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Sustainable Energy Platforms aims to simplify sustainability

Serves building clients with advisory on financing and managing of equipment

A St. Jacobs, Ont.-based joint venture between Ainsworth Inc. and s2e Technologies Inc. called Sustainable Energy Platforms Inc. aims to simplify the "complex" world of sustainable transitions for buildings through custom-built advisory and maintenance.

“Our goal is to provide sustainable energy platforms to heavy users of energy that are looking to transform their energy platforms in a sustainable way,” according to Carlos Fernandez, the president and CEO of Sustainable Energy Platforms Inc., who spoke to Sustainable Biz Canada in an interview.

“Even if they’re not looking at it, it’s our endeavour to make them change and make it sustainable, and have better control of their energy needs.”

Fernandez, who is also the co-founder and president of s2e Technologies, said Ainsworth and s2e Technologies recognized their experience and knowledge could enable them to be “stronger together” after several conversations inspired the two companies to provide a more complete decarbonization service.

Ainsworth, a Toronto-based building trades company, is a subsidiary of GDI Integrated Facilities Services Inc. (GDI-T), a commercial facility services provider headquartered in Montreal.

s2e Technologies, also based in St. Jacobs, is a renewable energy project installer behind the EVE Park net-zero condo development in London, Ont.

From design to maintenance

The platform covers the system design, financing, building of infrastructure, operations and maintenance based on the experience from both companies in renewable energy and building projects.

For example, Sustainable Energy Platforms reviewed the energy needs of EVE Park by creating an expectation for the annual energy consumption of the residential community. Called Power Planner, it projects a range for the future cost of electricity and allows the client to build pathways around the prices, as well as calculate Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions.

Once the framework is created, a bespoke platform figures out the clean energy generation equipment and load assets it needs. Sustainable Energy Platforms invests in and can partially or fully own the energy generation assets and some of the load assets such as water heaters, heat pumps and heat recovery ventilators.

For each client, Sustainable Energy Platforms delivers funding through its network and creates a project financing portfolio for potential investors.

Simplifying sustainability

A major aspect of Sustainable Energy Platforms is how it streamlines access to funds for sustainability-related infrastructure.

“There is a strong idea that going into the sustainable world or achieving ESG is expensive and very complex,” Fernandez said, due to the myriad of components such as regulations, access to financing, understanding the “real cost of equipment” and long-term operations of the solutions.

Glen Drummond, a senior marketing and strategic advisor at s2e Technologies, told Sustainable Biz Canada the idea for clarifying these difficulties emerged from a survey of approximately 1,650 business respondents who were asked about the motivations, plans and actions behind their decarbonization plans.

Most said their executive leaders are proactive and want to pursue a decarbonization path, but only 40 per cent said they were on track to achieve the goal because of the complexity. The gap especially affects medium-sized businesses, Fernandez said – the group Sustainable Energy Platforms aims to assist.

Sustainable Energy Platforms helps clients through often-obtuse regulations, tap into incentives like investment tax credits for renewable energy, and understand the pricing and financing benefits of renewable energy.

Sustainable Energy Platforms is “targeting any user of energy” interested in a sustainable transition, Fernandez said. It started off serving multifamily residential buildings because s2e Technologies has a background in developing sustainable energy communities. Sustainable Energy Platforms also has experience servicing the commercial class like supermarkets, and plans to work with industrial clients in manufacturing.

The joint venture serves clients in Canada and the U.S., which uses the networks of both Ainsworth and s2e Technologies, Fernandez said.

“In order to make a change in the world, in order to battle climate change, that is what drives our passion. We need to make things simple,” he added.

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