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Our Investment in Helio
Simplifying the transition to a healthy all-electric home
Our personal decisions play an important role in combating the climate crisis. While transportation makes up a large portion of carbon emissions, the ways in which we live our everyday lives at home and the products we use within these environments also have an impact on the larger climate picture. In fact, residential energy use accounts for approximately 21% of total U.S. energy consumption. Beyond energy use, harmful pollutants from fossil fuel-powered appliances like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter drastically affect indoor air quality and increase the risk of health issues like asthma symptoms in children by nearly 42%. But improving air quality is just one of many benefits to electrifying our homes. Additionally, the average U.S. household can save $356 on their energy bills, and the switch could generate over 1.3 million jobs in installation, manufacturing, and other indirect positions.
While the benefits abound, fully transforming existing and future dwellings into all-electric environments is not an easy feat. Homeowners have to engage in a multifaceted sales process with several contractors and the outcomes still leave much to be desired. As we continue pushing toward an all electric world, it’s important to shed light on solutions that simplify home electrification. We’ve previously shared companies that are assisting the clean energy transition in single and multifamily homes in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Captivated by a similar opportunity, we are proud to announce our investment in Helio, a Boulder, Colorado based company that is addressing residential carbon emissions and creating healthier homes across the U.S.
Helio’s diversified market approach allows existing single and multifamily homes, plus custom new builds, to electrify their dwellings with one integrated company. We are excited to support Helio’s experienced founders,Eric Reinhardt,Clay Dusel, andBill Lucas-Brown, as they continue scaling their home electrification solution.
What is Helio?
Helio offers a holistic solution to electrifying homes in the U.S. Its technology platform integrates solar, heating and cooling, electrical systems, insulation, and ventilation to maximize comfort and returns for homeowners. Helio’s seamless process allows customers to submit information that gives details around a home’s efficiency, energy consumption, existing appliances and its electrical load. From there, the company customizes a comprehensive solution and visits the home to assess their final proposal. Finally, Helio serves as the single contact for all aspects of the installation work, simplifying the entire process for homeowners to enjoy their new carbon neutral lifestyle.
Why Did We Invest?
Compelling Founder-Market Fit
Based in Colorado, Helio’s founding team boasts deep expertise in home energy and improvement. The company’s three co-founders are utilizing their background to build a passionate team to improve home environments and scale residential electrification. Eric Reinhardt, CEO and Co-Founder, has a long history working for the solar company, Sunrun, as well as co-founding several startups centered around electrical appliances and building materials. Clay Dusel, Business Development and Co-Founder, has over 20 years of experience as a general contractor in the remodeling and energy efficiency industry. He also co-founded FuelSwitch, a home electrification company, and is a recent Board Member of The Boulder Green Building Guild. Bill Lucas-Brown is an experienced green builder and licensed general contractor. He also co-founded GB3 Energy Smart Homes and holds a BA in Japanese and a BS in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado.
Part of the ‘All-Electric’ Revolution
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), since the mid-aughts, the share of homes in the U.S. that are all-electric has been growing steadily particularly in the South and Midwest. In the South, all-electric homes accounted for 45% of primary homes in 2019. While the cost of wintertime electricity has hampered the use of equipment like heat pumps in the Northeast, adoption is expected to grow as the technology improves.
We believe that the electrification of U.S. homes, while it won’t happen overnight, is a forgone conclusion. With its experienced team, Helio offers us hope that it will be central to this important movement.
If you are an accredited investor and want to learn more about being an investor in our fund (to back more great companies like this one!), reach out here, and include desired quarterly commitment level, accredited investor status, and info on your background and how you could be helpful to the portfolio.