Startup embraces 'set and forget' home energy monitoring


By Jesse Berst


I've long said that it will be far easier to make devices smart about energy than to make people smart about energy. Consumers want control over their energy, to be sure, but they want it "cruise control" -- set it and forget it simplicity.


So I'm happy to see an energy startup with this very philosophy at heart. As you will read in the Forbes article on Forgitit, the device monitors households and then feeds that data into a sophisticated analytics engine that gives them recommendations on the best rate plans, energy efficiency programs, DR programs and so on.


Many other companies have set-and-forget simplicity as their goal. Indeed, the Olympic Peninsula demonstration project from the middle of the last decade -- arguably the pilot that started the national home energy monitoring conversation -- had set-and-forget simplicity at its heart. Even so, I am encouraged to see a startup try to push the boundaries.


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Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid, the industry's oldest and largest smart grid site. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the U.S. and abroad, he also serves on advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Electric Efficiency. He often provides strategic consulting to large corporations and venture-backed startups. He is a member of the advisory boards of GridGlo and Calico Energy Services.