For homeowners, energy-efficiency upgrades can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and often seem more expensive than they are worth.
Sealed CEO Andy Frank say it’s worth it in the end – and he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is. After a professional consultation, Frank’s startup guarantees a homeowner a certain amount of savings.
Once the homeowner carries through with the suggested upgrades, Sealed receives all utility bills for the home and sends the homeowner one consolidated, lower bill that highlights the savings.
“There’s actually a lot of variance in how much someone is going to save,” says Frank. While the average home in the company’s Long Island pilot program saves $800, the company takes on the risk that upgrades may not pay off in the end, so the homeowner’s not on the line.
Making a Splash in the Energy Sector
Sealed is actually Frank’s second energy startup. His first, Efficiency 2.0, created software to help consumers save energy. That software was then white-labeled by various utility companies and distributed to their customers.
In 2012, Efficiency 2.0 was acquired by C3 Energy, a smart grid analytics software firm based in California. While raising money for a new venture is rarely a cakewalk, Frank says Efficiency 2.0’s successful exit did pave the way in part for Sealed.
“Every business that you go out from is judged on its own merits, but having a successful exit has been able to prove to others that I know how to build a business and create revenue,” says Frank.
Frank says Sealed has raised approximately $200,000, and is currently looking to secure more funding. The company recently advanced to the national finals of the U.S. Cleantech Open. The more than 700 companies that have graduated from the program have gone on to raise more than $800 million in funding.
Frank says he’s practicing a lot in preparation for the finals and is hoping for the best.
“First and foremost, [winning] would be great recognition. As a small company, the hardest thing is to get someone to notice you and to develop the partnerships and attract investors – all that hard stuff,” says Frank.