From horsepower to smart power

Manoj Kumar

We have autonomous cars, smart phones and connected clothing. We track our diet, our steps, and our road trips. Through our connected technologies, we are living safer, healthier, more productive and more efficient lives. Yet the biggest investment we make in our lifetime, our home, remains largely disconnected. We have no idea if we left the TV or oven on, if our front door is open, or if the sump pump is overflowing. The technology exists today to help us monitor and control our homes. However, most of us are completely blind to what is happening daily in our domiciles.

Every single one of our homes has a key ingredient in them today that can turn our house into an intelligent home – electricity. Utilities, like DTE Energy, have connected every one of our homes to the smart grid. Today, they are taking these connections further – bridging the smart grid to the smart home. Energy fuels our lives. Now, it’s fueling our smart home, informing us when our home is broken, unsafe or running inefficiently.

Gone are the days of having to wait for your monthly bill to see how much energy your home used. Imagine if you were dieting and could only weigh yourself once a month. How could you tell what, if anything, was making a dent in your weight goals? The same thing holds true for your home’s energy. In Metro Detroit, homeowners can download DTE Insight. Through this app, homeowners can see how much energy their homes is using every minute of the day. In many respects, Insight is like a FitBit for your house. Helping you understand how your energy usage behavior can be adjusted to help you save more and be more efficient.

At Powerley, we are helping utilities, like DTE Energy, transform energy into a completely new experience. Powerley is now working with more than 10 utilities across the U.S. and Canada – from California to the Carolinas. Our solution is now available to over 5.5 million households with another 10 million to come by year’s end. Decades ago, could we imagine that an energy tech company would emerge in the Motor City? Once focused on delivering more horsepower, we’re now focused on delivering more efficient, smarter power.

Our momentum could not be possible without two key elements – talent and passion. Our team includes data scientists, designers, strategists, developers and engineers – all determined to create a whole new tech category that truly impacts our world. We have not blazed the trail alone. Working with local Detroit manufacturers and technology leaders, we have built a platform that showcases the power of local collaboration. Together, we created an entirely new innovation that serves as a testament to Detroit.

In creating an entirely new connected home experience, we are competing with innovations born from Silicon Valley tech elites. However, our success has not been built on expertise alone. Rather, this expertise has been amplified by passion, the key quality we look for in every new hire. Passion can overcome obstacles and help us achieve the un-achieveable. By combining passion with Detroit-based talent, our team has quadrupled in size since our inception is 2015. Our 40 employees have been able to innovate quickly and win the attention of the country’s largest utilities.

The next ‘big thing’ in smart home innovation was born in Detroit. Powerley’s home energy management solution has been used over 10 million times, helping utility customers nationwide control their energy and their homes. We are now a part of a dynamic ecosystem that includes Google, Apple, and ecobee among many other tech leaders. And, all of this was made possible through Detroit talent and drive.

Manoj Kumar is the CEO of Powerley.