Recent statistics have shown that despite a healthy U.S. economy, pushing inflation up to levels that the central bank believes to be fruitful, US wages are struggling to keep up. What’s more household bills are continuing to incline, such as energy which has seen an increase of 6.7% in the year to July compared to 6.2% in June. Fuel costs also continued to rise, with diesel rising by 13.8% and petrol up by 11.7% over the 12 months to July, compared to 12.6% and 11.1% respectively in June.
Fortunately, a Canadian startup is using Saas and innovation to help energy companies save money, potentially passing the saving onto households across North America.
Toronto-based EnergyX Solutions Inc., a recent graduate from the L-SPARK and Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) accelerator programs, has raised $1.3 million CAD as it looks to kickstart its U.S. expansion plans. The round was led by Globalive Capital and included Verstra Ventures, Armco Group of Companies and Impact Investment Partners.
EnergyX helps homes and businesses save up to 25% on their energy bills by licensing their MIT- award winning online energy audit and marketplace platform, MyEnergyXpert, to utilities and government organizations. These organizations white-label the platform and roll it out to homes and businesses across North America with the objective to increase customer participation in their energy efficiency programs.
“Energy efficiency remains the most cost-effective option for people battling high energy costs,” said Nishaant Sangaavi, CEO and Co-Founder of EnergyX Solutions, “This recent round of financing helps further accelerate our growth into new markets in North America and beyond.”
In low income classes, people are spending 35% of their earnings on energy bills. A map by Inside Energy’s Jordan Wirfs-Brock using census and federal energy data shows that energy expenditures breach 50% of household incomes in several parts of the United States. The threshold beyond which experts believe energy ceases to be “affordable” is 6% of a household’s income. Yet, for many lower-income families, even with declining energy prices, paying less than the 35% benchmark is not possible.
MyEnergyXpert provides utilities with a turnkey platform to increase customer participation and and user engagement in their energy efficiency programs compared with traditional marketing methods. MyEnergyXpert tracks the entire program enrolment process from referral to conversion, while storing valuable behavioural and building data about the user. Utilities use this data to reduce their cost to serve a customer. To date, more than 200,000 customers (home and business owners) are using MyEnergyXpert to access energy-saving incentives and sustainably lower their energy use.
Utilities spend over $50 annually per customer to engage and pre-qualify them in incentive programs, and respond to customer service issues through call centers. MyEnergyXpert costs the utility significantly less per customer served on the platform over a typical 2-year contract. For every $1 spent on energy efficiency programs, utilities are able to yield up to $4 in total cost reductions through avoided generation and infrastructure development costs, optimized demand management, and reduced pollution. EnergyX looks to expand its offering and help 3 million home and business owners reduce their energy bill by as much as 25%. EnergyX estimates that if every home in North America used MyEnergyXpert, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 10%.
EnergyX has licensed its platform to some of the largest utilities, energy retailers and energy efficiency program consultancies across North America including Enbridge Gas Distribution, CLEAResult and Summerhill.
When it comes to EnergyX’s U.S. competitors, the three main companies are EnergySavvy, OPower, and Simple Energy. EnergyX sets itself apart by positioning itself as an all-in-one, end-to-end customer engagement tool for utilities and their efficiency programs.
Utility-specific applications represent a $3.1 billion addressable market in North America. MyEnergyXpert has been proven and validated by professional engineering teams at government organizations, educational institutions and large utilities across North America. In 2017, every MyEnergyXpert pilot project converted to a multi-year licensing deal, as the company grew its revenue 9X.
EnergyX is a portfolio company of Ottawa-based SaaS accelerator, L-SPARK. “EnergyX, part of our 4th cohort of companies, has demonstrated the persistence and perseverance that we demand of our companies,” says Leo Lax, Executive Managing Director at L-SPARK, “We are pleased to see it bear fruit and EnergyX, with this raise, is now perfectly poised for their next stage of accelerated growth.”
“As the founding capital partner of EnergyX, we are proud of the tremendous progress the company has made”, said Robert Daniels, Vice-President of Impact Investment Partners. “We remain committed to EnergyX’s growth, and thrilled to have the confidence of our new investors.”
Brice Scheschuk, Managing Partner, Globalive Capital, and CDL-Atlantic Associate commented, “I joined CDL-Atlantic at Dalhousie University for its first cohort and was very impressed with the calibre of businesses I saw as well as the fellows and associates I met. Globalive fully intended to make an investment in a CDL-Atlantic company and EnergyX Solutions fit our investment criteria perfectly – business software, a great product and impressive initial customer traction within a large addressable market that solves a significant global problem. EnergyX has a great team and we look forward to a long-term relationship with them. It was a pleasure working closely with George Armoyan, a CDL-Atlantic fellow, to close this investment.”
Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company