Next Step Living Gets $2.6M Series B, Steps Out Into Green Retrofitting and Remodeling Sector
Boston-based energy efficiency startup Next Step Living announced it has pulled in $2.6 million in a first close of its Series B financing round, led by entrepreneur John McQuillan, who is president and CEO of environmental consulting firm Triumvirate Environmental. Existing investors Black Coral Capital and the Clean Energy Venture Group also participated in the round, the company said.
Next Step, which targets and addresses the sources of wasted energy in homes, says it will put the money toward new hires. It’s also ramping up to meet customer demand from contracts it has nabbed in Boston, Brookline, and parts of western Massachusetts—which are supported in part by grants from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, created to promote renewable and clean energy technologies.
The Next Step website says the company partners with cities, towns, nonprofits, contractors, and employers to help get its auditing into homes—and then retrofit them to be more energy efficient. The company helps consumers track basic home energy uses like hot water, heating and cooling, and lighting. NextStep’s auditing service that is designed to advise consumers on specific strategies they can employ to cut down on unnecessary energy use. One example is adjusting the hot water set point below the typical 130 degrees—which is far too hot for functions like showering and dishwashing, according to the company’s website. Next Step also offers an online energy assessment tool powered by Seattle-based Internet startup EnergySavvy—to help consumers remotely develop a game plan for more efficient home energy use.
The auditing, advising, and, eventually, retrofitting components appear to distinguish Next Step from the many other energy-efficiency companies out there. (I’ve profiled Gloucester, MA-based GroundedPower, which makes energy monitoring systems designed to motivate users with social networking feedback.)
“It’s not the sexiest tech, but it just makes money for everyone involved—the homeowner, the utility, the city, and yes, [Next Step Living],” says Rob Day from Black Coral Capital.
With the new cash, Next Step is planning on stepping out into wider areas of the cleantech realm. It says it plans to launch a business line for custom remodeling and retrofitting homes for greater energy efficiency. The company says it has also started building a solar home as part of a new business unit.