Entrepreneurs in the energy industry now have help getting their companies off the ground in Charlotte.
The city's first energy incubator, called Charlotte Joules, opened Friday in the Packard Place in uptown.
Business owners will find help finding funding and even coaching from other company leaders.
Rick Sabath started his company, Energy River, in 2011. Sabath is moving his offices into the incubator.
His company focuses on making homes energy-efficient with the help of a small device.
"This basically communicates to your devices in your home. It talks to your hot water heater, your HVAC or whatever devices you want to talk to," Sabath said.
The product shows customers their energy use in real time instead of waiting for their monthly bill.
"If you and I know how much energy we're using throughout the day, the month or the year, we will cut our bills by up to 15 percent," Sabath said.
He expects demand to grow 10 times this year from the 1,000 devices they currently have in the field.
Curtis Watkins co-founded the incubator to draw companies to Charlotte and help them succeed. He said the incubator is looking to Charlotte's future employees and will offer internships to local college students.
“From the overall integration of what the businesses and students are doing, we will create a pipeline of good, talented energy professionals who are coming out of school and hopefully staying in Charlotte," Watkins said.