Energy Points Harnesses $3M, Wants to Create Sustainability Standard

2/13/12Follow @gthuang

There’s a new cleantech company making noise in the Boston area today. Cambridge, MA-based Energy Points is releasing a new software product for businesses to measure sustainability across different industries and resources such as electricity, water, transportation, and waste.

The idea is to convert different measures of environmental footprints and energy efficiency into a common unit of reference: the energy and cost of a gallon of gasoline. Presumably this sort of standard will help companies compare disparate things like the impact of using LED lighting in a Massachusetts office building versus the cost of a new water management system in a California factory, say.

Energy Points got off the ground last year and says it has secured $3 million in first-round funding led by Plan B Ventures. The startup is led by CEO Ory Zik, the former chief executive of solar thermal company HelioFocus and microscopy firm QuantomiX. Zik, a physicist by training, has a track record of starting companies based on university research.

In this case, the technology behind Energy Points was developed in part at Boston University and MIT. It involves proprietary algorithms and databases, but so far the company hasn’t given many details about how it does the sustainability calculations. From what I’ve seen, the software takes into account factors like local power generation, distribution systems, and water supplies, and displays the results (in units of gallons of gasoline) via an intuitive user interface.

The business goal is to help companies, utilities, and energy service companies make decisions about things like retrofits and resource management. Ultimately, Energy Points’ success will boil down to how accurate and reliable its sustainability calculations are—and how much money it helps businesses save. We’ll be watching to see what its impact will be on the New England cleantech cluster as well.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at Follow @gthuang