Why Did this Energy Efficiency Company Attract $6.9 Million?

Aug. 17, 2015
Energy efficiency company Ecovent just attracted $6.9 million from investors. Why this company? Listen to Dipul Patel, CEO and co-founder, explain what investors seek.

Energy efficiency company Ecovent — which just attracted $6.9 million from investors — makes an intelligent home zoning system that allows for control of each room and added comfort. Why is this company attracting investors and what are investors looking for?

In this podcast interview, Dipul Patel, CEO and co-founder of Ecovent, says that investors are interested in building science that can provide long-term energy savings.

In addition, they’re interested in products that people can understand and care about — in this case, comfort in the home. Companies can create a great product — but users need to understand it.

“If you’re a doctor and invented the X-ray, people wouldn’t understand how to use it,” he says.

Ecovent provides comfort through its room-by-room control of heating and cooling. Battery-operated air vents have sensors that understand how air is moving, he explains.

The system is installed in about 20 homes, and the company has compiled three or four case studies that have shown 20 to 50 percent savings, he notes. Ecovent is working with laboratories to validate this savings.

The company attracted $6.9 million, led by Emerson Climate Technologies, and has more than $1 million in pre-orders of its smart vent system, according to a press release. “The vents open and close to send the right amount of hot or cool air to rooms that need it and shuts down air to rooms that don’t need it,” says the company’s website. Homeowners can install the vents themselves with a screwdriver. It works wirelessly and runs on four AA batteries.

Earlier in the year, the company was named Automation Product of the Year at CES 2015, the international consumer electronics show.

“Ecovent’s advanced system of wireless vents and sensors intelligently diagnose the factors impacting room temperature and automatically adjust airflow into each room to achieve the perfectly desired temperature,” says the company press release.

Homeowners can control the temperature of each room with an app.

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About the Author

Lisa Cohn | Contributing Editor

I focus on the West Coast and Midwest. Email me at [email protected]

I’ve been writing about energy for more than 20 years, and my stories have appeared in EnergyBiz, SNL Financial, Mother Earth News, Natural Home Magazine, Horizon Air Magazine, Oregon Business, Open Spaces, the Portland Tribune, The Oregonian, Renewable Energy World, Windpower Monthly and other publications. I’m also a former stringer for the Platts/McGraw-Hill energy publications. I began my career covering energy and environment for The Cape Cod Times, where Elisa Wood also was a reporter. I’ve received numerous writing awards from national, regional and local organizations, including Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Willamette Writers, Associated Oregon Industries, and the Voice of Youth Advocates. I first became interested in energy as a student at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, where I helped design and build a solar house.

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