In 2015, the Hillsborough County School District was looking to cut costs.
It was the aftermath of the recession and in a public school district where costs continued to climb, Gretchen Saunders, Hillsborough school’s chief finance officer, was tasked with cutting the school’s then $37 million electric bill.
“At that point the superintendent said, ‘We’re in the hole, we have to cut the electric bill,” she said. “The Minimise team reached out to the operations folks, saying, ‘This is the program we’ve been using around the world.’ We had gone through the recession, we didn’t have a lot of money for light bulbs or anything.”
Minimise, the Tampa-based energy management startup, wasn’t planning to simply install LED light bulbs and leave. The company attaches a box to circuit breaker boxes to track how much energy is being spent and at what times, so the customer can adjust accordingly. Instead of being paid a flat rate or charging a fee, Minimise takes a portion of the money saved that otherwise would have been spent on the energy bill.