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People Power Company Launches to Develop First Open Source Home Area Network Empowering Consumers to Save Money and Reduce Electricity Usage

People Power Company, an energy efficiency company providing residential monitoring and control systems, today announced it has closed Series A funding from New Cycle Capital, Seraph Group and other angel investors to support commercialization of the company’s inaugural product offering. Research projects with U.C. Berkeley and Stanford University will focus on open source implementation of wireless sensor networks in home energy monitoring and control systems. These joint venture projects will lower technology development cost while improving reliability and expanding the market for home area networks.

People Power Company is developing devices communicating wirelessly through an Open Source Home Area Network called OSHAN (pronounced “Ocean”) that connects appliances and fixtures to a robust web-based portal so that consumers can track usage of each appliance in real-time. People Power calculates that by producing just 20% energy savings for US households, consumers would save almost $32 billion a year, and carbon emissions would be reduced by 187 mega tons (metric) -- equivalent to taking 40 million cars off the road for one year.

Ben Black, general partner at New Cycle Capital, said, “Under Gene Wang’s leadership, People Power has put together an amazing management team of serial entrepreneurs with more than 150 combined years of startup experience, along with great partnerships and a consumer-friendly product design. After reviewing many of the plans and products in this fast growing space, People Power had both the most proven management team and a product vision that provides great consumer benefit right out of the box. Their solution will provide consumers appliance level control and analysis of energy use without the need for professional installation, which is what this market needs to grow.” Ben Black and Steve Wiggins of Essex Woodlands Health Ventures have joined the People Power board of directors.

“Our solution helps utilities bring the smart grid all the way inside the home, by connecting appliances to a simple to install system that automatically cuts power consumption, while giving consumers a simple way to manage their energy budget and share their green achievements with their social network,” said Gene Wang, founder and CEO at People Power Company. “After running three technology start-ups with three successful exits, I decided it was time to answer my kids’ strong suggestion that I try to do the planet some good while doing well. And People Power is all about empowering people to save money while they go green.”

According to Prof. David Culler from University of California at Berkeley, “The open source model offered by People Power will enable a wide range of users and developers to innovate as we modernize our antiquated utility grid. As the rise in greenhouse gases threatens civilization, we need to invent new ways to fundamentally change the nature of energy production, distribution and use. Together with People Power, we will investigate how to design an essentially more scalable, flexible and resilient electric power infrastructure - one that encourages efficient use and manages demand through omnipresent awareness of energy availability and use over time.”

Prof. Philip Levis from Stanford University believes that teaming with People Power promises rapid technology iteration, based on initial results from team collaboration on TinyOS and validation of network performance.

About People Power Company

People Power gives people the power to save money on their electric bills while going green. We empower consumers to control energy consumption at the appliance level and compare their usage with others while reducing their carbon footprint. Based in Palo Alto California, People Power Company was founded by successful, serial entrepreneur Gene Wang and has received funding from angel investors and New Cycle Capital. For more information, visit

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