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The home energy management market — which includes gadgets, software and services to help people cut home energy consumption — is undergoing a shift from small-scale utility pilots, to commercial deployments over the coming years. Startup EnergyHub is raising funds to help make that transition and has also brought on a high-profile new independent director onto its board: EnerNOC (s ENOC) President and Co-founder David Brewster.
According to a filing, EnergyHub is shooting to raise a little over $12 million, and has already closed a bit over $7 million of that round. Existing investors named on the filing include .406 Ventures, and Physic Ventures. Brewster is listed on the SEC filing, but EnergyHub CEO Seth Frader-Thompson says EnerNOC is not making an investment in the company (which is what I originally thought when I read the filing).
Frader-Thompson said the new funds will go toward launching new products, supporting sales via the company’s channel partners, and growing the EnergyHub team. One of those launches will include a consumer product launch in early 2011, which is about a year and a half after EnergyHub originally expected to launch its consumer product. Frader-Thompson said the consumer market is still an important sector for the company, despite the fact that the company has made more progress on utility and distributor partnerships in recent months.
On the partnership front, EnergyHub has managed to ink some high-profile deals for its products, which include a home energy dashboard, smart thermostats, smart plugs, embedded software and a cloud-based demand response service. For example, in October, EnergyHub announced a deal with building control giant Honeywell (s HON). Honeywell is working with Baltimore Gas & Electric and 30 other utilities in the U.S. and Canada with its smart thermostat product, and expects to have the equivalent of 500 MW of load managed via its connected thermostats by 2011.
EnergyHub also scored a smart grid trial with Consolidated Edison Company of New York (ConEd), through which it provided its energy dashboard, an energy web portal and other tools to a select group of ConEd’s customers. Smaller trials include one at Travis Air Force Base.
Frader-Thompson said in order to be successful when working with utilities, startups either have to score a big partner to work with the utility (like Honeywell), or need to get big quickly by raising money and expanding. To date, EnergyHub has opted for the partnership approach.
This latest round is EnergyHub’s second. In early 2009, EnergyHub raised close to $3 million in its first round of funding.
For more research on smart grid opportunities check out GigaOM Pro (subscription required):
- Smart Algorithms: The Future of the Energy Industry
- New Opportunities in the Smart Grid
- Report: IT Opportunities in Electric Vehicle Management