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Plugged In: Device Offers Immediate Access To Energy Usage Data

Copper Labs is changing how consumers view and adjust their utility consumption. In January, the Boulder, CO-based technology provider launched a new wireless neighborhood-level detector that gives consumers immediate access to real-time energy data, including electric, water, and gas utility use.

Copper’s technology is simple. It’s a six-inch by six-inch box that plugs in and can easily be installed on a utility pole or roof. This small device combines advanced metering and automated reading in conjunction with each consumer’s Wi-Fi connection. 

Consumers can then log in to the detector remotely — in real-time — and see how their power consumption ties into peak energy rates and neighborhood use.

This feature allows each individual or family to tailor their utility usage for the best savings. 

It also encourages the electrification of homes to save on bills. The box is designed with big results in mind: cutting costs for consumers and utility companies and looking toward a more sustainable energy future.

Photo Courtesy Copper Labs 

“Utilities need better solutions right now, and we’re raising our hand,” said Dan Forman, Copper Labs’ CEO. “If you engage a consumer with actionable insights, they’ll respond. If you proactively engage them, you turn them into partners, not ratepayers.”

The neighborhood-level detector can capture data from hundreds of meters as frequently as once a minute. Each device is made locally and can be tailored specifically to that region’s or utility’s needs. Each can also lock in technology for two decades or more, making it not only efficient but durable.

“We are at a pivotal moment in the history of energy and resource management. Rising energy costs, supply constraints across the water, gas, and electricity sectors, and a renewed focus on customer equity — combined with the need to rapidly decarbonize our world while responding to the impacts of a changing climate — are all putting unprecedented pressure on utilities,” Forman said

Photo Courtesy Copper Labs 

“Copper’s neighborhood-level detector empowers utilities and their customers with timely and actionable insights to meet evolving needs by remotely collecting near-real-time data from existing electric, gas, or water meters, eliminating the cost and disruption of new home metering infrastructure.”  

At home, individuals can use Copper’s mobile app and create personalized alerts and feedback that help monitor carbon emissions, clean energy rebate opportunities, and the best time to use water and power. For example, the app can inform consumers that charging an electric vehicle costs the most at certain times, encouraging them to power up at off-peak hours for money savings and grid use reduction.

Photo Courtesy Copper Labs 

Our new neighborhood-level detector represents a major leap forward in our ability to help utilities meet their goals at scale and with the urgency the climate crisis demands,” Forman added. “By providing critical insights when they’re needed most, we can help utilities collaborate with their customers, conserve resources, and meet some of the most pressing challenges of our time.”


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