods to analyze it for operational visibility?

When it comes to data center operations, these questions become critical because the answers keep our applications flowing, sending information to millions of hungry servers and mobile devices around the world. But keeping these devices fed is becoming a matter too complicated for human influence. Therefore, a new process is needed to ensure data continues to flow.

How did we get here? A brief history

In started in 1943, when the U.S. Army needed to calculate complex wartime ballistics tables. To do so, they created the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer). Who could have foreseen then that the world would grow to depend on this “logical language” e.g. data?

IBM picked up the data gauntlet and refined the computer, at a high cost from both a financial and resource perspective. Then, in the 1980s, the IBM PC changed everything with a small machine. This machine could not only process information faster than the mainframes of the 1960s, but it could also hook up to the TV set, process text and store more words than a huge cookbook.

Today, IBM’s legacy of producing valuable data is personified within every data center distributed across the planet. These data centers are growing fast. In order to maintain all the servers, it takes an ecosystem of power distribution devices, cooling technologies, data backup applications, security software, backup generators and batteries. And it keeps getting more complicated!

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It all comes full circle

Every one of these aforementioned data center components can be further broken down into many sub-components, plus all those non-physical virtual servers. Exacerbating the situation is the data center sprawl that is creating mini data centers. These data centers contain edge devices, compartmentalized pop-up data centers and thousands of colocation facilities. Now, we have come so far that we are back to the original conundrum faced by the Army in 1943 — how to effectively process an unruly amount of information in a smart and quick manner? Once again, humankind turns to the computer: Introducing the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AI has the ability to take an ever-growing pool of data — from all distributed and virtual sources — and synthesize it into an understandable format within minutes. And once again, IBM took the lead with the development of Watson, an AI supercomputer. It beat 74-time-straight Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings in a human-vs.-machine showdown on primetime television. But Nlyte Software knows that Watson’s AI abilities are not merely a game. When applied to the data center information conundrum, Watson has the ability to provide a cognitive search and analytics platform to connect and analyze all that distributed data to improve decision-making and business outcomes. Behold, a new member of the data center team, one that never takes a vacation or your lunch from the breakroom.

Nlyte teams with IBM Watson for first cognitive DCIM solution

Nlyte Software, founded in 2004, provides a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solution (energy, humidity, thermal, etc.). They help organizations around the world manage infrastructure in their own data centers, colocation, and managed service facilities.  As part of the DCIM family, Nlyte Energy Optimizer (NEO) provides real-time monitoring, alarming, trending, and power systems analysis of both IT and facilities infrastructure.

Nlyte Software is combining NEO with IBM Watson’s AI abilities, to provide customers with a new level of operational comprehensiveness. It is in the form of a cognitive solution that provides current analysis of total operations and also future insights into device failures.

Applying machine learning to improve data analysis and take action

The union is accomplished by IBM’s Predictive Maintenance and Optimization (PMO) solution within NEO. PMO enables asset-intensive organizations to apply machine learning and analytics to improve maintenance strategies. PMO will take data streamed from NEO and apply pre-determined patterns. The resulting analysis will be used by NEO to produce data center-specific reports or take action, such as controlling set points on thermal equipment. Nlyte will provide implementation and support expertise for the combined NEO and PMO product.

In essence, Nlyte will integrate PMO to do the magic in the middle. PMO will provide the predictive and AI capabilities needed to take the data to the next level of insights to provide increased value for customers.

NEO’s AI-infused abilities better support three data analysis pillars

With PMO added to the NEO, all three data analysis components are covered:

  1. Collection. Capturing data from all distributed silos such as servers, sensors, HVAC, building monitoring software, PDUs, processors and many other points.
  2. Analysis. Advanced content analytics enable data center managers to understand not just what happened, but also how and why.
  3. Action. Refining data into a visual state so team members may quickly comprehend current conditions as well as increase operational efficiencies and cost savings.

Learn more

Get more information on IBM Predictive Maintenance & Optimization.

Contact Nlyte for information on this partnership, please contact info@nlyte.com or call (650) 642-2700.

By Amy Bennett for IBM

{Globenewswire.com} Nlyte DCIM Solution Approved by Department of Homeland Security to Fortify the Cybersecurity of Government Networks and Systems

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Company’s Solution Becomes 1st Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Product to Meet Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program Standards

SAN MATEO, Calif., April 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nlyte Software, the leading data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software company, today announced the Department of Homeland Security has approved its DCIM solution as a tool to help mitigate hardware and software cybersecurity risks. The Nlyte software suite now becomes the first DCIM solution to meet the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program’s, Phase 1 criteria to manage and control devices (HWAM) and software (SWAM) on government networks.

Consistent with the Federal Government's deployment of Information Security Continuous Monitoring (ISCM), the CDM Program was created to provide adequate, risk-based, and cost-effective cybersecurity as well as more efficiently allocate cybersecurity resources. Nlyte Enterprise Edition and Nlyte Discovery have both demonstrated the ability to provide organizations with complete visibility and control over the assets in their compute environments -- making it a natural fit to CDM requirements for helping to ensure the integrity of hardware and software assets.

“Nlyte has always been at the forefront of helping all types of companies and agencies meet compliance and security goals,” said Andrew Ryan, Vice President of Federal Accounts, Nlyte software. “By using our DCIM solution, organizations can adhere to CDM requirements by discovering all network-connected hardware and associated software, as well as being alerted to any configuration changes that may impose vulnerabilities. Without the ability to easily view and understand this vital information, across all computing infrastructure, IT personnel remain unaware of many potential security risks. We are honored to provide the first DCIM solution to meet these rigorous and important requirements.”

Over 35 federal agencies across civilian, intelligence and defense organizations are using, or currently deploying the Nlyte DCOI platform. DCOI On-Demand is helping federal agencies more easily attain compliance with the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), while also supporting the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act.

For more Nlyte details, please contact info@nlyte.com or call (650) 642-2700.



About Nlyte Software
Founded in 2004, Nlyte Software is recognized as the industry leading data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solution provider. Nlyte’s DCIM provides unmatched functionality that supports all data center processes across the entire “dock to decom” lifecycle. With a 98% customer retention rate, Nlyte’s DCIM solution is used by many of the world’s largest and most sophisticated data centers, as well as many small and medium sized organizations. Customers can quickly deploy the Nlyte DCIM solution and begin to immediately enjoy reduced costs and increased efficiency across all data center processes. For more information, visit www.nlyte.com or follow @nlyte on Twitter.

By Jackie Abramian, BridgeView Marketing for Nlyte Software

{Today.com} 36 healthier chips to satisfy any craving: sweet, salty, spicy or savory

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Jackie London, nutrition director for Good Housekeeping magazine, is stopping by TODAY to share their top potato chip picks. She runs down the do's and don'ts of selecting the healthiest, most satisfying and delicious crispy snacks and shares their top choices to satisfy all your crunchy cravings.

Whether they're crispy, crunchy, salty or spicy, at Good Housekeeping, we're nuts about snacks! Since there's no shortage of chip options at the grocery store, it can often be difficult to tell which ones are delicious, which are nutritious and which ones are both! That's why we've scoured the shelves to test, taste and recommend delicious chips that meet our high-bar for goodness.

All of our top nutrition lab tried-and-tasted chips are ones that satisfy cravings for that old fashioned potato-chip flavor and crunch, use quality, simple ingredients and are hearty enough to snack on without worry that you'll totally "blow-it" on calories (they're just indulgent enough to crush cravings in a 1 ounce serving!). Here are our top picks, tips on what to look for when shopping the snack aisle and how to avoid lame chip claims that can be confusing.

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Per serving, chips should hover around 200 calories, have less than 2g saturated fat and 200mg sodium max! For versions with added sugar (even savory-sounding ones, like BBQ and ranch) cap it at 2g per 1 ounce serving. Remember, traditional potato chips should be made from just potatoes, vegetable oil and salt.

Best Classic Potato Chips

Better-for-you brands are not always the ones that boast "40%" or "50% less fat" on the label. These may be lower in total fat, but they can still have just as much heart unhealthy saturated fat as regular ones, making them slightly lower in calories (but not enough to make or break the nutritional quality of your whole day!). Another claim you can ignore is "cholesterol free." Potato chips made with veggie oil won't have any dietary cholesterol to begin with! Look for brands that say "kettle cooked" and/or "small batch" on the packaging. The frying process is done in smaller batches and at a lower temperature, which can help to maximize flavor-per-chip, and makes for a slightly more nutritious option that'll satisfy you with flavor-packed heartiness.

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These items were hand-picked by our editorial team because we love them - and we hope you do, too. TODAY has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not by TODAY.

Deep River Snacks Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, $23.04 for twenty-four 2-ounce bags, Amazon

Lay's Kettle Cooked Lattice Cut Sea Salt Potato Chips, $14.99 for two 7-ounce bags, Amazon

Boulder Canyon Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, $18.99 for eight 2-ounce bags, Amazon

Cape Cod Sea Salt Potato Chips, $3.32 for one 8-ounce bag, Jet

Kettle Brand Kettle Cooked Sea Salt Potato Chips, $3.16 for one 8.5-ounce bag, Jet

Best Flavor Bombs

Look for chips that use real food ingredients. There are many synthetic ones that aren't actually food. What you should be wary of? Flavored chips that are significantly lowering in fat because they're "baked" instead of fried. While it may sound better for you, these can be filled with highly processed ingredients, including dried potato flour, starches, gums and emulsifying agents, and are often much higher in sodium (400mg vs. about 150mg) and are more likely to use added sugar to maximize flavor.


Some are more nutritious than others, but the bottom line is if you're looking to satisfy a chip craving, these may not make the cut (if they're not made with oil, there's no stick-to-your ribs fat to fill you up!). Choose baked if you like the flavor, not because they seem like the "healthier" option. It doesn't matter if you're eating a lower calorie snack if it's not satisfying enough to stop you from eating the whole bag, right?!

Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Potato Chips Infused Mediterranean, $11.95 for one 7.5-ounce bag, Jet

Deep River Snacks Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ Chips, $22.99 for twenty-four 2-ounce bags, Amazon

Whole Foods 365 Dill Pickle Chips, $2.99 for one 10-ounce bag, Amazon Prime Pantry

Kettle Brand Sriracha Potato Chips, $9.11 for three 8-ounce bags, Amazon

Kettle Brand Sour Cream and Onion, $3.79 for one 8.5-ounce bag, Amazon Prime Pantry

Terra Spiced Sweets Sweet Potato Chips, $32.46 for twelve 6-ounce bags, Amazon

Route 11 Dill Pickle, $13.50 for three 6-ounce bags, Amazon

Most Satisfying Snacks

Look for real, whole-food alternatives to potatoes when you're looking for a more nutritious chip. The ones that make for the most nourishing, nutrient-packed nosh are made from a bean, pea, chickpea or lentil-based flour which will provide plant-based protein and fiber to fill you up and keep you satisfied. These will also bring some antioxidant and mineral benefits, and can help you stay fuller, longer. Aim for at least 3g each of protein and fiber per serving.

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Beanitos Baked White Bean Mac 'n' Cheese Crunch, $4.69 for one 11-ounce bag, Amazon

Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice Chips, $24.47 for twenty-four 1.5-ounce bags, Jet

Simply Tostitos Black Bean Tortilla Chips, $3.37 for one 7.5-ounce bag, Jet

Trader Joe's Contemplates Inner Peas, $8.75 for three 3.3-ounce bags, Amazon (also available at Trader Joe's stores)

PopCorners Bean Crisps in Salsa Verde, $7.07 for one 6-ounce bag, Amazon

Harvest Snaps Bean Crisps in Wasabi Ranch, $26.50 for twelve 3.3-ounce bags, Amazon

Most Nutritious Noshes

Veggie-based products that are best for you are ones with real veggies or fruit as their first ingredient such as beets, jicama, kale, okra, carrots or fruit-based versions, like apple chips. Lots of chip companies will make claims about their veggie content by calling themselves "veggie chips" but these are often potato flour or starch based (they're completely fine for you, but why not eat a real chip if that's what you're craving to begin with?) Another pro tip is to be wary of chips made with fruit oils, like coconut or avocado. These oils are either the same or higher in saturated fat content than traditional chips made with vegetable oils.

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Bare Snacks Carrot and Beet Chips, coming soon

Rhythm Superfoods Carrot Sticks, Beet Chips and Kale Chips, prices vary, Amazon

Terra's Taro Chips, $6.99 for one 6-ounce bag, Target

JicaChips, $25.21 for eight 0.9-ounce bags, Amazon

Kettle Brand Uprooted Sweet Potato Chips, $37.30 for twelve 6-ounce bags, Jet

Hardbite Eat Your Parsnips Chips, $9.99 for one 5.2-ounce bag, Amazon

Trader Joe's Crispy Crunchy Okra, $10.99 for two 1.4-ounce bags, Amazon (also available at Trader Joe's stores)

Best Chips for Dips

Your best bets when it comes to tortilla chips? Ones that have a 100% whole-grain as their first ingredient. Labels that speak to agricultural production standards, like USDA organic, ones with a health halo, like "natural," aren't necessarily indicators of nutritional quality. Be wary of allergen claims, too, like "gluten-free," unless you're allergic to or intolerant of a certain ingredient, the claim doesn't universally mean it's better for you. You'll also still want to look for snacks that are using higher-fiber flour alternatives and that have a legume, veggie or fruit as their first ingredient.

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Late July Restaurant Style Sea Salt and Lime Tortilla Chips, $4.29 for one 11-ounce bag, Target

Late July Blue Corn Cantina Dippers, $10.09 for one 8-ounce bag, Amazon

Garden of Eatin' Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, $3.81 for one 8.1-ounce bag, Jet

Flamous Falafel Chips, $4.86 for one 8-ounce bag, Amazon Fresh

RW Garcia Black Bean and Garlic Chips, $55.41 for twelve 7-ounce bags, Amazon

Food Should Taste Good Olive Tortilla Chips, $2.75 for one 5.5-ounce bag, Amazon

The Real Coconut Original Coconut Flour Tortilla Chips, $10.99 for one 5.5-ounce bag, Amazon

Best for Dessert

Sweeter chips can help make for a delicious — and sometimes, nutritious — dessert too! Our top picks are ones that'll satisfy your sweet tooth and can double as delicious toppings on Greek yogurt or ice cream. If you're indulging, look for ones that have simple ingredients, or are available in a single-serving size that'll help you resist the urge to finish a whole big bag. Aim to keep sugar as low as possible, ideally less than 6g, and 200-250 calories a pop.

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SkinnyPop Sweet Cinnamon Popcorn Puffs, $3.29 for one 4.2-ounce bag, Target

PopChips Peanut Butter & Chocolate Nutter Puffs, $57.51 for seventy-two 1-ounce bags, Amazon

Dang Gluten Free Toasted Coconut Chips, Lightly Salted, Unsweetened, $3.99 for one 3.17-ounce bag, Amazon

Kettle Corn PopCorners, $11.27 for two 5-ounce bags, Amazon

By Jackie London, RD of Good Housekeeping

{PRnewswire.com} Zevia Introduces Zevia Organic Ready-To-Drink Tea

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Zevia Extends Its Total Beverage Positioning With Zero-Calorie Organic Tea Line

LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Zevia, the leading zero-calorie, naturally sweetened beverage company, today announced Zevia Organic Tea, a line of eight Ready-To-Drink (RTD) Tea flavors. Like all Zevia products, these items are zero calories, naturally sweetened with stevia, and contain zero sugar. In addition, Zevia Organic Teas are non-carbonated, non-GMO, brewed with Fair Trade Certified Tea, and will carry the USDA Organic seal. The flavors include Black Tea, Green Tea and herbal flavors, featuring two caffeine-free options.

With this announcement, Zevia's product lines encompass a broad range of Liquid Refreshment Beverage (LRB) categories, including Soda, Energy drinks, Sparkling Water, Mixers and now RTD Tea. With simple, plant-based ingredients and products for every family member and usage occasion, Zevia has become a favorite among shoppers seeking better-for-you alternatives to sugary and artificially sweetened beverages.

"Sugar reduction has rapidly become the #1 consumer concern, with 84% of US shoppers seeking to reduce their sugar intake," said Zevia CEO Paddy Spence. "Zevia was the first zero-calorie, naturally sweetened beverage brand, and we're continuing to build on our leadership with great-tasting new products to support a low-sugar lifestyle."

Spence added that with almost half of added sugar coming from beverages, Zevia provides an easy way for consumers to kickstart a sugar reduction program.

Zevia Tea will be sold in 12 oz. sleek cans with a suggested retail price of $1.99 each, available nationwide in late summer 2018. The new product line will make its public debut this month at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif.

About Zevia
Zevia is the first beverage brand exclusively focused on naturally sweetened, zero calorie beverages, including Soda, Energy, Sparking Water, Ready-To-Drink Tea and Mixers lines. With formulas that are Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegan, Kosher, color-free and Gluten Free, Zevia is sold at more than 40,000 grocery, natural and specialty food stores in the United States and Canada, including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Markets, Safeway, Kroger, Target and Amazon. You can find us at Zevia.com and under Zevia on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook. 

By PRnewswire.com 

{FreshPlaza.com} US: Vegetables have centre stage in Expo West

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March 12, 2018: At the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim several brands are debuting their healthy convenience snacks, hoping to steer Americans towards a healthier lifestyle.

Companies like Bare Snacks is now offering crunchy baked beets, sweet potatoes and carrots. The vegetable line features six varieties, including sea salt carrot, ranch carrot, sea salt beet, salt and vinegar beet, sea salt sweet potato and barbecue sweet potato. Bare Snacks’ take on the vegetable chip is a “naturally healthier alternative” in the fast-growing segment.

And vegetables are cropping up in other convenient snackable formats featured at Expo West: Rhythm Superfoods from Austin, Texas, is adding a range of dehydrated organic carrot sticks in original, sea salt and ranch flavours. The company offers an assortment of beet chips, kale chips and roasted kale snacks, too.

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From Gaea North America comes a line of shelf-stable vegetable snacks packaged in resealable, liquid-free pouches. Varieties include carrot, cauliflower and gherkin. 

And then there are Phyter Bars, containing pureed organic produce and coconut sugar. Flavours include beet and cocoa, cranberry and strawberry, sweet potato and coconut, and butternut squash and peanut butter. A kale and apple variety will be added later this year.

Zupa Noma, from Sonoma, California, is launching its Veggie Shot line. Available in such flavours as carrot ginger turmeric, kale cucumber jalapeño, and tomato vinegar cucumber, each 2-oz shot is packed with nutrients, offering “a fresh new take on the wellness shot category”.


Foodbusinessnews.net also reports on avocados appearing in a number of new snacking formats, including chips. AvoLov is debuting avocado chips in sea salt, chilli lime, white cheddar and sriracha flavours. The products are made with Hass avocados.

By FreshPlaza.com

{MorningStar} ABS Research - PACE Regulatory Roadmap -- California Laws Promote Consumer Protections

February 2018

 Morningstar Perspective

As property assessed clean energy programs have expanded across the U.S., the industry has come under increasing scrutiny regarding consumer protections. California, the location of PACE’s birthplace, is the first state to pass legislation aimed at increasing consumer protections. Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC believes that the California measures, which include regulatory oversight through an independent agency, improved underwriting guidelines based on a property owner’s ability to repay, and prohibitions of activities that might lead to a conflict of interest, will collectively strengthen underwriting practices.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law both Assembly Bill 1284 and Senate Bill 242 on Oct. 4, 2017. Even though the new legislation is specific to California, Morningstar would not be surprised to see program administrators adopt these new measures on a nationwide basis, as California is a leading PACE market. We also view most of the requirements as a credit positive for future securitized residential PACE assessments. In the appendix, we have provided a snapshot of the credit impact on the key provisions contained in the two California bills. However, California is not done with revising PACE legislation, as there are three other bills that were introduced in the state’s Assembly and Senate this month to provide more clarity and promote further data transparency.

Federal Level

Before examining California’s recent legislation, we note there are two bills in the works at the federal level. In November, Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho introduced the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. This bill would empower the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to study PACE credit transactions and possibly include PACE assessments under certain regulations related to the Truth in Lending Act of 1968. The bill has garnered support, and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held hearings in January. The bill is on the Senate Legislative calendar for consideration. In April, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas introduced the Protecting Americans from Credit Entanglements Act of 2017, which includes PACE assessments under certain provisions of the Truth in Lending Act, but the bill appears to have stalled.

California Regulatory Oversight

While AB 1284 and SB 242 both introduce numerous requirements intended to strengthen consumer protections and improve overall business practices, Morningstar identifies regulatory oversight as a major development. The new legislation gives the California Department of Business Oversight the authority to regulate PACE program administrators. Having an agency that can bring enforcement actions against program administrators will help reinforce good business practices. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the department will issue licenses to program administrators, which will have to comply with similar requirements to those of California finance lenders. In addition, program administrators will be required to submit semiannual reports, including methodologies, assumptions, volume, delinquencies, missed payments, and defaults. The collection of this discrete assessment information will, for the first time, offer data transparency for the investor community and help identify important credit trends. Over time, we would expect to use the historical data as a basis to help us formulate our credit assumptions.

Improved Underwriting Guidelines and Disclosure

Evaluating a property owner’s ability to repay is another key measure. The Department of Business Oversight will determine the metrics to measure a property owner’s ability to repay, which may include income, assets, and current debt obligations, whereas current eligibility is largely based on home equity. This more vigorous examination of a property owner’s ability to repay commences on April 1, 2018, and will likely lead to a lengthier underwriting and approval process or possibly even a decline in origination volume as fewer property owners will qualify. A complete financial profile will be collected from the property owner and will include all secured and unsecured debt, ranging from alimony, child support, and monthly housing expenses. Full disclosure of outstanding obligations and the more vigorous screening process will result in a better assessment of a property owner’s ability to meet the PACE obligation.

In addition, the program administrator shall obtain oral confirmation regarding whether the property owner has received or is seeking additional PACE assessments before a property owner executes an assessment contract. This is an important disclosure as a property owner currently has no statutory obligation to reveal other outstanding or intended PACE obligations. On the residential side, such disclosures will help program administrators more accurately assess a property owner’s ability to repay the PACE obligation. It’s important to note, however, that this is less relevant concerning commercial PACE because a property owner usually obtains the consent of the lender before engaging in a PACE assessment.

AB 1284

Morningstar believes many of the new requirements introduced in AB 1284 are credit positive. Some requirements commence on April 1, 2018, and others begin on Jan. 1, 2019. The most significant of them are the following:

Regulatory Oversight – The California Department of Business Oversight will issue licenses to program administrators starting Jan. 1, 2019. In addition, program administrators will be required to file an annual report. This will incentivize stronger business practices.

Improved Underwriting Standards – Commencing April 1, 2018, program administrators are required to use at least three third-party automated valuation model vendors that employ rigorous statistical measures. Program administrators must use the property value with the highest confidence score or an average if there is none. In addition, program administrators are also required to evaluate specific underwriting criteria and must incorporate a property owner’s debt obligations when determining the owner’s ability to repay. This includes all secured and unsecured debt, alimony, child support, and monthly housing expenses. The financing must be for less than 15% of the property’s value, up to the first $700,000, including any existing assessments. For properties valued above $700,000, the financing will include the 15% rule, but it drops to less than 10% for the remaining value of the property above the $700,000 threshold. Finally, total PACE assessments and mortgage-related debt on the property will not exceed 97% of the property’s market value. These new guidelines should result in better assessment quality.

Assessment Contract Criteria – Certain checks, such as ensuring all property taxes are current and financing limits are upheld, must be met before a program administrator approves an assessment contract. These checks help to promote higher quality underwriting.

Background Checks – PACE providers will have to go through background checks and satisfy net worth requirements to get a license. This higher level of scrutiny and minimum financial requirements will help improve the quality of the PACE provider.

PACE Registry – Program administrators may be required to use a real-time registry or database system for tracking PACE assessments. No later than Jan. 1, 2020, the commissioner of the Department of Business Oversight shall determine whether to proceed with a rulemaking action to require this change. If implemented, this will increase transparency and allow for the collection of data for performance metrics.

Minimum Training Requirements for Contractors – Program administrators must train home improvement contractors and their respective salespeople. Major program administrators already have such measures, but the requirement will be good for the smaller players who do not have formalized programs. Establishing these minimum training requirements across the industry will not only help promote a higher level of expertise, but also it will help avoid misrepresentation by these parties.

SB 242

Like AB 1284, many of the requirements in SB 242 are positive for the quality of future PACE assessments:

Oversight – A program administrator must submit semiannual reports to the respective city or municipality for each PACE program. Information includes methodologies, assumptions, volume, and assessment information, such as delinquencies, missed payments, and defaults. This allows for more transparency and collection of data for performance metrics.

Required Phone Confirmation of Key Terms - The program administrator must make a verbal confirmation of the key terms. The phone calls supplement the required written disclosure of full PACE terms. This practice helps to ensure that the property owner has a full understanding of the terms, which promotes higher assessment quality.

Property Owner Disclosure – A program administrator shall get oral confirmation about whether the property owner has received or is seeking additional PACE assessments. Because this practice determines whether existing PACE assessments are outstanding, cash flow analysis is improved.

No First Payment Deferrals – A program administrator cannot waive or defer the first payment, and a property owner’s first assessment payment is due no later than a year after the installation of the efficiency improvement is completed. This promotes timely payments.

Suitability/Right to Cancel –A property owner can cancel the contractual assessment at any time before midnight on the third business day. This consumer advocacy measure helps to promote owner suitability and a full understanding of the terms.

No Conflict of Interest Advertising – A contractor or other third party cannot advertise the availability of an assessment contract from a program administrator. This control helps to ensure that good business practices are being followed and minimizes the opportunity for fraud.

No Contractor/Customer Kickbacks – A program administrator cannot provide direct or indirect cash payments or anything of material value to a contractor or third party that is more than the actual price charged to the property owner. Likewise, a program administrator cannot provide direct or indirect cash payments or anything of material value to a property owner to obtain an assessment contract. These restrictions will help reduce incidences of fraud.

No Price Differentials – A contractor cannot provide a different price for a project financed by a PACE assessment versus if the upgrade was paid in cash by the property owner. Again, this measure helps to reduce fraud.

Protection of Consumer Information – A program administrator cannot provide information to contractors that discloses specific information that relates to the property owner or the property (for example, how much the property owner may qualify for). The protection of such information promotes good business practices and minimizes the potential for contractors to inflate home improvement measures based solely on financial ability rather than based on actual property needs.

Limits Tax Advice – A program administrator, contractor, or other third party cannot make any representation as to the tax deductibility of an assessment contract, unless consistent with state and federal law. While this is a good business practice, we view this as credit neutral because there are exceptions. Property owners may want to seek independent tax advice.

Commencement of Work Guidelines/Property Restoration – It is unlawful for the contractor to begin work under a home improvement contract if the property owner entered into the contract believing that the work would be covered by the PACE program and the property owner cancels the PACE financing within three days. In addition, a contractor who violates the guideline above must also restore the property to its original condition and return any money, property, or other consideration back to the property owner. These measures help to protect the consumer and promote good business practices for the contractor, but we view them as credit neutral because assessment quality may vary.

 Other Legislative Proposals in California

PACE continues to be on the mind of the California legislature as three bills were introduced in February of this year. Each bill seeks to revise the existing PACE laws by providing additional clarity, promoting data transparency, and in some cases seem to overlap. If signed into law, these bills will further increase consumer protections, allow more latitude in oversight, and have a positive effect on the industry. AB 2063, which was introduced into the California State Assembly on Feb. 7, proposes lengthening the document retention of information related to the PACE assessments to five years after the assessment is extinguished from three years and requiring the commissioner of the Department of Business Oversight to include the program administrator reports on PACE assessment contracts in the annual composite reporting.

Similarly, AB 2150 was introduced on Feb. 12 and also seeks to have the commissioner include program administrator reports on PACE assessment contracts as part of the annual composite reporting. On this same day, SB 1087 was also introduced into the California State Senate. In addition to other revisions, the bill proposes requiring program administrators to maintain their processes and practices in writing, requiring that the appraisal for a property’s market value be independent, and allowing the commissioner to bring an order against a party without first having to file a report about the respective violation.

 Positive Developments for Credit

Morningstar believes that regulatory oversight, improved underwriting, and disclosure guidelines aimed at better evaluating a property owner’s ability to repay will help to increase consumer protections and promote good business practices across the broader industry, with generally positive effects on credit. We believe these measures will have greater reach beyond California. Program administrators will most likely adopt similar practices across the country and look to how the state addresses future legislation as a blueprint.

Appendix – Morningstar’s Credit View on AB 1284 and SB 242

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Copyright © 2018 by Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC (“Morningstar”). All rights reserved. This report is not intended to serve as a commentary on the criteria or methodology of credit ratings issued by Morningstar. Reproduction or transmission in whole or in part is prohibited except by permission from Morningstar. The information and opinions contained herein have been obtained or derived from sources Morningstar believed to be reliable. However, Morningstar cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the information or of opinions based on the information. Morningstar is not an auditor and, it does not and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information used in preparation of this report or any opinions contained herein. THE INFORMATION AND OPINIONS ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” AND NOT SUBJECT TO ANY GUARANTIES OR ANY WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE. Morningstar shall not be responsible for any damages or other losses resulting from, or related to, the use of this report or any information or opinions contained herein. The information and opinions herein are provided for information purposes only and are not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, hold, or sell any securities or make any other investment decisions. Your use of this report is further governed by Morningstar’s Terms of Use located at https://ratingagency.morningstar.com/MCR/about-us/terms-of-use.

By Stephanie K. Mah - Director of Strategy and Research at Morningstar

By Phoebe Xu - Senior Vice President at Morningstar

{Renew Financial Press Release} DBRS Releases New Report Showing “Very Low” Residential PACE Delinquency Rates, Consistently Below Those of All Homeowners

Statement by Renew Financial CEO Cisco DeVries on New PACE Data from Leading Credit Ratings Agency

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 22, 2018 – Today, the DBRS credit ratings agency released a new report that shows delinquency rates for residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) properties in California are “very low” and consistently below the overall property tax delinquency rates for all homeowners. The report also found that the delinquency rate for PACE declines to nearly zero in 12 – 18 months, after almost every homeowner pays his or her semi-annual property tax bill.

The available data in the report “shows strong performance with very low delinquency levels around 2% to 4% at the peak declining to less than 1% within 12 months,” according to the report authors. “PACE delinquency metrics are lower than general aggregate property tax and single-family residential only property tax delinquency levels. PACE also shows consistent performance and very low volatility across tax years.”

“This report shows that PACE is working well for American families,” said Cisco DeVries, CEO of Renew Financial. “We've put consumer protections at the heart of our company since our founding. The very low delinquency rates in this report show that PACE financing is a great way to safely and effectively make important home improvements. And new consumer protections and oversight will only make PACE – already one of the most successful energy efficiency financing programs in history – even better for homeowners.”

This report comes after California enacted new consumer protections and industry standards that make one of the most successful energy-efficiency financing programs in history markedly better. 

Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two new bills into law that create a comprehensive consumer protection, underwriting and regulatory framework for Property Assessed Clean Energy. Two companion pieces of legislation – AB 1284 and SB 242 – are the result of a year of development and negotiations among real estate professionals, local governments, environmental and clean-energy groups, the banking industry, and private sector PACE administrators aimed at improving PACE by strengthening consumer protections. These laws went into effect on January 1, 2018.

About Renew Financial
Renew Financial Group LLC (“Renew Financial”) is one of the nation's leading home improvement financing companies. Renew Financial administers and provides multiple financing products across the country, with programs available in several states, including Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs operating in California and Florida. PACE is a financing tool enabled by state and local governments that provides homeowners and business owners with access to private capital to finance the entire cost of renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation, seismic, and wind mitigation upgrades, and then pay for those upgrades on their property tax bill. PACE was named by Scientific American as one of the "top 20 ideas that can change the world." PACE is a job-creating policy tool that enjoys broad support, having been championed in state legislatures and local communities nationwide by business leaders, advocacy organizations and elected officials from both sides of the aisle.

By Cisco DeVries of Renew Financial

{MENAFN.COM} Healthy Snacks Market to Witness Exponential Growth Owing to Increased Demand for Convenience Food | Industry Insights 2017-2022


(MENAFN Editorial) Healthy Snacks Market Information by Source (Grains and Pulses, Vegetable, Fruit, Dried Fruit, and Others), by Nutrition per Serving (Low Fat, Free of Trans-Fat, Sugar Free and Others), and by Region - Forecast To 2022 Healthy Snack Market Overview

The increasing popularity of snacks among the young population has boosted the global healthy snack market. Market Research Future, a firm which specializes in market reports related to the Food, Beverages & Nutrition sector among others, recently forecasted in its report on Global Healthy Snack Market Research Report- Forecast to 2023 that the market will demonstrate an exceptional CAGR % while achieving million dollar growth readily in the forecast period.

People are demanding varieties in snacks which are healthy to eat; this has encouraged companies to launch new products. Several companies have been announcing the launch of healthy products with new tastes, flavors, and shapes to maintain their competitiveness in the market. Moreover, customers' increasing inclination towards healthy ingredients in snack is compelling the healthy snack companies to innovate their products for customer retention.

Earlier snacks were considered as a break time light food. However, in the recent times people have been increasingly eating them between the meals. Snacks are being considered as fourth meal of the day in the U.S. Americans are forerunners amongst the snack eaters between the meals as they love to snack everywhere from theater, to workplace, to car, and even on the subway. This trend has a wide impact over the global healthy snack market owing to changing consumer preference towards healthy diet. Additionally, consumers are likely to shift towards healthy ingredients in snack products owing to aided health support associated with the consumption.

Furthermore, healthy snacks with ingredients such as fiber and high protein content beneficial in improving digestion are supporting the market growth. Additionally, ongoing R & D activities in healthy snack to add up healthy ingredients for better nutritional support are adding fuel in the growth of Healthy Snack market.

Latest Industry Updates

  • Oct-2017 L T Foods launched its premium rice based snacks brand Kari Kari in India. This product launch will attract huge consumers looking forward for healthy snacks. Also, the company is highly focused on technological advancement for new product launch.
  • Oct 2017 Danone India Pvt. launched its new product portfolio of nutrition and dairy products meant for the healthy snack market in India. The new product protinex byte which is a protein multigrain biscuit meant for office-going consumers looking for a healthy snack on the go. The company is focused on new product launch with introducing nutritional and healthy ingredients in its wide range of snack products.
  • Sep 2017 Whitworths company added to its growing snacking portfolio with the launch of new range alternative to healthy snacks. The company is highly motivated towards new product launches to meet up increasing consumer demands.
  • Mar 2017 Bare Snacks, creator of delicious Snacks Gone Simple, launched its innovative new snack line, bare Chia Coconut Bites, which would be available in three crave-ably crunchy flavors including Chia + Vanilla, Chia + Pineapple and Chia + Flax. Growing consumer demand for healthy snacks has pushed the company to come with innovative and healthier products.
  • Healthy Snack Market - Competitive Analysis


    The companies are rigorously involved in R & D activities to launch their new products. LT foods and Bare snacks have launched number of new products in healthy snacks range. New product launch from these companies to differentiate their product line from their competitors is the key strategy followed by theses comapnies. Most of the product launched by these companies are blended which nutritive ingredients with added taste and flavors. Also, the Kellogg Company is readily involved in strategic product launches in healthy snack segment. Majority of the players in the spices market are concentrated in the European region in terms of supply. Additionally, companies are more focused more on introducing new ingredients for healthy snack products. The key players profiled in healthy Snack are as Mountain house, snack naturally, jummybo, the good grocer, custom varietea, plenty 4 you, food hot issue, bare fruit, Quakers, Sincerely Nuts, and Harmony House Foods.

    Healthy Snack Market Segments

    The global healthy snack market has been divided into source, nutrition, and region.


  • On the Basis of Source: Grains and Pulses, Vegetable, Fruit, Dried Fruit, and Others
  • On the Basis of Nutrition: Low Fat, Free of Trans-Fat, Sugar Free and Others
  • On the Basis of Region: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and ROW.
  • Healthy Snack Market - Regional Analysis


    The global healthy snack market is segmented into North America, Europe, APAC, and Rest of the World (RoW). Europe is dominating among all the regions owing to changing consumer perception regarding snack among the youth. The younger population is looking forward for higher nutritive support from the snacks, which is considered to be the major driving factor in this region. Additionally, wide range offerings in healthy snacks are anticipated to the uplift the overall market in this region.


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    Furthermore, growing food & beverage product manufacturing in developing countries such as China and India associated with cheap and skilled workers is predicted to surge the level of production. Additionally, increased demand from the food industry in Asia Pacific region is likely to uplift the market growth over review period.

By Akash Anand for MENAFN.com


Encycle Corp Logo.png

Company Broadens Reach of its Swarm LogicÒ Service

September 6, 2017

For Immediate Release

San Marcos, CA, and Toronto, ON. Encycle Corporation announces that two well-known and respected energy management industry executives have joined the company’s sales team. Encycle is a technologyenabled solution provider delivering significant energy savings to commercial and industrial customers through patented IoT-based HVAC control technology.

Chris Hensley has joined the firm as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and Brad Rittler has joined Chris’ team as Vice President of Channel Sales and Development. Hensley brings Encycle 20+ years of energy business development experience, most recently as Senior Director of Sales for Ecova. Hensley has also held energy leadership roles at Novar (a Honeywell company) and FirstEnergy Solutions. Hensley’s key responsibilities will include accelerating the company’s sales and marketing roadmap, expanding client relationships and new business development.

“It is exciting to join a highly entrepreneurial and innovative company such as Encycle,” Hensley commented. “I have worked with Encycle’s target customer base over the past 20 years, and Encycle’s unique patented solution provides dramatic energy savings using a cloud-based business model that delivers exceptional returns to our clients with little to no capital requirements. It is rare for a gamechanging technology to be successfully introduced into the century-old HVAC industry, but Encycle has done it. I can’t wait to spread the word.”

Rittler is Encycle’s new Vice President of Channel Sales and Development. He came to Encycle from Echelon Corporation, where he was Global Sales Director, Strategic Accounts – IoT. Rittler also has several years of sales and channel management experience with Honeywell. 

Rittler said, “It is apparent to me that the Swarm technology will provide a revolutionary change in the optimization of HVAC operations, much like the dramatic impact LEDs have had on the reduction of energy usage in the lighting industry. The company has already launched programs with several large channel partners, and we are establishing additional partnerships at a rapid pace with highly successful enterprises that provide IoT platforms, monitoring services and energy management systems.” “

Both Chris and Brad bring a tremendous amount of direct experience to expand the rapid adoption of our patented Swarm Logic energy management solutions,” noted Encycle CEO Robert Chiste. “Just a year ago, Swarm Logic was being leveraged at some 40 million square feet of commercial and industrial facilities. Today, we have agreements in place to expand to more than 250 million square feet. Under Chris’ and Brad’s leadership, I am confident that Encycle will be embedded as the HVAC optimization solution in over one billion square feet of facilities in the near future.” 


Encycle Corp. is focused on empowering commercial and industrial customers to achieve dramatic improvements in the efficiency of their heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The company’s game-changing, multi-patented Swarm Logic energy management technology is at the heart of the company’s solution set. Swam Logic establishes a wireless network among HVAC rooftop units (RTUs) and enables them to communicate among themselves autonomously instead of operating in isolation as they’ve done in the past. This connected group of RTUs adopts the Swarm intelligence to self-organize, synchronize and respond holistically through a cloud-based algorithm that red-flags unnecessary consumption and automatically optimizes electricity usage by controlling the aggregated whole as one unified, coordinated group.

By Ginger Juhl for Encycle Coproration

{Encycle} HVAC Visibility Insights Help to Lower Costs, Improve Sustainability

HVAC units are not only among the largest electricity consuming loads in buildings – typically about 40% – but they also represent the loads that are most likely to suffer from both scheduling inefficiencies and mechanical faults. It is therefore important to facility operators, energy analysts and finance personnel alike that HVAC loads are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible to ensure optimal cooling with the least cost and environmental impact.

One might think that monitoring occupant complaints would be a sufficient method to know if something is amiss with HVAC loads; however, this assumption is incorrect for a number of reasons:

If HVAC loads are operating well before or after occupants are at work in different zones of a building, they would never realize that such waste is occurring.

In large, open areas, if one of the HVAC units is functioning poorly, its neighbors may “pick up the slack” by working more aggressively to compensate for the faulty unit. The other HVAC units then must work more than would be normally required to maintain the setpoint temperature. These and other HVAC faults typically only become apparent under extreme heat conditions, such as during summer heat waves when HVAC technicians are already at their busiest, dealing with a flood of emergency repair requests.

Occupants may not always communicate faults to the appropriate facilities personnel, leaving faults unknown until the next round of preventive maintenance occurs. By then, energy and money have been wasted, and further damage may have occurred.

Finally, there is a quandary that facility managers often encounter, where two people standing side by side have two different opinions about whether they’re comfortable or not. Consider a theater employee working at a desk compared to one who just finished vacuuming hallways for an hour. Who is more likely to complain that it’s too hot? So, you may be able to please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but never all of the people all of the time. For this conundrum, we have no solution, but greater insight into HVAC operation can – and will – create an opportunity to achieve the best possible results.

The Devil is in the Details

Valuable insights can be gleaned by understanding exactly what certain loads are doing under different circumstances. These insights are gained by determining when the loads are – or are not – using electricity, compared to what is expected. This applies to both the entire class of loads, as well as to individual loads.

Relying solely on utility meter data is insufficient in achieving the insights needed because it provides data only about the building as a whole, not to mention the fact that just obtaining the data can be an awkward procedure. And while some utilities are embracing the Green Button data initiative, adoption is still rare across the U.S. and Canada, and even then, it cannot provide load-specific data. The optimal method of monitoring HVAC loads is to meter each one, known variously as disaggregation, disambiguation or simply sub-metering.

Sub-metering + demand management = Synergy That Works

Historically, solutions that provide only sub-metering functionality tend to be more expensive than the value they generate simply in terms of scheduling and maintenance efficiencies. However, marrying a sub-metering solution with one that also provides scheduling and demand management/demand response functionality is an ideal way to bundle the benefits into a cost-effective package.

Some energy analysis systems try to infer what specific loads are doing without directly metering these loads. Such systems attempt to discern some form of “signature” in the overall stream of meter data in an attempt to identify specific appliances, although such systems are unable to distinguish multiple instances of the same load (e.g., three HVAC units of the same make and model at one location). Thus, these types of systems have only been applied to residential settings rather than commercial buildings, where this inferential approach has the possibility of discerning different loads. However, even in this rather limited scenario, its utility and payback are rather questionable. So, let’s focus on the higher utility cost – and therefore higher potential value – of insights into the operation of HVAC loads at commercial and industrial buildings rather than residences.

Sub-metering could take many forms depending on the data desired. The value in sub-metered data lies in understanding when a load is operating and how much electricity it demands under these circumstances. Several metrics can be monitored when sub-metering electricity usage; for example, kW (true power), kVA (apparent power), kVAR (power factor), voltage and frequency.

Keep in mind that the more metrics that are desired, the more expensive the metering solution. In many cases, simply measuring kW provides a wealth of information just by answering the questions of “when” and “how much” posed above.

A reasonable frequency to report sub-metered HVAC loads, balanced against the overhead of gathering, transmitting and storing the data, is usually in terms of aggregated five-minute periods. Monitoring at much more frequent increments may provide slightly more insights into exactly when such loads transition operation (e.g. exactly when a second stage compressor started once the first stage was already running), but such information can typically be gleaned even from five-minute buckets. In some cases, even aggregating across 15-minute periods can provide sufficient insight into how an HVAC load is operating.

Now that we have identified the desire to examine HVAC load electrical demand and consumption across different time interval periods, what insights can be gleaned?

Understanding HVAC Behavior

Our goal is to both confirm expected behavior as well as identify anomalies for both the group as well as for individual loads. So, let’s examine a sampling of such behaviors and how sub-metered HVAC load data provides facility managers and energy analysts with the data that can allow them to determine if corrective measures are required.

Examining daily peaks: By aggregating HVAC loads and examining when they peak, potential issues can be identified. For example, one would expect that theaters will peak during their busiest times; e.g., Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. If HVAC loads peak during mornings on those days, it may indicate inappropriate scheduling of loads, which is causing them to start cooling far too soon -- or with initial occupancy setpoints that are far too aggressive. Instead, one could slowly ease HVAC loads into operation, shifting peaks to later in the afternoons or early evenings (and then use demand management solutions to help reduce such peaks). Such analysis can also be performed on individual HVAC loads to identify problems if only a few loads are starting too early or running too late in the day.

Examining each HVAC load’s operation over time, particularly in baseline mode of operation (i.e., no demand management controls are in play), can lead to the analysis of properly operating versus faulty HVAC loads. For example, over the duration of days with warm temperatures, noting HVAC loads that only indicate blower activity could indicate either broken compressors or setpoint overrides that are far too warm for normal conditions. Similarly, on cooler days, seeing HVAC loads that peak out during the day when free cooling – or no cooling – is required could indicate that maintenance is needed to correct a faulty economizer damper or an unnecessarily aggressive low set point.

Examining when HVAC loads operate can lead to confirming reasonable scheduling – or indicate scheduling errors. For example, noting loads that operate overnight when the building is unoccupied, especially those that not only operate blowers but also compressors, immediately indicates potential schedule optimizations in terms of tightening up overnight activity. In some cases, such loads may need to operate at reduced levels during unoccupied mode; e.g., venting kitchen areas or allowing cooling for overnight cleaning/stocking crews, since having insight into correct HVAC operation is important for personnel safety and comfort.

Examining the maximum demand of HVAC loads can lead to confirming reasonable operation of these loads.

For example, under hot weather conditions, HVAC loads occasionally require all stages of cooling. If, over the course of weeks of such weather, some loads are observed to only be consuming a portion of their expected maximum demand, say, only 60%, this likely implies that the load’s upper stage or stages are never operating. This could be simply due to the setpoint being so high that upper stages are never requested, and the zone is then not being cooled sufficiently, or perhaps the upper stage compressors are not functioning due to a variety of mechanical faults. Regardless of the reason, simply monitoring peak load anomalies identifies problems that require investigation.

The analysis that sub-metering provides is especially useful if available remotely over the web; i.e., without the need to visit the site and extract the data from a building automation system (if one even exists at the site). Web-based reporting means that reports can be generated and made available as frequently – or as infrequently – as desired, depending on the preferences of the personnel involved.

Encycle provides such HVAC visibility reporting services using the sub-metered data inherent in its Swarm Logic® demand management solution, which is widely used by commercial, industrial and institutional building customers. For more information, please visit encycle.com.

By Mark Kerbel of Encycle Corporation

{BrightFarms Press Release} BRIGHTFARMS #235 ON INC. 500

Local Produce Market Leader One of Fastest Growing Companies in America

New York, NY, August 16, 2017 - BrightFarms is proud to announce its inclusion in the 36th annual Inc. 500, ranking # 235 among America’s fastest growing private companies, solidifying its position as the leader in sustainable local produce for supermarkets.

The Inc. 500 is a comprehensive list of high growth private companies across the U.S., and has previously featured some of America’s most recognizable food brands, including Door to Door Organics, Clif Bar and Chobani.

“I am pleased for my colleagues to enjoy being recognized among the top 500 fastest growing companies in the United States,” said Paul Lightfoot, CEO of BrightFarms. “Our long-term growth is driven by the success of our model to satisfy the rising demand for local produce in the nation’s leading food retailers.  We’re thankful to our partners, particularly Giant Food (Ahold), Mariano’s (Kroger), Acme (Albertsons) and McCaffrey’s, for their commitment to bringing consumers fresher, local produce.”

BrightFarms is ranked 10th among all food companies on the Inc. 500 and is the only produce company to be included in the list.

BrightFarms operates three commercial greenhouse farms across the country—Rochelle, IL.; Culpeper, VA.; and Bucks County, PA., will soon break ground on its Clinton County, OH. greenhouse and with plans to open another 10-15 greenhouses in the next three to four years. For more information, visit www.inc.com/inc5000.

About BrightFarms

BrightFarms grows local produce, nationwide. BrightFarms finances, builds, and operates local greenhouse farms in partnership with supermarkets, cities, capital sources, and vendors, enabling it to quickly and efficiently eliminate time, distance, and costs from the food supply chain. BrightFarms’ growing methods, a model for the future of scalable, sustainable local farming, uses far less energy, land and water than conventional agriculture. Fast Company recognizes BrightFarms as “One of World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” and one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Food” in the world.  For more information, please visit www.brightfarms.com.

By Amrit Nijjer for BrightFarms