Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Last week one fun story was a business section review of how two area firms, Ecova and Nuvodia, ended up choosing their business names. Nuvodia was a brand new name for a reconstituted part of Spokane-based Inland Imaging Business Services.
Ecova was the new name for Advantage IQ.
We were looking around during the research and found another example that didn't make it into the story. Spokane Valley tech firm FlyBack Energy was not originally named thus.
When first launched, the firm carried a name that left a lot to be desired, said current CEO John Overby. It was Advanced Research and Development.
The name changed when the company locked onto its business focus, which is to conserve significant amounts of electrical engineering through devices that eliminate the "flyback" effect in an AC circuit.
Spokane's Ecova, which started life as Avista Advantage and went through a few name changes, has hoisted a new sign on its company office building, 1313 N. Atlantic. The most recent name was Advantage IQ.
The company, which manages and analyzes office energy consumption and billing, was recently featured as the April volunteer of the month for the City of Spokane Parks & Recreation Department.
Groom Energy has just released a list we'll call some attention to; it's a list of 10 smart-grid vendors to watch in the ongoing energy efficiency marketplace.
Spokane's Ecova (formerly Advantage IQ, and before that, Avista Advantage) is among the 10.
The group of 10 are all in the specific niche of "enterprise" grid-efficiency companies: The other nine are C3, CA Technologies, EnergyCAP, EnerNOC, Lucid, Phoenix Energy Technologies, Schneider Electric, SCIenergy and Siemens.
Only Siemens, which operates across many industrial and some consumer markets, may be a familiar name.
We call out this list in part because we believe (sincerely) that the smart grid future is important and critical in helping the world better manage the energy needs of consumers and businesses. We also really don't see many stories that explain how companies like Ecova make a difference in the marketplace.
They're clearly doing the job, and deserve ongoing coverage in the media.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Spokane-based Ecova a 2012 Energy Star sustained excellence award, recognizing the company's commitment to energy efficiency.
Ecova, formerly Advantage IQ, is a spin-off company of Spokane-based energy utility Avista Corp.
The company, with offices across the states, provides energy audits and energy management for corporate clients.
A company press release noted that Ecova has been recognized by the EPA for eight straight years. This is the firm's sixth Sustained Excellence award.
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Energy Star program. Energy Star is an international standard for energy-smart consumer products. It was launched as a U.S. government program during the early 1990s, but Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union have all adopted it as an energy savings program.
Spokane-based Ecova has completed the purchase of a Georgia-based competitor with the similar-sounding name of Prenova, Inc. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
Earlier this year Ecova renamed itself from Advantage IQ. The similar names is pure coincidence.
Ecova officials began moving toward the new name two years ago, well before discussions were launched to acquire Prenova, a company statement noted.
Both companies offer corporate energy management and efficiency services.
Prenova has roughly 80 corporate customers that are now part of Ecova’s portfolio. Most of those are in the southeast United States, according to a company spokeswoman.
The transaction is expected to be neutral to Ecova’s earnings in 2012. Prenova reported revenue of $12.4 million for the first three quarters of 2011. It reported the same sales for all of fiscal year 2010.
With the addition of the new clients, Ecova’s customer list now exceeds 600 and expands the company’s reach into the education and government sectors.
Advantage IQ was launched in 1997 as a subsidiary of Avista Corp. It now has more than 900 employees with offices in Cincinnatti, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Seattle and San Francisco.