Friday, February 23, 2024

Isle startup aims to help utilities reward energy savings

Ikehu AppSoon, consumers will have a new incentive to reduce energy consumption: free airline miles.

Ikehu Naturals LLC, a Hawaii-based startup, recently won an award in a contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The award was given for its Demand Response Incentive (DRIVE) system. The DRIVE technology gives power companies the ability to offer airline miles to their energy efficient customers.

Ikehu said in a statement that it hopes the award generates interest by power companies around the world.

“It’s an honor to be selected among the winners in such a prestigious competition” says Ikehu CEO and founder Holland Wood. “Soon, utilities will have the ability to use airline miles to guide consumers towards responsible energy use.”

The DRIVE Mobile App and platform will use existing web and smartphone technologies so that it can be deployed by virtually any power company. This patent-pending solution includes a mobile app and related web service that enables power companies to offer mileage-based incentives.

The U.S. Department of Energy evaluated contest entries based on several criteria including innovation, implementation and potential impact. In all, 56 entrants competed for seven prizes. The DRIVE Mobile App won the “Peak Energy Usage” award and received $6,000 in prize money. In addition, the team is invited to showcase their technology at an upcoming recognition event in Washington, D.C.

“Hawaii is working to become an environment where technology startups can thrive,” says Billy Kenoi, Mayor of Hawaii County. “Congratulations to the Ikehu Natural team and I look forward to their continued success.”

“An award from the U.S. Department of Energy is validation that technology start-ups can launch in Hawaii,” adds Karl Fooks, President of the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation. “The recently established Launch Akamai Venture Accelerator (LAVA) Program will help to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and assist start-ups like Ikehu Natural to quickly grow their businesses and contribute to Hawaii’s economy.”

To be notified of when the DRIVE Mobile App will be available in your area, sign up at

Ikehu App

About Ikehu Natural LLC

Ikehu Natural LLC is a Hawaii-based startup that is focused on clean technology. “Ikehu” is the Hawaiian word for “energy.” The company has a patent pending demand management system that is targeted towards residential customers. The solution is called the Demand Response Incentive (DRIVE) system. The Ikehu team includes Derek Gabriel, Rod Hinman, Matt Ing, and Holland Wood. For more information, visit

About the Apps for Energy Contest

The Apps for Energy Competition was an Energy Department contest aimed at encouraging private sector software development. The contest fosters innovative apps that use data to help utility customers manage their electricity use. In total, $100,000 in prize money was awarded to seven winners. Winners received a cash prize from DOE and are invited to Washington, D.C., to be honored at a recognition event and to demonstrate their apps. For details and a complete list of winners, see

Hawaii Star Wire

Press releases, media advisories, and other announcements submitted to the Hawaii Star.

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