About Watt IQ
Watt IQ (formerly Ibis Networks) is scaling technology that was developed and incubated at Oceanit, a Hawaii-based innovation laboratory. As one of the initial companies in the Elemental Excelerator portfolio, Watt IQ has been growing since 2013. The technology is a mesh network of plugs that enable people to monitor and control devices – such as icemakers, printers, entertainment systems, and water machines – at the plug level with no electrical work and no expensive retrofit.
Originally developed for the U.S. military, the company found a commercial fit for the product as a member of the 2013 Go-to-market Track at Elemental Excelerator. The company spun out of Oceanit just before entering the program, and Michael Pfeffer, an entrepreneur and former venture capitalist, came on board to lead the new company as CEO. During the program, the company identified its key competitive advantages: the ability to network hundreds of sockets (rather than the 10-20 that most other technologies could do), and the validated cybersecurity approach that had been required by the U.S. military and was seen as a valuable asset by the commercial market. Watt IQ identified hotels, large commercial buildings, and government facilities as initial verticals, and have been able to demonstrate energy savings of 40% – largely achieved by turning off devices at night when no one is in the office. Just as interesting, Watt IQ monitors device health and can spot “sick” mini fridges or other machines before they stop working. This enables hotels to just replace problem fridges, as opposed to replacing all fridges every couple of years whether they need it or not.
Today, Watt IQ is deploying its secure, scalable, centrally-managed system that reduces energy consumption, extends the life of electronics, and reduces surprise outages from equipment. Watt IQ complements existing energy management systems by allowing for control and monitoring at the plug level, not just the building or room level. In 2016, Watt IQ signed a distribution partnership with Alerton, a company of Honeywell, bringing their solution to commercial properties around the world.
Watt IQ completed their project with Elemental Excelerator in September 2016, partnering with Hawaii Energy and the University of Hawaii (UH) to deploy 1,300 Intelisockets across three UH campuses. The Watt IQ dashboard showed that UH could achieve annual energy savings of 40% on monitored devices. The company has since leveraged the progress made through the project to achieve two regional strategic partnerships, as well as the partnership with Honeywell/Alerton.