The Department of Energy warned that two-thirds of the US was at risk of losing power last summer. In 2020, the number of hours collectively lost to power outages in the US increased 73% as compared to the previous year. Homeowners typically have two fallback options – fossil-fuel-burning generators and home battery systems. Haven Energy helps homeowners find, secure, install, and run home battery systems. Using a home battery system allows homeowners to either provide backup energy for the entire home or just for essentials like refrigerators, freezers, internet, etc. The system is integrated with the local power grid and can act as a virtual power plant that allows the system to collect and store energy in the battery when rates are cheap (offpeak) and use energy from the battery rather than the grid when rates are expensive, significantly optimizing energy costs as well as helping preserve the continuity of supply from providers. Haven handles the process from beginning to end from battery system selection, design, permitting, installation, maintenance, and even financing. The company predicts that half of US homes will have energy storage by 2030 as more and more consumers seek energy independence.
LA TechWatch caught up with Haven Energy CEO and Cofounder Vinnie Campo to learn more about the business, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding, which brings the company’s total funding raised to $11.2M, and much, much more…
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
$7M raised in Series A funding. The round led by Giant Ventures includes returning investors Lerer Hippeau and Raven One Ventures, and new participation from Comcast Ventures, LifeX, TO VC, and Habitat Partners.
Tell us about your product or service.
Haven Energy is a climate tech company that is accelerating the adoption of home energy storage. Haven guides homeowners through the entire process of getting a home battery system – from the selection, quoting, and financing of the system to installation and ongoing energy management. The company is now expanding its scope with a first-of-its-kind software platform for selling home battery storage at scale, opening new revenue streams for solar and home energy partners.
What inspired the start of Haven Energy?
Facing frequent blackouts and unreliable power, I wanted to protect my home from outages by installing a home battery system. However, my experience was far from smooth. The process, which involved choosing and purchasing the batteries, locating qualified electricians, navigating permits, and arranging financing, was arduous and time-consuming. Recognizing an opportunity for improvement, I partnered with my cofounders to create an all-encompassing solution for energy storage. This endeavor gained momentum due to a significant shift in affordability for residential energy storage, courtesy of the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act. Through the IRA, homeowners receive a 30% tax credit for standalone home battery system installations. Haven chose to focus on its efforts in California, where extreme weather and grid instability accounted for a staggering 24,000 outages in the past two years. We were confident that California homeowners would swiftly experience the advantages of home energy storage.
How is it different?
For our customers, Haven offers the simplest way to buy a home battery system with guaranteed ongoing support, post-installation. Homeowners don’t have to think about all the moving parts or make decisions to optimize their battery.
On the backend, we’re able to leverage a software-driven marketplace – aggregating the supply, demand, and operations of home battery systems – which will continue to bring down the cost of battery ownership, facilitate a fully renewable energy grid, and accelerate the country’s clean energy adoption.
In addition, Haven Energy recently launched a virtual power plant (VPP), available to all California homeowners who have energy storage. Enrolling in Haven’s VPP program helps people improve the resilience of their community, earn income from their stored energy during periods of peak demand, and bring down the cost of home battery ownership.
What market are you targeting and how big is it?
California is our first marketplace and we have plans to expand into additional US markets, targeting 100,000 installations by 2028.
What’s your business model?
Haven has several sources of revenue, starting with an upfront rate we have in place for every installation. Over the life of those assets, there is a small revenue share through grid optimization services we provide to the customer. Long term, we provide direct financing opportunities to homeowners.
What was the funding process like?
We’re fortunate to be backed by amazing investors who helped throughout the process and, with the announcement of Series A, are excited to incorporate new partners into our growth.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Among the investors we spoke to, there was a strong conviction from the beginning that home batteries would become ubiquitous in the next few years. The passage of the IRA – the largest climate bill in U.S. history that sets aside about $43B in tax credits for homeowners to electrify their homes – really opened the door for a company like ours to grow as quickly as it did. While there are varying levels of state support for energy storage that we’ll face as we expand, the last 9 months have been an incredible period of growth for our new company and investors can see the potential we have as more homeowners look to upgrade and protect their homes from power outages.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
We are solving a pain point in the marketplace. Home energy storage solutions have been available for years, and while prices have come down and new federal subsidies significantly reduce the cost of installations, it is still just an incredibly frustrating and complex process.
We’re changing that. Drawing on our experiences at Uber and Casper, we’re bringing a consumer-forward approach to home energy storage that eliminates all of the second-guessing. Essentially, we’ve created a one-click shop for home battery systems.
We’ve also identified a sector pitfall and we have a solution in place to fix it. Sales platforms to date are not set up to support energy storage adoption and far too many players in this space rely on tech built just for solar panel installations. By creating our own sales support solution, we know our impact on home energy adoption will go farther and we’ll be able to empower more sales representatives to take on the critical role of consumer education.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Right now, we are focused on our customers in Los Angeles and Southern California, but in the near future we plan to expand our customer base throughout the state. We are already seeing a lot of demand for what we can deliver to homeowners interested in energy storage, and we know that the adoption of this kind of climate resiliency technology is only going to accelerate.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Our roadmap started in Southern California because we knew it was a region where we had a strong opportunity to create value. Success for us means building a service that meaningfully improves the experience of installing home battery systems.
At the end of the day, we want to be part of this once-in-a-generation transformation of the energy grid and to get as many homeowners involved as possible.
What is your favorite restaurant in LA?
HiHo Cheeseburger. The Classic Double is hard to beat.