EnergySavvy raised $14 million in a Series D round to expand energy-efficiency program management and move into a broader suite of offerings for utility customers.
The round was led by GXP Investments. It also included the investment affiliate of Great Plains Energy, the parent company of Kansas City Power and Light, and Inherent Group. Existing investors Prelude Ventures and EnerTech Capital joined as well. The Series D more than doubles the company’s funding total to just over $26 million.
The Seattle-based startup expanded its enterprise energy-efficiency platform for monitoring contractor performance and utility efficiency program performance.
The newest additions to the platform are tools to help utilities better target and execute programs such as tree trimming, equipment leasing or selling distributed energy resources.
“Our theory is that you need to use the same calculation engine consistently across all customer interactions,” said Scott Case, chief operating officer for EnergySavvy. Very often, different programs are run by different siloed departments using different software.
In some cases, EnergySavvy is in direct competition with companies like Bidgely, Opower or Tendril, all of which are taking unique approaches to managing customer relationships for utilities. But EnergySavvy can also coexist alongside these other companies, said Case.
Many utilities have dozens of programs they offer customers -- but they have not yet fully customized who sees what message, where they see it and how they see it. “How can we take every single barrier to action out of there?” asked Case.
EnergySavvy added five new utility customers this year, including DTE Energy and Oklahoma Gas & Electric, bringing its total to more than 40 utilities and state agencies.
Although EnergySavvy’s entire business proposition is about nudging utilities into more modern and meaningful digital interactions with their customers, they also rolled out a new direct mail option last year. Old habits die hard.
The mailer -- essentially a paper-based home audit -- is meant to target hard-to-reach customers. It has produced better response rates than the industry average, with an average 23 percent completion rate. It has helped about one-third of utility clients improve their targeting of elderly and/or low-income customers for efficiency programs.
Utilities don’t necessarily need new tools; they just need some help thinking about a cohesive strategy to engage customers -- especially as they try to boost revenue from new or existing programs, said Case. To fulfill this need, EnergySavvy also launched a consulting practice to help utilities with the process of change management.
“If you haven’t been through it before, it’s not always obvious,” said Case.