Powerhouse Dynamics, With Another $400K, Is Out to Monitor Energy Use at the Circuit Level and Sell Through Dealers
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energy consumption, cost, and even a home’s carbon footprint, and compares those details to numbers from the broader population.
The real-time monitoring capabilities also enable eMonitor customers to set up text message or e-mail alerts to notify them when energy use from a certain appliance or room has spiked. This provides secondary benefits, Flusberg says. He says one customer was alerted to the fact that his freezer door was left open, and was able to close it before his food spoiled. And many appliances tend to suddenly use more energy as they deteriorate, so the eMonitor alerts can help consumers target the machines that are on the fritz and replace them before they fall apart, Flusberg explains. The alerts also can also keep consumers on budget, by notifying them when their energy bills have hit a certain dollar amount for the month.
The eMonitor interface, which is accessible on iPhones, can also drill down into a segment of energy consumption known as phantom power, the amount of electricity sipped by devices that are not in use but still plugged in. The interface shows consumers how much energy and how many dollars are being wasted in this way, to help them figure out which appliances (such as computer monitors) to unplug, says Flusberg. The system can also help consumers calculate how long it would take them to pay off retrofitting their homes with renewable energy elements like solar panels.
Powerhouse is currently selling the eMonitor system, which starts at a suggested retail price of $499 plus a $189 two-year service contract, through one online vendor, the energy efficiency marketplace Energy Circle. It plans to add more e-commerce venues next month, Flusberg says. The product can be installed by customers, though Flusberg says many consumers are wary of messing with household wiring, so the company is will also be working with a national network of service providers who can install the system for those who purchase it online, all for a fixed price.