EcoFactor, a startup that uses smart algorithms and connected thermostats to reduce customers’ energy consumption, has raised another round of $8 million. That brings the company’s total funding raised to date to $13.5 million.
EcoFactor, founded in 2006 and launched in late 2009, has developed software that plugs in a lot of data about things like weather and demographics, and combines that data with information about the home owners’ behavior. EcoFactor uses these big data sets to tweak a home’s connected thermostat settings ever so slightly to shave off energy consumption, but also to maintain a comfortable temperature in the home.
Think of EcoFactor’s software a bit like Nest’s learning thermostat, but without the slick hardware. Customers can manually override the EcoFactor settings at any time.
Utilities are partnering with EcoFactor to run demand response programs, which is when utilities collectively reduce customers’ heating and cooling consumption at times of peak demand. Say it’s 4pm and the height of Summer and utilities can use EcoFactor’s software to cool customer’s homes (that have agreed to be in the program) at a slower rate. EcoFactor has sold its services to Reliant Energy. Other companies that sell similar energy analytics products, like Nest, and EnergyHub, are also working with Reliant and other utilities.
Broadband service providers, like cable companies, are also interested in these types of energy management services, and EcoFactor has partnered with Comcast and its Xfinity Home service. Selling energy management is a way that broadband service providers can use their networks to sell more services and attract new customers.
EcoFactor’s new funding comes from Aster Capital, and includes additional funding from existing investors Claremont Creek Ventures and RockPort Capital Partners.