ThinkEco is a New York City based company in the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and energy spaces. They’ve created a piece of hardware called the “Modlet” which connects to their website and mobile apps, allowing customers to monitor their home appliances remotely . The software allows the user to view their personal electricity consumption, be able to control it, and consequently save energy. More importantly for the fiscally-motivated, it helps significantly reduce the customer’s electricity bill .
Following both the IoT technology trend and the shift towards eco-consciousness, ThinkEco is capitalizing on a growing market. With ThinkEco, you can control devices such as your air conditioner (the most common use), your TV (a high energy expender), or even your smaller appliances like a toaster . Unbeknownst to many, these devices use electrical energy when they are plugged in even when they are turned off.
Users can also sign up for a program that helps combat high energy use days by decreasing energy consumption for short periods of time during these days. The company believes this helps prevent brown outs and black outs .
Consumer Products 
App for monitoring devices and energy use Extension cord Modlet Modlet plug
There are two main use cases for ThinkEco’s products:
- More moderate A/C temperatures — If you’re leaving work at the end of a hot summer day, instead of arriving home to a hot house and cranking the A/C to a very cold temperature (a common behavior), using ThinkEco’s app, you can turn you’re A/C on at a more reasonable temperature before you get home. While you will be consuming a few more minutes of air conditioning, setting your AC to a more temperate temperature will still very likely save energy since cold A/C temperatures consume so much energy .
- The demand response day program – These days pertain predominantly to A/C units as well. Three times per summer, your A/C (and/or other modlet-connected devices) will shut off for 5 minutes and turn back on 7 degrees warmer . In general, that’s not enough for the average person to notice. Despite only affecting 15 minutes out of a user’s entire summer, they help users save on their electricity bill dramatically .
In addition to the direct-to-consumer products, ThinkEco works closely with energy companies such as ConEd , EnergyStar, and National Grid. You can learn about and obtain ThinkEco products through their respective sites. These companies support ThinkEco because:
- They get data about their users from the program.
- They get bad press about low income neighborhoods in particular being hit by brown outs and black outs.
What they’re doing right
ThinkEco is an innovative company that creates value for all involved parties.
- ThinkEco benefits from selling its hardware and software and helping the world save energy.
- The customer saves on their electric bill and helps the earth.
- Corporations get data on their users and appear socially responsible.
And lucky for ThinkEco, there aren’t very many players in the space currently aside from home security systems who have a different focus (safety and security) but allow you to control appliances remotely too.
It’s also important to note that ThinkEco’s product raises awareness of energy consumption by giving the user insight into their electrical use .
At present, the hardware and software do not perform consistently . Pitfalls include:
- Hardware durability: Some of the pieces of hardware only work for about a month.
- Software: There have been sign up and login issues on the backend.
- Connectivity: It disconnects to the Wi-Fi and few will notice and/or go through the process of reconnecting the devices.
ThinkEco directly benefits from the extreme weather caused by global warming. While currently demand response days only occur about three times per summer, the gradual disappearance of Fall and Spring means that the amount of demand response days will increase, and these programs will be able to provide value for more months of the year.
Geographically, ThinkEco is in New York, Albany, Buffalo and Texas. I’d highly recommend that they expand to California where they are experiencing more extreme weather .
Additionally, while partnerships with energy companies can be difficult since they are usually statewide and not national companies, they should continue to build relationships amongst other states that experience or are likely to experience high amounts of extreme weather.
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 ThinkEco website, http://www.thinkecoinc.com/
 PR Newswire, “ThinkEco Introduces Modlet® for Home: An Intelligent Outlet That Cuts Electricity Bills”, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/thinkeco-introduces-modlet-for-home-an-intelligent-outlet-that-cuts-electricity-bills-112799509.html
 ThinkEco website, http://www.thinkecoinc.com/products/
 Interview with B. Dell, ThinkEco employee, personal communication, November 1, 2016.
 Poughkeepsie Journal, “Green apps can raise environmental awareness,” http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2015/10/17/environment-green-apps/73980938/
 New York 1, “Keep Your Apartment Cool On The Go with ConEd’s Smart AC Program,” http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/money-matters/2016/06/13/keep-your-apartment-cool-on-the-go-with-con-ed-s-smart-ac-program.html
 USGS CA Water Science Center, “California Drought,” http://ca.water.usgs.gov/data/drought/