New climate-first technology cuts costs and reduces carbon emissions.
“Our system is simple but revolutionary. By reducing heat cable consumption by up to 90%, Powder Watts is the perfect nexus of meaningful climate impact and fast financial ROI.” Chris Berman, Chief Operating Officer
Powder Watts, a Park City startup, has big ambitions. The company’s artificial intelligence-powered technology enables snowmelt systems to work more efficiently and cost effectively than traditional heat cable systems to protect mountain homes and businesses from the ravages of snow and ice. The idea for Powder Watts was born when its founder, Parkite
Thomas Clardy, fell while shoveling snow on his roof. What he initially thought was a tumble off the roof turned out to be a large snow cave buried under more than 5 feet of snow on his rooftop. As he surveyed the dry, crisp aspen leaves and the well-established snowmelt channels hidden underneath the snow, Clardy realized that the more than $400
per month he was spending running his heat cables 24/7 was completely unnecessary.
Clardy installed a rooftop camera, began tracking when the cables should be on and off, and discovered they don’t need to run around the clock to do an effective job of preventing ice dams. When research failed to reveal an existing solution on the market, he developed the Powder Watts smart system to optimize heat cable efficiency in 2019. Homes with heat cables see their energy consumption jump anywhere from 200 to 400% during the winter
months. In fact, the use of roofto heat cables is responsible for more than 3% of annual electrical use for the entire nation. By reducing the amount of time heat cables need to
be on, consumers can realize up to 90% savings on their winter utility bills and an impressive reduction in carbon emissions. Powder Watts’ system works with existing heat cables by retrofitting them with smart controls, keeping the cables running only when necessary. Images from rooftop sensors are sent to the Powder Watts cloud powered
by Amazon Web Services. There, machine vision gives the equipment the ability to “see” and analyze roof surface conditions, real-time weather information and other data points. This prompts the AI algorithm to determine when the system should activate to maximize the heat cable function. This information is sent to the Powder Watts smart switches to
cue the system to turn heat cables on and off. System information can be accessed
through the Powder Watts app. Here, customers can see images of their roof, track their utility cost savings, monitor the system functionality, and receive important structure protection alerts.
“Our system is simple but revolutionary. By reducing heat cable consumption by up to 90%, Powder Watts is the perfect nexus of meaningful climate impact and fast financial ROI,” says Chief Operating Officer Chris Berman. Powder Watts has received recognition from America’s Smart Cities and substantial grant funding from both Amazon and the National Science Foundation. The company also was a featured presenter at the 2023 MT2030 Climate Solutions Summit in Vail, Colorado, explaining their
system’s effectiveness in reducing carbon emissions to representatives from ski resorts and mountain communities. Powder Watts has its eye on expansion outside of Utah soon. Also, a soon-to-be-released product will address heated ground surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks and steps to help keep pedestrian walkways clear and safe. Rebates are available from several utility companies, including Rocky Mountain Power and Heber Light & Power. A federal tax credit of up to $1,200 is also available for customers who install Powder Watts on their primary residence. With aggressive carbon reduction, consumer savings, safety and efficacy front and center, Powder Watts looks forward to playing an increasing role
in helping mountain communities, businesses and residents thrive.