In 1995, a small group of industrial and commercial account executives at Washington Water Power (now Avista Corporation) saw a tremendous opportunity to help the utility's customers prepare for the impending deregulation of electric energy. What they found when they spoke with customers amazed them: While customers knew their annual energy expenditure, none of them could point to how much energy was actually consumed. With a grand vision to pioneer the utility expense management industry, WWP Energy Solutions—with 17 employees—was born in early November 1996.
To collect and analyze customers' energy data, WWP Energy Solutions built a world-class, patented solution that converted energy bill data into actionable intelligence about each facility within the customer's corporation. For the first time, customers could see and understand their overall energy consumption across their entire corporation. What's more, the solution enabled customers to do this securely, over the web, which in 1996 was pretty revolutionary.
In 1997, WWP Energy Solutions changed its name to Avista Advantage to strengthen its position in the highly competitive energy services market and began to broaden its scope. The company moved into the supply-side of the energy equation in 2000 with its Energy Supply Management service, applying market intelligence to help commercial and industrial clients purchase energy nationally. That same year, the company also added telecom capabilities to its expense management platform.
The next year, Avista Advantage began to expand its facilities offerings beyond the energy market, introducing its waste expense management service. In 2005, the company deepened its telecom consulting expertise with the addition of TelAssess, Inc.
In 2007, the company adopted a new name: Advantage IQ. In 2008, Advantage IQ acquired competitor Cadence Network, solidifying its position as the leading supplier of comprehensive cost management solutions for utility, telecom, lease and waste services.
The addition of Ecos Consulting in 2009 moved Advantage IQ into the burgeoning sustainability market and more closely linked it to utilities, helping customers reduce energy use, manage carbon emissions, and make their operations more environmentally and economically sustainable. Ecos continued doing business as Ecos IQ, a subsidiary of Advantage IQ, until 2011.
In late 2010, Advantage IQ acquired Minneapolis-based The Loyalton Group, an energy management firm known for its energy procurement and price risk management solutions, adding to Advantage IQ's valuable electric usage database of more than 25,000 MW of commercial and industrial load. The following month, Advantage IQ acquired Building Knowledge Networks, taking the next logical step to provide their customers with real-time connectivity to their building systems, empowering them with the data and analytics they need to make good business decisions that reduce costs while improving operations and reducing overall environmental impact.
By 2011, Advantage IQ had grown to more than 900 employees nationwide, offering a breadth of products, services and technologies that more than exceeded the initial vision of those 17 employees of WWP Energy Solutions. In late 2011, Advantage IQ and Ecos combined to become Ecova.
Before the end of 2011, Prenova became the first company acquired by Ecova, expanding our client base to more than 600, extending our reach into the education and government sectors, and building upon our engineering capabilities in building control and metering to provide our clients with energy efficiency expertise and recommendations at the building level.
In early 2012, Ecova acquired LPB Energy Management, a privately held energy management company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. LPB―with 12 years of experience providing utility expense management and energy procurement for clients―grew Ecova’s client base to nearly 700 commercial companies with multiple sites.
In 2014, Ecova entered a new phase in its evolution when it was acquired by Cofely USA, a subsidiary of French multinational utility company GDF SUEZ. With its new parent company, Ecova is able to continue to evolve to meet the needs of its growing client base, directly benefiting from Cofely’s industry leadership and global presence, while still operating as a standalone business.
Today, Ecova provides fully managed, technology-optimized solutions that increase the returns, reduce risks, and enhance the reputations of our customers through saving resources. With over 1,400 employees, Ecova remains headquartered in Spokane, Wash. with regional offices in Cincinnati, Denver, Minneapolis, Richardson, Seattle, St. Paul, Portland, Ore. and Atlanta.