NRTL, UL and TÜV Demystified

Many people believe that Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is the only Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) that can test and certify electrical equipment as acceptable under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.  As it turns out, UL doesn’t have and never has had a legal monopoly on certifying equipment as safe for the workplace. In fact, UL has had serious competition from other high quality labs recognized as NRTLs by OSHA for testing and certifying various types of products for over a quarter of a century.  Many of them are also qualified by governments outside the United States to perform…

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real time alerts on apple watch, phone, ipad

Make your dumb home smart

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CURB Energy capitalizes on Indiegogo success, closes $1.25M seed round and appoints Capital Factory angel investor, Eric Gould Bear, as Chief Experience Officer.

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)– CURB, Inc. announced today that it closed a $1.25 million seed round from angel groups, strategic partners and Capital Factory. This announcement comes on the heels of CURB’s Indiegogo sales campaign, which sold hundreds of units to consumers worldwide exceeding 400% of its revenue goal. CURB manufactures specialized hardware and software for monitoring and managing energy consumption and solar production in homes and businesses, while interfacing with other industry-leading Smart Home platforms (including Samsung’s SmartThings) for intelligent device control. Additionally, CURB announced that Eric Gould Bear has joined the company as its Chief Experience Officer and a…

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Curb graphs and appliance

The Cost of Convenience

I consider myself to be relatively tech savvy. I’ve worked in the consumer technology space for over 20 years and can “talk the talk” with the best of them. I have spent lots of money at New Egg and Amazon, picking out the latest hardware for the family – all in the name of making our lives easier and more fun. I did lots of comparative shopping between brands of TVs, appliances and such, thinking carefully about the cost of each item and how much benefit we would get out of it. I typically looked at the “features” of a…

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Curb monitors solar, electric car, and nest

The Convergence of Technology in the Home

Huge changes are happening across a variety of industries that will significantly change the way we live.  These include the advent of the “smarthome” with the ability to remotely control devices, the rise in popularity of electric vehicles, and the evolution of the solar industry moving past parity with buying energy from the grid .  Each of these changes will significantly change our lives as well as how we interact with energy and all of the devices that use it. The “smarthome” promises safety, convenience and energy efficiency.  Smart devices, such as the SmartThings hub and companion products, enable us…

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CURB Paid Off Immediately – Three Ways My Family Got Energy Smart

CURB Paid Off Immediately – Three Ways My Family Got Energy Smart

I became a beta user of CURB DUO last month, and anticipated that it would make a difference in my energy bills due to behavior change around the house. But I had no idea just how much of an impact it would have in such a short period of time. Since I live in Austin, Texas, where summer temperatures regularly hover in the 100’s, my home has multiple AC systems.  On the very first afternoon of having CURB installed, I saw that one of our AC units was using as much electricity as the rest of the house combined!  That…

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Solving real problems? It requires hardware. Meet the national hardware cup innovators of tomorrow!

AlphaLab Gear in collaboration with Innovation Works and TechShop recently put together the National Hardware Cup Challenge to draw attention to some of the most innovative companies in the hardware space across the US. Curb was lucky enough to be chosen to represent Austin in the national finals. Watch all of the pitches here. As we looked across the competition, what quickly became apparent was that each of these companies are solving very real problems that effect BILLIONS of people! Here is a quick recap of our new friends:   FlameStower: Bringing power to the people who need it the most We…

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Alpha Gear Labs: The National Hardware Cup Challenge!

Building hardware isn’t easy, that’s why they call it “hard”-ware! But that hard work often pays off, because in many cases you can’t build a good product with software alone.  Combining user-centric software with well designed and developed hardware often results a much stronger product and an emotional connection with customers. That’s the thesis behind Alpha Gear Lab‘s Accelerator program. In their own words, “The thing about hardware–like other hard things in life–is if you actually put in the time and effort, the fruits of your labor are usually that much more bountiful and sweet. Hardware startups have enforceable IP, R&D is more complicated,…

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Curb Smart Home Updates: SXSW, Alpha & Nest

SXSW & Alpha SXSW is always a busy time in Austin, and this year was no different. From meeting thousands of people at the Curb startup crawl booth at Capital Factory, to pitching Curb to investors at the A-list Pitch event of SXSW our Curb team was deep in all of the action. In fact the team at Nibetz even captured a full video of the pitch that you can watch below and wrote a great product review that you can read here. The founder of Wolfram|Alpha even paid our team a visit to see if we could find a way to collaborate.  The Once…

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Home Energy Intelligence – The missing link to energy efficiency

As energy prices continue to rise and climate change continues to have devastating impacts, interest in renewable energy has skyrocketed. Residential solar installations are up by 50% across the United States, and more than a third of all new energy generation has come from renewable sources. However, the only thing cheaper and cleaner than renewable energy is being able to use less energy altogether. Energy efficiency has been the cornerstone of almost all energy legislation for the last 20 years, yet adoption is still extremely low. Energy efficiency products are lining the walls of major home improvement stores, but consumers are typically…

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Josh's pet rabbits

How I Use Curb to Save Energy at Home

At Curb, we’re big fans of “dogfooding” our own product. Each of our employees has the system installed in his or her home after starting at Curb. Here’s how one of our engineers, Josh, uses Curb to save energy at home and to let him know that his pet rabbits are safe when he’s away. Like a lot of our customers, as soon as I got Curb installed in my home, I realized that I left my incandescent lights on a lot throughout the day. I immediately became more aware of when I turned lights on, and replaced my bulbs with LEDs, as soon as…

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Simple Energy Savings

It’s hard to get an idea of where your money is really going when you pay your utility bills. Curb’s goal of empowering users to understand their costs and usage aims to solve that. Even before you install Curb to see your unique usage there are some easy ways to cut costs and understand where you’re likely spending money. If you find this kind of information helpful, we encourage you to sign up for our mailing list below. You’ll be the first to know when our product is available for order this spring.

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Smart meters have failed us

Despite all of the hype, smart meters are not “smart”. With the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) and home automation, homes are smarter and more connected. Yet, the promise of smart meters has fallen short. They’re proprietary, expensive, and built for utilities. They don’t give consumers actionable information. People have a right to better understand their energy use, but smart meters have proven they aren’t the answer. The data: Delayed and Irrelevant Even the best smart meters only collect data once every 15 minutes and send it back to the utility once per day. Meaning that the soonest you…

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Curb Hardware Update

The Curb team has been busy ramping up for a busy spring. As we near some exciting announcements, we’ve been hard at work laying the foundation for our offerings. One of our most active fronts has been that of the physical hardware that will go inside homes and breaker boxes. We’ve learned a lot over the past couple years about what we want and need from our devices and we are taking huge strides in creating exactly that. Today we want to share some images and details about some of our newest prototypes. We’ve been working with some local Austin companies to get our first boards fabricated and…

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Curb Team @ SXSW Startup Crawl

Curb is going to be at the Startup Crawl on Thursday, March 12th. If you are in Austin, TX for South by Southwest, come visit our team and get a demo of the product at our booth. For more details, visit http://atxstartupcrawl.splashthat.com/

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