Powerley hires Silicon Valley CEO, grows Royal Oak-based tech home energy management company in first year

-- Startup recruits former McKinsey partner from Silicon Valley to lead growth of home energy management company

DETROIT, April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Powerley, a joint venture formed in 2015 by DTE Energy and Royal Oak-based Vectorform, has hired Manoj Kumar as its Chief Executive Officer. Over the course of the last year, in addition to recruiting Kumar, Powerley has grown its operation, now employing nearly 20 employees, and moving into new office space in downtown Royal Oak.

The startup is pioneering the way homeowners manage their energy by developing a technology platform that provides their energy usage as it occurs, coaching tips and recommendations to optimize usage, and the ability to control smart devices in the home. This technology platform connects a homeowner's smart meter to Powerley's Energy Bridge and smartphone mobile application to provide real-time, energy consumption information, allowing the consumer to more efficiently use energy and see immediate cost savings.

Vectorform, a leading global design and technology firm, in partnership with DTE Energy, created Powerley in 2015 with the goal of developing the industry's most effective energy-efficiency mobile platform. The company was born from the successful 2014 launch of the DTE Insight app, the first technology of its kind that gives DTE customers the ability to monitor their energy use as they consume it.

With the technology platform now part of Powerley's product offerings, the company hopes to offer this platform to other utilities around the world, citing DTE's success with the application. To date, more than 150,000 DTE customers downloaded the award-winning Insight app to significantly improve home energy consumption and increase energy savings.

"With the successful launch of the DTE Insight app, we knew we needed the right talent and leader to realize the potential both Vectorform and DTE saw in Powerley when the joint venture was formed," said Jason Vazzano, co-founder and CEO of Vectorform. "Manoj brings the right blend of entrepreneurial drive, technical knowledge and business savvy to capitalize on growing consumer demand nationwide."

Kumar, most recently a partner at McKinsey & Company's Silicon Valley office, has more than two decades of experience in the high-tech space. In his role leading Powerley, Kumar will be responsible for growing the startup into a multi-product, multi-solution company focused on working with utilities to further consumer availability of real-time, energy monitoring applications. Powerley plans to launch its secure, cloud-based platform in May, improving on the overall functionality of the platform and giving utilities a true turnkey solution that can be deployed rapidly for their customers.

Powerley's entry into the home energy management market is timely, noted by multinational consulting firm Accenture, "as studies show 60 percent of consumers want home energy management services and almost all would be interested in acquiring them if their utility provided the option." With the exception of Powerley, most home energy management systems are not led by utilities.

"This is an evolving market, and we're on the edge of incredible growth," Kumar stated. "The home automation market has an incredibly high amount of fragmentation, coupled with unbelievable opportunity. Powerley has proven success through unprecedented collaboration with DTE Energy, one of Michigan's largest utilities, and we plan to build on that success globally."

"There is a significant market in the United States for smart home and energy-related devices, and other utilities have expressed interest to license or purchase the technology," said Dave Meador, vice chairman, DTE Energy. "We're looking forward to Manoj's work, leadership and expertise to lead Powerley and make this technology available to consumers nationwide."

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About DTE Energy and Powerley
DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. As a leader and innovator in the energy space, DTE Energy entered into a joint venture to create Powerley, a home energy management company that provides residential users an end-to-end hardware and software solution to optimize their energy use. With a combination of real-time energy data, engagement features, personalized actionable recommendations and the ability to control and automate their smart home, Powerley delivers unprecedented EM&V savings with true home energy management.

About Vectorform
Vectorform invents digital products and experiences for the world's leading brands, with a focus on Mobile, Internet of Things, Connected Home, Connected Vehicle and Wearable Technology. Founded in 1999 in Downtown Detroit, Vectorform has five global offices; Detroit, New York, Seattle, Munich, and Hyderabad.  Connect with us:  Twitter @vectorform, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+
Connect with Vectorform CEO and Co-founder, Jason Vazzano on Twitter- @vectorjv

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For further information: Members of the media may contact Stephanie Beres, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555