EcoFactor, the hands-off energy management service provider, has raised $8 million in venture funding.
The money will be used as it scales up its reach, and in particular, its offering to Comcast Xfinity home customers. Although EcoFactor could potentially tap into millions of homes with just its Comcast deal, it is also looking for new paths to the thermostat.
"EcoFactor has demonstrated significant commercial progress across a number of different channels -- including utilities, broadband providers, and home energy service companies -- by providing both the end customer and strategic partners with real, measurable value. We believe that EcoFactor will continue to solidify its leading position in the marketplace," Todd Dauphinais, partner at Aster Capital, a new investor, said in a statement.
The company keeps the temperature within one degree of a preferred temperature range through pre-cooling using weather, air conditioner capacity, and the thermal storage capacity of each individual home.
"After following the energy management software market for some time, we found EcoFactor's approach of using Big Data concepts and software algorithms to be far superior to any other residential energy management solution on the market today," said Dauphinais.
Other home energy companies have started to integrate weather data and other inputs into their energy management algorithms, but EcoFactor was one of the first to successfully do it. The company, which was launched in 2006, offers double-digit energy savings on electricity bills with an average of 17 percent. Heating and cooling savings can be closer to 30 percent.
For competitive utilities, like Reliant, the service can help keep cut down on customer churn. For telecoms and cable companies, it can be used to attract new customers or be an add-on service for others. Comcast is expected to rollout its EcoFactor-powered offering in the next year. For utilities, it can increase participation in demand response, since homeowners don’t have to do anything and are less likely to notice the changes EcoFactor is making to the thermostat.
"The EcoFactor home energy management service continues to help our partners take advantage of broader initiatives for energy efficiency, demand response and load shaping while delivering effortless energy savings to their customers." Roy Johnson, CEO of EcoFactor, said in a statement. "EcoFactor partners continue to roll out our solutions en masse, and this investment ensures our ability to match anticipated demand."
The demand could be substantial if the Comcast offering gains traction, but the deal was announced last February and there is still not a set date for the service to be launched by Comcast. Although telecoms and cable providers move faster than many utilities, the time from inking the deal to getting into homes is still substantial. As EcoFactor waits for the Comast deal to be put in place, the energy management company will likely pursue other deals.
Finding partners should be getting easier, as home security companies, telecoms and utilities all jockey for a position -- and market share -- in the connected home.
To date, EcoFactor has raised $13.5 million from Claremont Creek Ventures, RockPort Capital Partners and Aster Capital.