Meet Eli, the startup aiming to supercharge the IRA

On February 20, 2024, we announced the $6.8M Series Seed financing of Eli Technologies, providing contractors and installers with a long-awaited solution to accessing incentives that will put clean energy and electrification within reach for millions of U.S. households.
Just over a year ago, I wrote my first and only blog post, detailing both my profound excitement as well as my concerns about the transformative potential of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). It was (and is!) the most promising climate policy win in history, and yet so much of that promise hinges on how it is implemented – a process that is only now unfolding, and thus far only in a few states.
I also shared some ideas about what kinds of investments we should make to ensure the IRA is successful: digital infrastructure to streamline access to incentives; more collaboration amongst innovators; and more funding to help us do big things, fast. A chorus of the smartest, most inspiring people working on decarbonizing our economy reached out to me in response to that post. Their message was clear: “Yes, this stuff is super important. Go do something!”
With gratitude to everyone who helped along the way, and a massive dose of humility (we are just a small part of a growing community of innovators tackling these challenges!), I'm thrilled to announce the launch of Eli Technologies - a startup on a mission to make clean energy and electrification accessible for everyone. This is our attempt to do something about this small but critical piece of a massive generational challenge.
With the help and leadership of my co-founders and the incredible team we’ve assembled, we’ve already hit some exciting milestones: we’ve piloted our platform with customers installing more than $200M in home energy and electrification upgrades in the U.S.; we’ve built partnerships with leading decarbonization nonprofits, equipment manufacturers, and incentive program administrators; and we’re about to launch a first-of-its-kind open data collaborative (stay tuned!) aimed at establishing data standards and open access to critical incentive program information.
We are tackling hard problems and the urgency couldn’t be greater. To even come close to achieving our decarbonization goals in the U.S. and globally, we need to move much faster. Eli can accelerate this effort, but to do that we need to move fast and take bold action ourselves. To that end, we are incredibly lucky to have the support and partnership of Lowercarbon Capital and Spero Ventures, co-leads of our recent $6.8M Series Seed financing, as well as the brilliant teams at New System Ventures, Looking Glass Capital, Leap Forward Ventures, Untapped Capital, RallyCap VC, and more.

Core digital infrastructure to decarbonize our lives

Eli is building the digital infrastructure to streamline access to capital for consumers wishing to decarbonize, including incentives and financing for clean energy and electrification upgrades like solar, batteries, efficient heating and cooling technologies like heat pumps, and more.
Our mission is to make these technologies affordable for the households and communities that need them most, but we’ve learned that as a software company, we can have the greatest impact by solving problems for the businesses that serve them: home energy and electrification contractors and installers, retailers, and even the organizations that run the incentive programs themselves.
Here’s a closer look at who we’re focused on helping and how our new software will accelerate electrification in homes nationwide.

Contractors and Installers

It most often falls to contractors and installers to steer consumers through the complexities of incentives and financing, a task that not only adds up to 50% more to their administrative workload, but also ties up valuable working capital for weeks or even months. With these substantial demands on time and finances, it’s hardly surprising that fewer than 5% of eligible contractors currently offer their customers all available incentives and financing options.
Eli lifts these burdens by providing technology that seamlessly integrates with contractors’ and installers’ workflows, eliminating the complexity and administrative burdens that keep so many contractors from accessing these funds now. Eli is also a partner and guide for contractors and installers as they navigate the new opportunities incentives provide, and adapt to new policies and regulations in their states.

Incentive Providers

The government, utility, and third-party organizations that are tasked with running incentive programs face a number of daunting challenges as well. These programs have a reputation for being difficult for consumers and contractors to access, but it’s not because these organizations aren’t trying. For any one program, the budget that can be used to fund technology is barely sufficient to invest in best-in-class solutions - and never enough to invest in true R&D and innovation.
This is where Eli comes in: we've worked with hundreds of different programs and invested in R&D and innovation to solve some of their biggest challenges with robust, scalable, embeddable solutions so they can focus on delivering great programs.

What’s next?

I’m incredibly proud of what the Eli team has accomplished in the last 9 months, but the biggest challenges still lie ahead.
As states gear up to launch IRA programs, most are aware of the importance of making these programs more accessible and equitable but are struggling to balance those concerns with pressure to launch quickly and get money out the door. Incentive program implementers (a.k.a. administrators) are making real efforts to invest in better experiences for consumers and contractors, but they face both financial constraints and time-pressure as well. To be honest, I’m still very concerned that many of the IRA-funded programs will be just as burdensome for consumers and contractors as ever.
Still, there are ample reasons to be optimistic. Individuals and organizations throughout the public and private sector are mobilizing. From federal agencies to small city governments, giant global manufacturers to tiny startups (like us!), there are more brilliant people and more resources than ever committed to addressing these challenges.
The very best part of my job these days is getting to know and work alongside so many inspiring, dedicated people who are bringing their A-game to the climate fight. If you’re looking to join the effort, we’d love to hear from you! And if we don’t have a place for you right now we’ll happily help you find a place amongst our friends and partners.
We’ll see you on the road to a more sustainable, equitable, electric future.

Jeff, Co-Founder and CEO

Curious how Eli's tools can supercharge your business or incentive program?