Innovation and Impact: Past Projects

Chai Energy

Project Description


Chai is building products that give consumers a simple and mobile way to understand and reduce their energy use up to 20%. Leveraging these consumer products, Chai will provide multiple services for utility companies including customer engagement, behavioral energy efficiency, and interactive demand response.

Customers have little understanding of why their utility bills are high, and of what is going on in their homes. Chai offers an insightful yet simple way to see which appliances are running, when, and how much each is costing them right on their mobile phone.


Screenshot of an iPhone application

Chai is building two products initially. The first gives homeowners a simple yet detailed understanding of their energy use. The second offer homeowners monetary based incentives to reduce their energy use on days when electricity costs utilities an arm and a leg. These products lie squarely in the smart-grid sector manifested as a consumer facing product.

Clean Tech Proof Points
  • Real-time, highly intelligent, patentable technology
  • Pilot program underway at Caltech
  • Expressed interest from utilities

Competitive Landscape

Chai’s two most direct competitors (Bidgely and Plotwatt) have existed for over a year, yet their products are not real-time. They provide a breakdown of your energy use one time, and after the fact. Chai is the first company deploying a real-time energy understanding application, with fundamentally different technology.

In addition, Chai’s demand-response product is the first of its kind being developed and is believed will give Chai a significant advantage upon 3rd party validation and market penetration.

Chai Energy received a $15,000 Venture-Development prize