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Donovan Energy and SnapCount - Project Highlight

SnapCount Works


When Donovan Energy, an energy project development company, was awarded the opportunity to perform an energy efficiency project at the Cincinnati Zoo, they knew that a project of such grand scale would require a great level of coordination and planning. Using SnapCount, Donovan Energy was able to coordinate the retrofit of over 87 buildings, providing the Zoo with a detailed lighting schedule of over 10,000 fixtures and 16,000 lamps.


Founded in 2016, Donovan Energy (Donovan) specializes in helping customers spend less on energy, helping them use less energy, as well as create energy through generation projects. When conducting energy efficiency projects, Donovan initially audited facilities with pencil and paper, transposed handwritten notes to custom Excel spreadsheets, and created hand-built proposals. In 2017, following challenges with the accuracy of using paper, pencil, and Excel retrofit methods, Donovan discovered SnapCount after a recommendation from a lighting manufacturer.

“I think one of the major tipping points that took Donovan from the ‘old school’ method of conducting retrofits to using SnapCount was a project we did with a 7 building school campus with over 7800 fixtures. We had many transposition errors working with Excel during this project because I had 14 pages of legal pad notes to key into an Excel spreadsheet. There were some errors that we had to go back and fix after the fact.  I knew it was time to automate.” said Tim Donovan, Founder of Donovan Energy.

The Project

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has been dedicated to the conservation of plants and animals since 1875. Proclaimed the “Greenest Zoo in America” in 2010, the Zoo has continued to lead the way in sustainability and green initiatives by greening its daily operations and reducing its impact on the environment. Through green building, solid waste management, renewable energy, water conservation, storm water management, energy efficiency and community outreach, the Zoo has strengthened its sustainability program to have a positive impact on the planet.

Recognizing the importance of energy efficiency, the Cincinnati Zoo began working with Donovan in 2017 on dozens of projects, eventually selecting Donovan to convert the entire zoo to LED lighting. Covering 65 acres and over 87 buildings, Donovan developed a 6-day plan to audit every fixture using SnapCount.

Beginning with the lighting audit, Donovan created a comprehensive lighting schedule by identifying all incandescent, fluorescent, and HID fixtures throughout the zoo. By using a tablet in the field to collect fixture data, Donovan was able to gather precise lighting fixture details throughout the entire audit.

Upon completion of the audit, Donovan had collected fixture information for over 10,000 fixtures across the entire zoo footprint, walking over 5 miles each day for 6 days. Moving from audit to quotation and proposal, Donovan was able to easily generate a quote with the click of a few buttons rather than the transcription of pages of hand-written notes. “We didn’t have to read chicken scratch or transpose the lighting fixture information into a spreadsheet, which was a huge time-saver in such a large project. Constructing the quote and proposal was easy with the ability to filter, aggregate and batch supply solutions with minimal effort through SnapCount,” stated Donovan Energy Chief Operating Officer, Harry Brandicourt.             

The Results


The number of buildings audited through SnapCount, spanning over 65 acres of land.


The number of fixtures digitally audited in the Cincinnati Zoo throughout the 87 buildings.


The number of lamps audited and retrofit by Donovan Energy throughout the cycle of the project.

Donovan Energy Reaction

“The SnapCount platform was an absolutely critical tool for us in this large project. The ability to take photos and videos of specific fixtures for context after the audit is complete is key as we move from audit to quotation. Even more important for us in this project was the accuracy of the tool as any errors in such a large project can greatly impact the bottom line. SnapCount has also created a great time savings in this project and others we have completed. It’s saving us 80-95% in time from audit to proposal to implementation,” said Tim Donovan regarding the use of SnapCount.

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