In 2008, as the market for home energy management systems grew, Nielsen Van Duijn and Carsten Steenberg founded Powerhouse Dynamics to commercialize a monitor they had developed as a side project.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that their system, which connects to a home’s circuit breaker, allows homeowners to track where and when they consume the most electricity so they can determine how to cut back. An added function: If appliances start to consume more energy than normal, the system sends an e-mail or text alert, potentially saving money and headache.

For example, Chief Executive Officer Martin Flusberg says a faulty refrigerator defrost coil can add up to $40 to an electric bill. The $500 system results in an average 20 percent reduction in electricity bills. “You can really see what’s going on. It helps consumers understand what their options are,” Flusberg says.

Powerhouse Dynamics has sold about 300 units so far this year and Flusberg, 60, expects to sell a total of 2,000 by yearend. The next step: Powerhouse Dynamics plans to roll out a remote-controlled thermostat enabling users to manage energy consumption even when they are not home.

Photo by Powerhouse Dynamics.

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