Keeping hospitals, hotels, malls and offices cool when the mercury soars is an expensive proposition. As is well-known, air-conditioning guzzles energy and making cooling systems energy-efficient and sustainable is indeed a challenge.

The answer lies in efficiently and systematically managing resources. The innovative cooling-as-a-service (caas) model is being seen as a solution. Under it, building and business owners shift from investing in cooling infrastructure to paying for the cooling service itself.

Incentivising tech providers

The technology provider then assumes ownership of the cooling system, handling maintenance and covering all operational costs, including electricity. Customer payments are structured as fixed cost per unit and metered usage, mitigating any performance-related risks for the client. This approach incentivises technology providers to install equipment with the lowest life cycle cost and enhancing the overall cost-effectiveness of the service.

“As an energy efficiency company, we have been pioneering the narrative around profitable decarbonisation making every joule count. With cooling demand constituting up to 60 per cent of a building’s energy costs, we help commercial establishments like hospitals and hotels through JouleCOOL, our cooling-as-a-service model,” says Arjun P Gupta, Founder and CEO, Smart Joules.

“Under this one-stop solution, we take responsibility for everything from design, execution, monitoring, operations and maintenance, thereby offering an efficient ecosystem to customers. For existing buildings, we guarantee a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of their centralised cooling systems compared to current levels,” adds Gupta.

The integrative approach involves efficient design, investment in best equipment, and the automation of operations through IoT and AI. The company meticulously assesses cooling load, optimizes equipment arrangements, designs water and air distribution systems, and considers factors like insulation, passive cooling, and shading. A detailed value engineering exercise is conducted incorporating insights from operators and analysts and a model lifecycle cost implications of various alternatives is drawn up.

Notable clients in Smart Joules’ portfolio include Apollo Hospitals, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Fortis Hospiatls, Le Meridien Hotel, Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, Aster, CARE, ITC, and Max Real Estates.

Clients enjoy high-quality cooling at competitive prices without the need for a budget allocation to acquire the system. Technology providers, on the other hand, benefit from a steady income stream and the opportunity to establish long-term relationships with clients.