Investors back the Google Street View for energy

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Esses, a startup building a sort of Google Street View-style business around building energy consumption, has raised $6 million in its first round of funding. Investors in the round include Vocap Ventures and DFJ Athena.

The company uses multi-spectral thermal cameras on top of cars to snap images of visible energy leaks coming from buildings. Esses uses these images to create databases about the energy consumption of buildings, neighborhoods and cities and the company has algorithms that can crunch all that energy leakage image data and turn it into useful information for building owners, like energy efficiency reports. Esses sells a software as a service product.

In addition, the thermal data will enable essess to create an efficiency metric for each building — sort of like an MPG for cars. Esses CEO Storm Duncan said at the Wall Street Journal Eco:nomics conference recently that he wants to put an MPG on every building in the country, and said “It’s similar to what Zillow did for the real estate market.”

Esses is painting itself as a “big data” company for commercial and residential building energy. Other startups looking to aggregate energy data about buildings include Honest Buildings, NYC BLDGS, and FirstFuel Software.

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Tyler Hamilton

I’m sure the police will love to get that information — makes for easy grow-op busts.

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