More VC money for energy-efficiency technology, services

More than $5 million in funding for Retroficiency and EnTouch Controls underscores the need for companies small and large to get a better handle on their energy costs.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

A few weeks back I wrote about how energy-efficiency technologies and companies focused on related services are attracting more money these days than start-ups related to renewable energy. Late November brings two more examples of this trend.

This week, Boston-based Retroficiency, which developers a "building efficiency intelligence" platform, snagged $3.32 million an initial round of funding by Point Judith Capital. In addition, the company announced that part of that money will go toward acquiring the energy-efficiency division of solar project developer Nexamp. Retroficiency also hired a senior executive to run its energy efficiency services strategy and business development efforts.

Said Retroficiency founder and CEO Bennett Fisher:

"With more than $400 billion in energy retrofit opportunities waiting to be realized, this financing and acquisition will help us tackle the challenge of scaling energy efficiency evaluation, which is currently expensive and time-consuming. We're now fully equipped to deliver rapid, accurate and cost-effective energy efficiency solutions with a flexible platform that maximizes whatever data our clients have available, whether its building asset or energy interval consumption data."

Retroficiency is primarily targeting commercial buildings.

Another investment that caught my attention was the $2 million in Series A financing received by EnTouch Controls, a company hailing from Richardson, Texas, that focuses on energy-efficiency solutions for small businesses.

EnTouch makes an energy management system that is targeted at restaurants, retail stores, service businesses, convenience stores and small offices. It involves replacing the digital thermostats and uses a proprietary wireless network to automate energy monitoring and management. The EnTouch network can be accessed via a Wi-Fi network, offering the small-business owner a data-reporting and controls dashboard. Early field deployments have resulted in energy savings of 20 percent, according to the company.

Noted EnTouch Controls CEO Greg Fasullo:

"Unlike larger facilities with complex automation systems, small-business owners lack the tools to understand and manage their use of energy. The EnTouch EMS provides them with the information they need to understand and manage this cost, and the automated EMS control features continually work to optimize the largest single use of energy -- the heating and cooling they need to run their business."

Few energy-efficiency platforms have explicitly been focused on smaller companies, which makes EnTouch and other companies like it definitely worth following.

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