Enter your address, get your home's energy-saving potential
By Mason Walker
New media manager
Renooble is a search engine that helps people discover the energy efficiency and renewable energy potential of their homes.
For years, Oregon State University grad Hannes Hapke traveled the world helping wind giant Vestas make deals.
But for Hapke, a German native, the utility-scale approach to renewable energy development wasn't fast enough. If major banks and hedge funds could get into the game, why was it so difficult for homeowners to invest in energy projects?
So, along with Dr. Alvaro Feito-Boirac, a quantum physicist, he set out to create Renooble, an energy search engine.
Hapke's startup, currently being run with help from Start-up Chile, a government-funded incubator based in Santiago, aims to make it easy for homeowners to quickly discover whether energy efficiency and renewable energy projects are good investments for their homes.
Here's how it works:
- Homeowners enter their address at Renooble.com.
- Renooble pulls together data on the home from hundreds of sources like Zillow, public utilities, governments and weather stations.
- The platform's algorithm crunches all of the data and creates a custom report for the home, detailing costs and potential savings associated with four different energy projects: solar photovoltaic, insulation, lighting and wind.
The team is currently testing the system in Oregon, due in part to the state's plethora of incentives and general energy savviness. The company plans to hire its first employee to help handle an uptick in users as it moves beyond its proof-of-concept stage.
I tested the platform by creating a report for the house I live in in Southeast Portland. You can view my Renooble report here.
According to Hapke, Renooble has created reports in seven or eight different countries. That diversity in location has demanded an enormous amount of data, and the team continues to piece together information sources to speed up the reporting process.
With all that data on hand, Hapke has started exploring revenue-generating options, including providing lead generation for installers and creating a subscription service for its proprietary data and reports.
The team is also seeking funding to help continue its work. It has four months remaining in the Start-up Chile incubator, which provided $40,000 of equity-free funding to help seed the company.
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