May 1, 2015
At a keynote made last night in Los Angeles, CA, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced its plans for a suite of batteries for homes and businesses. Designed to store solar energy and act as a back-up electrical source, the Tesla Energy line is aimed at gradually removing our dependence on power grids and increasing our use of solar energy.
At last night's announcement, Musk revealed two products in the Tesla Energy line: Powerwall and Powerpack. The Powerwall is the consumer product – available to preorder at $3000 for the 7kWh unit and $3500 for the 10kWh unit. The Powerpack is the version aimed at businesses; details were slim for the Powerpack, but Tesla stated that the product will start to become available later this year.
Tesla Energy is the company's significant effort to push the world towards zero-emission power generation. The batteries are of the same lithium-ion rechargeable variety used currently in the Tesla Motors vehicles. The Tesla Powerwall charges through solar power (meaning you'll need to invest in solar panels for your home to fully reap the environmental and cost benefits) but can also integrate with your current power grid system.
The move towards energy efficiency and sustainable energy has become much more prominent in recent years, especially with major figures like Musk involved. According to Musk, 900 million of these Tesla Energy units has the potential to shift the whole world's energy needs away from the grid.
But, before you make the jump and shell out $3000 to pre-order one of the Tesla Energy Powerwall units, consider checking out these energy efficiency startups that are currently innovating the energy industry.
Based in Arlington, VA, OPOWER offers an Cloud-based software that is helping consumers reduce their energy consumption and costs. The company provides energy conservation suggestions, and offers home energy reports and utility bills to users, helping them compare their energy use to others in their residential area. OPOWER went public last April and is a Tech Cocktail Showcase alum.
The Boulder, CO-based startup offers an online engagement platform that helps consumers track and understand their energy use, as well as providing strategies to help them conserve more energy. The company also offers a marketplace with various energy efficiency household products, and motivates users through energy-saving competitions and incentives (such as deals and discounts at local and national merchants).
For homeowners, heating and cooling a home can contribute greatly to increases in energy use. Keen Home provides a smart energy solution called the Smart Vent that works to enhance the efficiency of the central HVAC airflow. The company has previously appeared on Shark Tank, and has previously showcased for Tech Cocktail. At this year's SXSW, Keen Home cofounder and co-CEO Nayeem Hussain joined us to share the company's experience on Shark Tank.
Through the combination of its own sensor and software, Wattvision allows you to easily monitor your energy data – tracking energy usage per day and making suggestions on how to decrease that usage. They offer live energy usage tracking, giving you the tools to know when energy spikes occur.
Aiming to “replace power plants with software”, Ohmconnect has created a system that incentivizes its users to reduce their energy use by actually paying them money to turn down their electricity use when power plants are used to provide their energy. The company also offers free energy data tracking tools to help consumers monitor where they're energy is coming from and how they're using it.
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