Recently, the Swedish smart energy startup Watty raised €3 million in funding. CEO Hjalmar Nilsonne answered some questions for Cleantechnica about the company, which was founded in 2013.
1. How was Watty created?
Watty was created by a group of engineering students from across disciplines at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. We observed that across the world, and for the first time in history, data was being collected on household energy use digitally. At the time, I was teaching engineers how to analyze this type of data to make energy-saving recommendations. We thought, if we could make software do what we teach engineers to do, and the data is available digitally, then every home in the world could have their own energy engineer looking over their home in real-time! That was a really big idea that got us excited and we started working on the project to see if we could make this a reality. Now we’re finally at a stage where we can start to deliver this vision, and our focus now is on finding ways to reach as many homes as possible.
2. The company is based in Sweden, but where are most of your customers located?
At the moment, most of our customers are in the UK and Germany. These are big markets where they are working hard to transition out of carbon-oriented energy systems. We’re currently expanding to other European countries.
3. What service do you provide to your customers?
We have a software-as-a-service platform that anyone can send energy data to. Our algorithms analyze this data and determined what appliances were on, when, and how much energy they used. The user can then access this information via Watty’s web and mobile apps. It can also be accessed by other products via API upon the customers request.
4. Is the main customer benefit utility bill savings?
We offer two primary benefits: utility bill savings and improved home safety.
5. Can Watty indicate to a customer the electricity usage by each household appliance?
Yes, this is our core technology. By matching patterns in the energy meter signal we can identify the top 6-8 appliances in terms of energy use without requiring additional hardware or wires for each appliance. In a sense, we make the smart home happen today without the cost and hassle we see with other smart home solutions.
6. When homeowners can access detailed electricity usage for their appliances, does having the information cause them to want to more carefully manage consumption?
Yes! Seeing what exactly makes your bill a lot higher or lower compared to your neighbors makes people eager to do the right thing, and also to save money.
7. Does Watty work with home solar power systems? What about home battery systems for energy storage?
We work with both! Many installations today have beautiful data from their installations, but today it is not utilized. We can take that data and add exciting new customer offerings to keep track of costs of monitoring your home.
8. How do your customers interface with their Watty data? Smart phones and web browsers?
Our own apps work on mobile and web. We also have APIs for customers who want to use their own front-end solutions.
9. Can customers set up regular reports such as weekly, monthly, and annually?
Today we do not provide automatic reporting. Our products provide all data up-to-date in our apps.
10. Can customers set up alerts or notifications for moments of over-consumption, or for when appliances have accidentally been left on?
Yes! It is currently in beta, but that’s exactly the type of security features our platform is going to provide.
11. What are your plans for the next year or two?
We’re aiming to roll out our product in large-scale deployment in several European markets, and probably on other continents as well.
Image Credit: Watty