When it comes to decarbonization planning, there are many, varying parameters. This makes identifying the most effective course of action a daunting process. Decarbonization software is a cutting-edge solution aimed at reducing carbon emissions across various industries and sectors. By offering comprehensive insights into carbon footprints and emissions patterns, decarbonization software empowers businesses to identify areas with the highest environmental impact and implement targeted strategies for emission reduction. Additionally, this software often integrates with smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT) systems to monitor real-time energy consumption and provide actionable recommendations for efficiency improvements.
Vancouver-based decarbonization software company SISA Energy is helping businesses become more sustainable by discovering the optimal decarbonization plan consistent with a business’s resources, timelines, and goals. SISA’s unique, data-driven combination of budget planning and systems thinking takes the guesswork out of developing practical decarbonization strategies that save money. We sat down with SISA Energy’s CEO Sina Salari to learn more about what they do.
Tell us about SISA Energy. What do you do and why do you do it?
Sina: SISA Energy provides an online platform that dramatically improves the process of decarbonizing buildings. Building decarbonization is on the verge of exploding, numerous decarbonization retrofit programs are launching, and SISA is ideally positioned to become the collaborative tool that helps stakeholders manage the transition. The platform provides tools to simplify and accelerate the development and optimization of decarbonization plans and reduce the costs of the transition to a net-zero future for portfolios of commercial, institutional, and multi-unit residential buildings.
The software can process and maintain building data from scattered sources, while simultaneously investigating a range of GHG reduction strategies at the building and portfolio level. Beyond energy audit capabilities, the software serves as the hub for managing large decarbonization initiatives. While there are available software tools that support energy analysis and tracking, none of them are capable of serving as a platform for large decarbonization initiatives that move from analysis to implementation.
How is your platform accelerating the transition to a net-zero future?
Sina: The platform simplifies the otherwise complex process of decarbonization planning and tracking, and provides ready-to-implement solutions at every step of the transition by offering the following capabilities:
Facilitating collaboration between different stakeholders and integrating heterogeneous and distributed information from a variety of sources (g., consultant reports, funding agencies, and utilities) into a cloud-based database with a standardized, easy-to-navigate front end.
Intelligently automating the discovery and evaluation of decarbonization strategies by tracking emerging technologies, governmental incentives, and energy market fluctuations.
Optimizing decarbonization plans over an entire portfolio of buildings, while managing and tracking progress, e.g., implemented upgrades and their resulting energy performance and KPIs.
SISA Energy received an Innovator Skills Initiative hiring grant from Innovate BC. Can you tell us how the grant helped your company?
Sina: For me, SISA was officially formed when SISA had its first employee on payroll, which was funded through Innovate BC. I am an immigrant who came to Canada as a student in 2013, and when I started to develop SISA’s idea, I could not afford to hire someone else. Founding a startup is one of the most demanding jobs that I know, and I was always overloaded with different tasks, especially in the beginning when I was working as an energy consultant as well. However, in December 2021, I received my first hiring grant, and it changed everything. Using Innovate BC funding, I hired a smart and fresh UBC data scientist graduate who develop our first web-based feature. Having him on the team allowed me to focus more on the business, and in less than a year we could form a team, improve SISA’s business plan, raise capital, and launch our operational platform. In the past 18 months, through Innovate BC hiring funds, I had the pleasure to meet some of the most self-driven individuals and hired 10 interns, six of whom are currently full-time team members of SISA, and 2 are following their passion in other companies. Working with Innovate BC boosted our growth to the point where we could contribute to the Canadian economy and accelerate the decarbonization of the building industry while following our dream jobs and enjoying the journey.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced while growing your company and how did you overcome them?
Sina: The biggest challenge for me is to face challenges simultaneously ranging from pure R&D ones to business strategies. We try to navigate through each challenge one by one, stay positive, take care of our work-life balance, and acknowledge how much progress we make every day.
What’s next for SISA Energy? Are there any updates on the horizon?
Sina: We’re excited to announce that SISA will be used to support the City of Vancouver’s “Rental Apartment Retrofit Accelerator (RARA)” program being administered by LandlordBC with the support of FRESCo Building Efficiency. The program, funded by the City in partnership with CleanBC and BCHydro, will support critical energy retrofit upgrades, including building electrification and fuel-switching using new heat pump technology.
There is a long way for the building industry to reach net zero, however, we are determined and confident that using our collaborative and modern approach we can accelerate this transition, make a better future, and contribute to the Canadian economy.