A Riverview company is getting a $500,000 investment from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation for a clever new software that can track and reduce the amount of energy a company uses.

The software, which is developed by RtTech Software Inc. of Riverview, is able to find and fix problems that cause downtime and energy overuse through an automated production system.

RtTech's energy management information system can pinpoint when and where any part of a system is using more energy than it should be.

Power drains can be as complex as a process that's using more energy than it needs, or as simple as turning off idle components.

Flakeboard Company Ltd. in St. Stephen uses a lot of energy producing composite wood products and the company's energy manager Pat Burke said the software is already paying off big for the company.

"Last year, we were in the neighbourhood of $260,000 over the entire year. We're hoping to approach a half million dollars in savings this year," he said.

"We're in a depressed market right now, and with our market the way that it is, our savings are coming from turning off equipment that we used to keep running."

All the data for Flakeboard's production is sent to a central computer where the software continuously analyses the incoming data then reports where energy savings in the production process can be found.

Using the specialized system, Flakeboard was able to determine shutting down ventilation fans at night, reducing overhead lighting, and cutting power to idle parts of the plant made a big difference in energy savings.

CEO sees huge potential

Pablo Asiron, the chief executive officer of RtTech, said the software allows companies to pinpoint the exact step in the production process that is not running officially and energy managers within the company can then work on streamlining that production step.

"In real time, we're calculating how much they should be consuming. And they would compare that against their real consumption. And we are able to identify areas in the plant where, for whatever reason, they are actually over-consuming," Asiron said.

"Once that information gets in the hands of the energy managers, they can actually start pinpointing and start looking into the process so they can see what they need to do so they can reduce their overall energy consumption."

Asiron sees a lot of potential for the software.

"Within the next four or five years, we should be able to reach over $10 million in sales of software all over the world," Asiron said.

RtTech says the investment by the NBIF will allow it to expand and market its range of products, some of which are already being used by big companies such as J. D. Irving, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Barrick Gold.