Erik Norwood and Zack Embry, CURB
Episode 14 | July 31, 2018
The simplest way to save money on your electric bill is to consume less energy, but that often requires lifestyle trade-offs. Now, the CURB whole home energy intelligence system is an inexpensive device and smartphone app can tell you exactly what is using energy in your home and empower you to lower your usage by ten to twenty percent without compromising your family’s comfort. But that’s only the beginning. The CURB team is looking beyond monitoring to control through innovative partnerships with ABC Home & Commercial Services to enhance home services and with Schneider Electric to offer smart electrical panels that can enable entire communities like Whisper Valley to go net-zero. Erik Norwood, CURB Founder & CEO, and Zack Embry, Sales & Business Development, chat with us about energy efficiency, solar power, and the future of the smart home.
The CURB Home Energy Monitoring System
The energy monitoring device can be installed inside the electrical panel of the house by any electrical contractor in an hour. Unlike other energy monitoring systems, CURB measures the energy usage of everything inside your home, from the HVAC to appliances to lights in individual rooms. That enables homeowners to make smart decisions about energy usage in real time.
Erik says that there are typically two to three things inside each home using a lot of power that the homeowner didn’t expect, and simple adjustments can lead to a 15-20 percent energy reduction. “If we can help achieve the end goal of saving money with an inexpensive device, it’s a win for customers.”
The product is available to purchase at energycurb.com, where you can also find a local installer.
Smarter Home Energy Usage with Solar Power
CURB was actually developed inside Circular Energy, which began installing energy meters on homes and businesses as part of their solar panel installation projects, and was eventually spun off into a standalone company.
While at Circular, Erik realized that combining energy efficiency with a solar power system can unlock more value for the homeowner. “If you can find 10-20% of their energy usage and eliminate it, the overall package of getting solar has a far better financial payback.”
The CURB solution enables you to overlay detailed consumption with solar power production so that homeowners can make smart decisions about usage, especially in utilities that don’t offer net metering (e.g. in the deregulated electricity markets) or that have time-of-use electricity plans. In Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC), for example, the peak rate during the summer extends until 8:00pm, when your solar system no longer generating power. Scheduling your pool pump to run earlier in the day during peak solar production will lower your bill.
Proactive Home Services with ABC Home & Commercial Services
Through their partnership with ABC Home & Commercial Services, CURB is moving into a more proactive, predictive space that enable customers to get maintenance on appliances before failures occur. One example is with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units. The most common reason for an air conditioner to stop working is the capacitor. The CURB monitor can detect when the capacitor is about to fail. That intelligence gives homeowners, and ABC Home & Commercial Services technicians, the opportunity to schedule a preventative fix before the AC goes out on a particularly hot day.
Smart Electrical Panels with Schneider Electric
CURB is also partnering with Schneider Electric, the world’s largest electrical panel manufacturer and maker of market-leading Square D in the U.S. CURB builds a special product that Schneider Electric bundles and ships as a smart electrical panel to home builders.
In a cool twist for CURB, a Texas company based in Austin and manufactured in Dallas, the first implementation of Schneider Electric smart panels is at Whisper Valley, an eco-smart, net-zero green building development northeast of Austin that will eventually include 7,000 homes. The community features geothermal energy, solar photovoltaic (PV) energy, high-efficiency appliances, and Nest smart thermostats in every home.