The founders of PlotWatt started a business to solve a common frustrating situation. By winning the GE Ecomagination Challenge, the company has received a $100,000 grant. The recognition also attracted $1,000,000 of venture capital funding.
Based in Durham, North Carolina, PlotWatt has designed a new approach to monitoring energy consumption. The objective is to alert consumers to their energy usage as it occurs rather than waiting for a bill to arrive. This permits consumers to immediately make money-saving adjustments that reduce costs. No more frustration from being surprised about energy consumption after a bill is received.
PlotWatt’s system doesn’t just monitor total energy consumption. That’s what a meter does. The PlotWatt software consists of algorithms for real-time analysis of smart meter data that reveals energy usage by individual appliances. The output is an easily read table showing how much energy each appliance uses every hour, day, week, and month.
The information is provided in dollar amounts, not kilowatts. For example, a PlotWatt report will simply state that running the refrigerator costs $4 per week. There may not be much a consumer can do about changing refrigerators – other than avoiding buying a second one for the garage. But there is action consumers can take regarding usage of dishwashers, dryers, air conditioners, and washing machines. So PlotWatt can make a measurable difference for its users.
PlotWatt also has a platform for measuring commercial energy consumption at multiple locations. This is helpful for restaurant chains and managers of commercial buildings. Commercial energy analysis is delivered via a website, mobile device, or email. The company promises at least a 10 percent savings on commercial energy costs to its customers.
The seed capital raised by PlotWatt is earmarked for launching a big marketing campaign to both residential and commercial consumers.