Simplifying Home Electrification
MCJ Startup Series: Helio
Today's guest is Eric Reinhardt, CEO and co-founder of Helio, which makes it simple for customers to transition off fossil fuels and fully electrify their homes.
The home electrification process in most of the U.S. is not a seamless experience. Homeowners approach electrification with different needs. Some have to upgrade broken equipment, whereas others opt for a total rehab. But having to piece together a variety of seemingly related projects requires working with multiple contractors, contracts, and challenges that could limit widespread adoption. Helio is making a bet that there is a growing segment of homeowners who are motivated to electrify the whole stack of their homes, from rooftop solar and HVAC to water heaters, EV chargers, and more. The company aims to provide customers with a roadmap for achieving that while also doing the actual installation work.
Given all of the tax credits and rebates coming online for home electrification as part of the Inflation Reduction Act and other local programs, more homeowners will likely be looking at this problem. And with a third of emissions coming from residential buildings, Helio’s solution could make a significant dent in their goal of electrifying millions of homes. Their roadmap solution educates homeowners and helps them plan for the amount of power they’ll need as they pursue home improvement projects.
In this episode, Eric and Cody have a great chat about his background as well as his co-founders, what he's learned from customer interest thus far, how they can provide home estimates at scale, and how he sees Helio growing in the future. We're honored that our venture fund at MCJ Collective is an investor in Helio, and I hope you enjoy the conversation.
In this episode, we cover:
[3:39] Eric's background at Sunrun and personal electrification journey
[7:08] How he met Helio's co-founders and started the company
[9:56] The home electrification process today and Helio's net zero roadmap solution
[13:56] Need for customer education
[16:41] The risk for contractors to take on new technology like heat pumps
[19:41] Helio's estimating process and accurate design
[23:22] An overview of ducted vs ductless or mini split systems
[28:21] Helio's customer experience and how they manage handoffs with contractors
[31:57] Financing projects and Helio's vision of moving to a subscription model
[35:02] Role of insulation and sealing
[40:54] Job opportunities at Helio and how to apply
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Episode recorded on October 7, 2022.