Powerhouse Dynamics, With Another $400K, Is Out to Monitor Energy Use at the Circuit Level and Sell Through Dealers
Not using energy you don’t need has become an attractive way of going green, and has given birth to companies out to track and target your energy consumption, or retrofit your home for greater efficiency.
Newton, MA-based Powerhouse Dynamics, founded in 2008, is a player in the energy-monitoring software field, but it’s been going about things about differently than some of its competitors, says CEO Martin Flusberg.
Many energy-monitoring startups look to get their products in consumers’ hands by partnering with utilities. Flusberg says utility companies can run pilot phases of this type of technology, but often have trouble scoring regulatory approval or consumer interest to make the monitoring systems permanent fixtures in homes.
So Powerhouse is marketing its eMonitor system to those who are close to the pulse of the cleantech industry, such as energy auditors, retrofitting companies, and solar panel providers. “It’s a natural fit,” says Flusberg, who joined Powerhouse last year and previously co-founded energy and carbon analysis company Nexus Energy Software. “We have the same customer base.”
In February the company announced it had raised $1 million in a financing round led by CommonAngels, and it has added roughly another $400,000 to the pot this summer. It’s also gotten its product to the market since this winter’s funding announcement, and has about 80 dealers enlisted to sell its system.
Powerhouse’s technology tracks energy consumption at the circuit level, which also distinguishes it from companies that plug monitoring devices into individual appliances or energy meters. The system starts by connecting wires to individual circuits on a circuit panel, which feed into the eMonitor device. EMonitor comes with a worksheet to help consumers track which circuit line they connected to which port and transfer the data to their user account online. The device then sends information to the home network via an Ethernet connection, which then uploads the data to a user interface hosted online by Powerhouse. (If a the Internet router is far from the eMonitor device, it can connect use WiFi to communicate with the Ethernet bridge, Flusberg says.)
The online interface is rife with graphic displays and analytics functions to show users where they’re using the most energy, all the way down to an appliance level, and when they’re using it, so they can start targeting energy-wasting culprits immediately. It measures