AMEE is like an OpenID for your carbon footprint

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AMEE, a London based startup with an API which has the grand aim of measuring the world’s energy consumption – and therefore Carbon Footprint – has secured an undisclosed Series A financing from O’Reilly Alphatech Ventures, Union Square Ventures and UK-based Angel The Accelerator Group.

Launched in 2005, AMEE combines measurement, calculation, profiling and transactional systems, representing emissions data from 150 countries and regions. The idea is pretty simple. Act as a neutral data aggregation platform. Although it has potential competitors in the form of Oracle, SAP, IBM and others, increasingly some are ditching their proprietary front end efforts and just using AMEE’s open source API to build their own tools on top.

The advantages are many. AMEE is a neutral clearing house for data about energy consumption. It anonymizes the incoming data from clients so that others can re-use it imaginatively. The whole project is open source and revenues come from annual or monthly service fee based on varying scales.

As a result, AMEE could be compared to an OpenID system for your carbon footprint. Some have also called it a kind of ‘FireEagle of energy’. There is even a comparison with data portability. So for example in the future you could calculate you carbon footprint on your Dopplr account (which uses AMEE’s API), then sync that with your home energy use on a Google gadget.

This is important as energy and carbon is becoming a global currency which governments and companies are starting to trade on. President Elect Obama’s forward-looking Federal Cap & Trade statements, which cover carbon trading, are encouraging signs and last week the UK put in place it’s own Climate Change Act.

Indeed, AMEE’s platform is already in use by two UK government departments, Morgan Stanley, Google, Radiohead, the Irish Government, Sun Microsystems and a number of others.

And what does AMEE stand for? It’s an acronym for “Avoiding Mass Extinctions Engine”.

  • Michael Cosby

    Mike Butcher is an idiot. “AMEE is like an OpenID for your carbon footprint” is one of the worst comparisons I have ever heard.

  • http://www.marketing-ninja.com/ Marketing Ninja

    “AMEE is like an OpenID for your carbon footprint”

    Finally! The integration of bullshit technology and pseudo-science. When will they be announcing OpenID for astrology?

  • Jonathan

    “AMEE is like an OpenID for your carbon footprint”

    Hmm. It’s more like “AMEE is like a fish without a bicycle.” Or about about “AMEE is like dancing about architecture”?

    I think TC should just create a random headline generator – might make us smile through our agony at least.

  • Pinky

    “anonymizes”

    I don’t normally get hung-up on such things, but Christ, kill me now if this is the future of the English language.

  • http://www.datanomisch.de Timo Mika Gläßer

    Forgetting to complain about the stupid comparison of OpenID and AMEE for a second I wonder where the business model is and wether they think that a state will leave this in the hands of a private industry if somethin like that will ever be implemented. I guess not. Such things are state-owned since these things are used to collected taxes. They should probably not waste precious money.

  • MLS

    How are companies like this still getting money?

    For those of you not in the energy industry like myself but rather wrapped up in tech, I have news: emissions are nowhere near becoming any sort of “global currency.” They are not even a factor today when one bids to build a power plant. They are on everyone’s mind, sure (in the blue counties in the states), but there are no economics associated with a carbon footprint.

    The carbon data they acquire and display will likely be cute at best. Energy consumption data may have some value if they can actually calculate something that energy producers don’t know already– after all, the utilities already have a meter on the wire going into your home, the airlines know how much fuel is going into their planes, power plants know how much coal they burn and who they send their power too, the list goes on…
    What do you care (other than just out of your own curiosity and perhaps motivation to be more environmental) what your PRECISE carbon footprint is? Green is a trend– it is yet to turn a profit! Welcome to great depression 2 folks: time to weed out the bubble ideas, not tout them blindly.

    • emissions guy

      every one on this board is an idiot.there already is
      a national monetary emissions model and it collect 500k in less than 30 days.and has a national model up and running with real money so you are all fu***ed up.and if all your heads were not in the cloudes obama will move to a cap and trade with 12 months of being elected.emissions is a triliion dollar business.and if you follow vc money emissions has made more of an influnence in the last 24 months than anyone on this board has earned in the last 24 months combined.

  • Dave

    There is very little “open source” about AMEE. They mention it (twice) in their terms, but where is the code, and what use is it to anyone who wants gets their hands on it?

    Their grandiose claims of wanting to become a global repository for energy data and save the World from “mass extinction” are phony.

    There is a sound(ish) principal behind what they’ve started : emissions data is proving incredibly difficult and contentious to collect in large enough quantities to be useful. What is needed to build a big enough repository of useful data is a global collaboration of experts following sound principals, with no ownership of the resulting data. A Wikipedia of energy data. AMEE isn’t anywhere close to this. The data needs to be free, AMEE is just a licensing model from the 1900s talked up by a snake oil salesman.

    “Oh yeah, and we’re totally open source man!”

  • Bob

    Nevermind that – what’s happened to the TechCrunch UK RSS feed? Since last night I’ve been getting loads of stories from the US site. This sudden increase in TechCrunch traffic is in danger of exceeding my daily bullshit allowance ;-(

  • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

    Apologies for the ham-fisted comparison with OpenID! Apparently the ability to simplify this issue into a short headline was beyond me. Hey ho. At least it got your attention.

    (Bob- Issue with TCUK RSS feed should be sorted now)

  • Angus

    MLS said:
    >> news: emissions are nowhere near becoming any sort of “global currency.”

    Sorry, but that just irritates me, your insular ignorance is startling (assuming you are American by your ‘blue counties’ comment). You say you know about the energy industry, but you clearly know nothing about it’s wider implications.

    Carbon trading is very much a reality for those outside of the USA, and will soon be a trillion dollar industry. You are probably blissfully unaware of the Kyoto protocol, or indeed the European Union Emission Trading Scheme. Funny that being the biggest per capita polluter on earth the US was the only industrialised nation not to ratify Kyoto…hmmm, I wonder why that was?

    As for that ‘green is a trend’ statement, I can only assume you are a troll. Ever heard of Malthus? no, didn’t think so. As they say ignorance is bliss…

    There is a world outside the states, and there are tech start-ups outside of the states.

    I too have no idea what Amee’s revenue sources are. But I would take an educated guess that it revolves around licensing more accurate emissions date for carbon trading inter-country and personal (another reality you are unaware of).

    One of the key criticisms of carbon trading schemes is the difficulty in aggregating emissions data. Enter innovative tech start-up. I say good luck to them.

    Get with it.

    angus

  • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

    To answer one question re: open source, http://www.amee.com/faq#copyright has a link to their SVN repository.

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