power meter

Formerly known as Powergetics, Stem emerged from stealth today to help businesses save energy. Stem uses a meter-like device that learns how a building uses energy over time and can predict an entire year’s worth of power use.

With smart meters, LED lighting, and sophisticated cooling and heating systems, many large companies –such as Apple and Google — have made their facilities greener. But even smaller companies that can’t afford fancy systems can cut down on their energy consumption.

Stem’s device plugs into a building’s power system and quietly learns about all the energy spikes and lulls that occur. Over time, it can predict how much energy the building will use and make adjustments to its power consumption. The tracking device also includes a lithium-ion battery, which stores energy for later use. For example, a retail store uses a lot of energy during business hours, but overnight only a few devices and lights are left running. Overnight, the battery can store energy and use it during the day when a power spike occurs.

“Our energy storage device can moderate or change energy use to reduce [a company’s] energy bill without asking them to compromise,” said Stem’s chief executive Brian Thompson in an interview with VentureBeat.

All the data the device collects is displayed in an analytics software program, so business managers can make decisions about whether to leave certain lights on, or how running an extra server impacts their energy bill.

Thompson tells me his service is revolutionary because it couldn’t be done three to four years ago. Now we have the computing power and large energy batteries to make this technology possible, he said.

Stem occupies the same space as BuildingIQ and EPS, which provide similar energy analytics and optimization services.

Stem raised a $10.2 million round of funding last fall from Angeleno Group and Greener Capital. The company is based in San Francisco, Calif.

Power meter image via Shutterstock