"Making sure that we generate enough energy to meet society's growing energy consumption sustainably is one challenge, but there is another hurdle we must overcome. As the population continues to grow, so does the task of making sure that the energy gets to where it needs to go. In response, utilities have begun modernizing their electricity transmission and distribution systems. Smart meters and data analytics technology have paved the way to more dynamic solutions for demand and supply. These upgrades will help meet the needs of an increasingly numerous and complex clientele." 

Since 2009, Lowfoot's co-founders Philip Playfair and Steve Hammond have been hard at work making sure that there is enough quality data available to maximize good decision-making. These two entrepreneurs have had careers within the utility software and technology sector for three decades. Steve has co-founded and grown several thriving businesses and has demonstrated strong leadership skills, innate technical abilities and experience in the field. 

Philip developed political and demographic multimillion-record databases on shoestring budgets. Together with Steve Hammond, he poured his time into building, developing and marketing Advanced Utility Systems, a software company that develops billing platforms for utility companies. The sustainable energy industry is a playing field full of entrepreneurial opportunities. When asked why he is motivated to take entrepreneurial risks, Philip states:

"As an entrepreneur I believe it is my job to identify the trends in the market and ensure that my customers are in a position to meet challenges and leverage them for their own success. This is what drives me."

Philip Playfair

Lowfoot's unique set of communication and big data programs has attracted utility and energy providers, who service their own customers using Lowfoot's tools. Because of this, Lowfoot has experienced significant expansion, and its efforts have been recently recognized with the SMARTpreneur of the Year 2015' award at the 2015 Powering Prosperity Awards.

Powering Prosperity is an annual awards dinner organized by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association that recognizes excellence, innovation and best practices in the sustainable energy sector.Lowfoot was originally created to leverage the potential of smart data. As they grew, they broadened their mandate. Lowfoot now helps customers unleash the potential of multiple data sources: from analog meter data, to interval weather data, to social media data. Like a technological engine, Lowfoot processes massive amounts of data. Then it provides that information in a digestible format to its clients' customers and internal stakeholders.

One of the biggest tasks is making sure that consumers are charged for their energy use accurately and fairly. Recent enhancements to service offerings such as demand management self-service tools have helped

both companies and individuals. When they take advantage of smart meter data to fill knowledge gaps, companies can take a more active role in demand response and become more competitive.

"Lowfoot turns data into high-end customer engagement products and provides in-depth business insights" says Philip Playfair.

The information provided ultimately allows the clients to think long- term about the services they provide to individuals, which helps to keep their customers informed, loyal and happy. These smart energy decisions can drastically improve the effectiveness of energy reduction strategies, and will lead to reduced energy consumption, reduced bottom lines, and reduced impact on the environment.

Lowfoot is building upon its successes with six6 new contracts signed in 2014, and it continues to show promise. Lowfoot's goal is to triple its revenue by the end of 2015. The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association is proud to shine the spotlight on champions such as Lowfoot, whose ideas and actions are advancing Ontario's prosperity and our transition to a more sustainable energy economy.


About Lowfoot:

Lowfoot is a data analytics firm with a small team of dedicated staff based in Toronto, Ontario. The company is currently focused on expanding its market share in the United States and Ontario and is beginning to market its services to clients in Latin America and Europe.

What is SMARTpreneur:

The primary purpose of SMARTpreneur is to encourage individuals, particularly those in the energy field, to explore the opportunities that exist to start their own business and contribute their skills and experience to building a future for themselves and their families. SMARTpreneur assists skilled tradespeople, and other skilled individuals, to transition from employee to employer by providing resources, assistance, and mentoring in establishing their own business.

In 2014, as part of SMARTpreneur, a new program was implemented called LaunchPAD: from Idea to Start-Up. This 3 month program assists individuals to go through all of the steps to get their business idea launch-ready. Theis program includes an application process, selection process and PITCH day, where the applicant must present their idea in front of a panel of experts. Subsequently, applicants are selected on the strength and viability of their idea, presentation and commitment to the program.

The next planned LaunchPAD is scheduled for the fall of 2015. Through the contributions of its partner, the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers (CUSW), SMARTpreneur has been able to create a number of virtual support services.


By Alon Rodovinsky