Startup E3 Greentech leverages the power of the cloud to help utilities manage the energy consumption of buildings. Now the three-year-old company is going wireless: this week E3 Greentech says it has linked with AT&T to use the telco’s 3G wireless network for its home energy management product that can shave off up to 15 percent of the energy consumption of consumers.
E3 Greentech’s customer is mainly the utility, and CTO Greg Chambers told me in an interview that the company has pilots in five states in the midwest with undisclosed utilities. The product works by installing devices in utility customers’ homes — which could include connected thermostats, smart outlets, gateways and more. E3 Greentech’s cloud-based algorithms collect and crunch data in real time from devices on an individual home to the block to the neighborhood.
Chambers said the idea was to build a smart grid system for utilities that could provide real-time analytics for building energy that would be far more comprehensive than 15-meter data dumps from smart meters and would use existing networks. The control system in the devices can shave off energy usage smartly in the background without the consumers noticing, and can provide a reduction of 15 percent per consumer and more than 25 percent of peak energy demand.
Shaving off that type of energy consumption is a good value for utilities, and is far less expensive than building a new coal plant, said Chambers. A startup called EcoFactor has a similar idea, as does Consert, a startup backed by Qualcomm, GE and Verizon. Previously E3 Greentech had been relying on the consumer’s home Internet connection for the network.
E3 Greentech has raised $5 million from investors. Chambers told me he considers his company a cloud computing and “big data” vendor because utilities can use its product to crunch data in real time about the smart energy consumption of whole neighborhoods and cities. I’m filing this report from GigaOM’s Structure Big Data conference, and if you feel like learning more about the Big Data movement, watch our live feed.
AT&T has been slowly moving into the smart grid and home energy management space. In December, AT&T acquired home automation and energy company Xanboo. Phone companies can diversify their networks and make additional revenue beyond cell phone accounts by selling services to machine to machine industries (like the grid). AT&T has also worked with smart grid companies, selling space on its network to connect grid devices.
Image courtesy of Mr.Thomas.