A stick-on building electricity meter developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has evolved into a portfolio of energy and home safety monitoring technologies.
LBNL researcher Steven Lanzisera led development of an adhesive-mounted sensor to replace transformers and in-panel hardware used for building submetering. The resulting technology promised to significantly reduce the cost of monitoring building energy because it did not require installation by an electrician. Lanzisera founded a startup based on the technology. Originally known as Wattstick, the company was renamed Whisker Labs, based in Oakland, California.
In 2014, Whisker Labs was invited to the first cohort of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a program co-administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and made possible through a DOE partnership model, Agreement for Commercializing Technology (ACT). IN2 facilitates commercialization and adoption of clean energy technology.
IN 2016, Whisker Labs was acquired by Earth Networks, an environmental technology company experienced in weather monitoring devices. In May 2017, Whisker Labs’ DIY Home Energy Monitoring Sensor received the Electronic House’s 2017 Product of the Year Award in the Home Control and Automation category.
In the last few years, the startup has focused on the growing interest in smart, safe homes and home energy management. Whisker Labs’ Connected SavingsSM provides demand response services for consumers by optimizing thermostat performance based on weather, peak demand, and home design to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs and waste. Connected Savings ScoreCards educate consumers with easy-to-apply suggestions to further lower energy demand. This device-agnostic program serves customers of Connected Savings’ partner utilities.
In 2018, Whisker Labs introduced Ting, which simply plugs into an electrical outlet to monitor home electrical systems. Ting alerts homeowners of potential fire hazards developing over time in household wiring and electrical cords. The device also monitors changes in power voltage or frequency that can damage electronics and appliances.