ampérA smart circuit breaker that helps reduce energy use
ampér is a startup building a smart circuit breaker that allows consumers to monitor and reduce their energy use on a per-appliance basis. By studying consumer usage patterns, ampér sends customized text messages or push notifications featuring recommendations on how to improve usage habits and reduce monthly energy costs.
The US Department of Energy estimates that Americans waste 20% of the electricity used in their homes every year. For consumers motivated to curb their energy use, determining where to commit their efforts is no easy task. Utility bills only provide generalized data about month-to-month usage trends, offering few details and little context about one’s habits. Consumers don’t know where to start, leading many to continue their wasteful practices.
Having information is the first step toward making a measurable, positive change. We want ampér to empower people to take control of their energy use and waste. Energy efficiency is key for a future where we optimize resources—and with ampér—one can receive actionable insights and track improvements., ampér, co-founder
ampér offers the next generation of home energy monitoring through hardware that seamlessly reads the electrical current in consumer homes and sends the data directly to user smartphones. After studying a home’s electricity use for one week, the ampér circuit breaker system provides tailored advice to its occupants, such as turning off the air conditioner before leaving for work, or replacing an outdated refrigerator for additional energy savings.
- Understand which appliances use the most energy and for how long
- Save money by acting on recommendations to replace old appliances and adjust usage behaviors
- Limit energy waste by controlling appliances from your smartphone
- Receive a payback on the hardware investment in less than one year
The team developed ampér after several rounds of surveys and interviews with potential customers from the team’s target markets. Using the feedback, the group has been able to pinpoint the features of a smart circuit breaker system that consumers would be most interested in. The team has also been able to identify potential pain points for their technology and determine the proper approach to address those issues through design. The group has used the survey and focus group feedback in developing a series prototypes for their smart circuit breaker.
Members of ampér recently finished the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s NUvention: Energy course, where they pitched their product and business plan to members of the NUvention: Energy board of directors. The startup has since announced it has received a $5,000 VentureWell grant, as well as the $20,000 Energy Efficiency award from the 2016 MIT Clean Energy Prize, to continue the development of its smart circuit breaker. This fall, the group will participate in the 2016 HAX Accelerator, the world’s largest hardware accelerator program in Shenzen, China. The team has also filed for a provisional patent on their technology.
Updated May 2016
Co-foundersSachin Lal (computer science), Nikhil Pai (computer science), Akshat Thirani (computer science)