Startup Takes Google Street View Approach to Home Energy Audits
Home energy efficiency startup Essess has a pretty cool idea for bringing building energy efficiency information to the masses. It's basically a merging of two already successful ideas: Google Street View and online real estate libraries like Zillow or Trulia. The company plans to send cars to take thermal energy scans of every building in the country, find energy leaks and give the buildings each an energy score, and then build an online library of that information.
The company will use high-throughput thermal scanning cameras and analytical software that it developed to find energy weak spots in buildings. The scans will be performed in cold weather and hot weather to identify both heating and cooling leaks. The software will be used to assess each window and door and assign a price on the energy lost at those points as well as the cost to repair the energy leak. All of that information will be presented in the tidy format shown below:
Essess states "This energy insight is combined with relevant information, including geospatial tags, historical energy usage, building records, and comparative data to create meaningful simple English reports whether you are a building owner, a real estate agent helping buy or sell a building, or one of many types of professionals helping a building owner prioritize and remediate energy leaks that lead to saving money."
According to Greentech Media, the scans will cost Essess about $1.00 per building and it plans to have 10 percent of the U.S. scanned by the end of the year. The information that Essess collects won't be available to the building owners directly like with Zillow. Instead, realtors, inspectors, auditors, insurance companies, utilities and other groups can purchase access to the information and then make it available to their customers through energy efficiency report cards and lists of improvements that could be made.
The startup, which is not surprisingly made up of PhDs and MIT professors, has already raised $6 million in venture capital.