There’s a couple ways to sell a home energy management gadget or service: directly to the consumer/user, or via a utility. Many of the energy management startups — like EnergyHub — have focused on the latter, given it’s been a more reliable revenue stream. But on Sunday, at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, EnergyHub, for the first time, plans to start offering its home energy device directly to a consumer beta group, and one day soon plans to start selling its product directly to consumers.
EnergyHub CEO Seth Frader-Thompson told me in an interview on Friday that EnergyHub will offer about 100 of its devices to consumers during the beta period for a discounted price (see more here for how to get involved with the beta and to attend the launch party in Austin) and will use the feedback to possibly develop the straight to consumer product that it will launch in the near future. Frader-Thompon declined to comment on how much the devices would cost both with and without a subsidy.
It’s a new move for the startup, which has previously focused on utility trials and building automation partners. Late last year EnergyHub announced a deal with building control giant Honeywell, which 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.
EnergyHub has been in the process of raising funds for its consumer launch, including a little over $12 million, and has already closed a bit over $7 million of that round. In early 2009, EnergyHub raised close to $3 million in its first round of funding. Recently the company also brought on a high-profile new independent director onto its board: EnerNOC President and Co-founder David Brewster.