Tech Blog Image: 

The consumer market has been tough to crack for many energy management companies, not because of technology, but because of no simple market channel. The common strategy is targeting organizations with an existing consumer customer base, e.g. broadband service providers, security service companies, and utilities. For many, selling through these organizations accomplishes the greatest benefit with little resource.

There is an interesting company called Navetas in the UK that has developed a consumer oriented energy management system, with a clear focus on the end user experience. I came across them while researching all the EMS companies for the HTRC Group's EMS Market Share Service and Forecast service.

Navetas' direct to the consumer market play is different from the platform strategies from Asoka, iControl, Green Wave Reality, Schneider Electric's Wiser Home Energy Management, Tendril, and a few others.  In fact, with the LOOP as an engaging consumer interface, it is similar in strategy to Vivint (Vivint is a $59/month home energy/automation/security solution).  LOOP's platform is socially engineered to engage users in FaceBook-like fashion for energy comparison aficionados.

Building communities online is no small task, but modern social networking tools, used correctly, enable the possibility for real growth. One advantage that LOOP has across the pond is they play in an arena where consumers can pick and choose (with a click of the mouse) competitive energy providers. One possible  differentiation yet to surface in the consumer market is the gamification of energy management.  I believe a user interface that includes gamification with real metrics comparing local, regional, and national "standings" could generate real interest and retention.

Navetas is in a league akin to companies like Powerhouse Dynamics, Powertech, Savant Systems, Smartenit, Smart Labs, TriCascade, and a few others.  The 4 horseman  of the energy management controls industry, Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Siemens, Schneider Electric, (well, 5 if you include Eaton) have clear and established channels in the market. New entrants, such as LOOP, have a steep hill ahead of them developing brand recognition and a steady channel to market.  AmazonUK is a start.

Navetas Press Release