EnergySavvy, a Seattle startup that helps utilities better relate to their customers, has released what it called its fifth generation of products, at the same time announcing a $14 million round of equity financing.
“Until now, we’ve been focused pretty hard on helping utilities increase energy efficiency among their residential, commercial and industrial customers,” said COO Scott Case in an interview. “Now, though, we’re seeing the utility business changing quite a lot. Utilities are adding new products and having to support things like solar rooftop panels and at-home charging stations for electric vehicles. So our software is helping them move from encouraging energy efficiency to supporting these new aspects of their business.”
The new version of the cloud-based services lets utility customers enroll in programs online and offers a direct-mail assessment. It lets utilities continually monitor the performance of their trade partners, predict the performance of energy-efficiency programs and optimize on-site inspections.
And it puts appropriate messages in front of customers, to help engage them in the utility’s customer-oriented programs.
The new funding round was led by GXP Investments, the investment affiliate of Great Plains Energy. Inherent Group also joined in the round, along with existing investors including Prelude Ventures and EnerTech Capital.
EnergySavvy has about 40 utility customers, Case said. Those include Seattle City Light, Minnesota Energy Resources, New Mexico Gas Company and others.
Co-founded in 2008 by former Microsoft program manager Aaron Goldfeder, the company has received about $30 million in total funding and has a headcount of about 75 employees.
Case said its closest competitors are Opower, of Arlington, Va., and Tendril, of Boulder, Colo., though “each is sometimes a partner as well.” EnergySavvy’s competitive advantage, he said, is that “we’re proven in the market and have established good relationships with the utilities in this extraordinarily risk-averse industry. As a startup, it was really tough to break into this industry, but once we were in the door, it became easier to move from account to account.”