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Power company NRG Energy has invested in startup EcoFactor, which uses smart algorithms, large data sets and connected thermostats to reduce customers’ home energy consumption. On Tuesday EcoFactor announced it has closed a new round of $10 million from new investor NRG Energy, and including current investors.
EcoFactor, founded in 2006 and launched in late 2009, has created software that pulls in data about things like weather, demographics, and home owner behavior. EcoFactor uses all this data 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.
It’s like Nest’s learning thermostat, but without the slick hardware. Customers can also manually override the EcoFactor settings at any time.
For utilities EcoFactor’s algorithms 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 managed to score some decent sized utility and vendor deals including a large deployment with Nevada utility NV Energy. It’s also EcoFactor’s software that’s behind Comcast’s Xfinity energy efficiency service.
EcoFactor has previously raised $13.5 million, and existing investors include Claremont Creek Ventures, RockPort Capital Partners, and Aster Capital. The company says the new round will be used for growing the business and launching new products.