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Summary:

A number of companies are building “smarter thermostats” to monitor your home’s energy use, like Onzo and Lucid Design Group. But they are often limited to measuring electricity and gas. What if you’re building a living roof, a geothermal well, or an efficient sprinkler system? Agilewaves […]

A number of companies are building “smarter thermostats” to monitor your home’s energy use, like Onzo and Lucid Design Group. But they are often limited to measuring electricity and gas. What if you’re building a living roof, a geothermal well, or an efficient sprinkler system? Agilewaves makes a comprehensive energy dashboard for the green homes of today and tomorrow.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Agilewaves has just announced they are implementing their next-gen Resource Monitor system in the buildings at the Nueva School in Hillsborough, Calif. The school’s buildings sport two living roofs (grass-covered) designed by Rana Creek and a 30 kW solar system, all of which will be monitored by AgileWaves’ system and fed into an web interface that will be used in the school’s science curriculum. So now in addition to checking their MySpaces they can see their classroom’s power consumption.

The Resource Monitor can employ over a hundred separate temperature, moisture, electricity, and gas sensors to provide a live read out of your home’s energy consumption, breaking the data down down to the floor, room, and even appliance. “The key difference is we provide a level of granularity that the others don’t,” David Brock, Agilewaves’ CTO, told Earth2Tech. “We can go down to the circuit and tell you what’s going on. We also accommodate many more new green features that are going into homes.”

The company is going after three major markets – residential, commercial, and building owners. However, CEO Peter Sharer stressed that all three are trying to do the same thing with the data – save energy. Sharer said that their research shows that customers save 10 to 15 percent of their energy just by reacting to the new data the Agilewaves system collects.

A basic system costs between $3,000 and $5,000, but currently all the systems are in the early custom-design phase and average around $15,000. The company has had some angel investors and is now looking for it’s first round of venture funding, Sharer told us.

Home energy monitoring is a growing sector, and a number of players are working to get their systems deployed, sometimes partnering with utilities. Agilewaves says it is in talks with a variety of partners, including Rana Creek, to help get its products and services into the homes of green-minded earlier adopters. While their capacity to measure cutting-edge green home features could differentiate them, it will also be their ability to measure the basics – gas and electric – that will get the market to bite.

  1. Dashboards for resource use in buildings will definitely allow for transparency of impacts and corresponding behavior changes to manage resource use.

    Some quick thoughts:

    • This type of solution dovetails with the emergence of energy services firms, especially for the SMB market

    • Virtual Modeling (or Building Information Modeling) could also leverage the same resource data and monitors

    But I wonder when the bigger infrastructure companies such as Johnson Controls, Siemens, Honeywell etc will develop and market more comprehensive (and intuitive) systems for resource management in facilities….perhaps that is Agilewaves exit strategy?

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  2. [...] are working on using the same type of info for their energy management software, as are startups Agilewaves, and Lucid Design [...]

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  3. [...] in Palo Alto, Calif., the company has started implementing its system for customers nearby and announced last month that the Nueva School in Hillsborough, Calif., has started using their “Resource [...]

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