In France, the NOME Act, which goes into effect on January 1, 2016, will make regulated electricity rates a thing of the past. This new deregulated market concerns around 436,000 industrial sites in France that will all need specific tools and information to choose their new utility contracts. CACTUSes decision-assistance software, developed specifically for industrial utility customers, can analyze and forecast energy consumption, determine contract power, and predict unusual usage--crucial when it comes to navigating the deregulated electricity market. Current energy-management software solutions tend to address residential and commercial customers' needs and do not take into account the issues faced by industrial customers. CACTUSes leverages data-mining algorithms to provide advanced features not found in other software, including consumption forecasts, which are particularly complicated in industrial settings. CACTUSes also helps industrial utility customers bypass the energy consultants they habitually use, giving them total independence to choose the right electric utility contract and negotiate rates with utilities. No specialized in-house know-how is required. Finally, unlike other software on the market CACTUSes addresses a very specific and clearly-identified need.
CACTUSes was developed under the OPSINE2 project, which was financed by the French Single Interministerial Fund. Automatique & Industrie conceived of this project to address the lack of resources available to industrial utility customers seeking to implement continuous improvement processes targeting plant energy efficiency. Minalogic certified the project, providing knowledgeable support not only with the administrative aspects of the project, but also to help Automatique & Industrie test and improve its products. The project consortium, included Automatique & Industrie (lead), ProbaYes, research lab LIRIS, and NTN-SNR Roulements (for the industrial demonstrator system). Based on market insights and valuable information from the field provided by NTN-SNR, as well as the changing market regulations, the choice was made to develop an initial software package to help industrial utility customers select the best electricity contracts. The product is slated for release in May 2015. Expected sales volumes are not yet known; however, feedback from initial demos has been encouraging, confirming CACTUSes' position as a comprehensive, intuitive solution.