If your last Thursday evening involved kicking your feet up and hitting the hay early, I’m sorry to say you may have missed out on something better! But don’t worry, here’s your chance to get the scoop.

Last week, CleanStart, in partnership with Sacramento State’s College of engineering and Computer Science and BlueTech Valley, kicked off the 2018 CleanTech Meetup series at The Urban Hive’s midtown location.  Energy consultants, lawyers, college professors, startup founders and engineers of all kinds gathered together to talk Tech.  

The event featured three speakers:

Ezra Beeman of Empower Energy in Davis, took the floor first to talk about his new product ElektroBank, a home energy storage device using lithium batteries.  The smart device is unlike other home batteries in that it’s automated software can interact with grid prices to eliminate usage during peak times and give customers a faster payback. The product will come to Australia first due to optimal economic conditions, and enter California after with about a 12-month lag. Tesla’s Powerwall may want to watch out!

Next, Sac State mechanical engineering Professor Rustin Vogt captured the audience with his Tiny House project. Armed with the brainpower (and labor power) of nearly twenty engineering students and one interior design student, Professor Vogt and his team entered the SMUD Tiny House competition in 2016 and built a zero net energy home on wheels. All nearly from scrap and only 184 square feet, the house traveled 3,000 mi. to Denver and back last year after being invited to the 2017 Solar Decathlon. Plans for the house now include a STEM outreach program to educate students on behavior and energy usage. When will we see Tiny House part two? Professor Vogt says we may just be “a bit of capital seed funding” away. Check out his presentation here.

The Meetup’s final speaker, Bob Bruns, rounded out the evening with his website that can optimize your solar potential and calculate the power and payback of your solar project before you install the panels. Bruns says homeowners using the common strategy of south facing panels without a battery assistant will be punished as electricity prices rise. By changing the direction of panels and unveiling common misconceptions on behavior use, the Solar Panel Optimizer site can help you secure the fastest payback time and help you ensure your investment is worthwhile before you start spending.  Check out his presentation here.

More than just intriguing presentations, the CleanTech Meetup provided over an hour of networking and connection among Sacramento’s CleanTech community. The more we learn about each other, the more we can share ideas and resources and the better off we become. So if you missed this round, don’t fear because we are just getting started! Keep an eye out to register for next months Meetup focused on Biomass.

Check for our up coming events on our event calendar!

Our Next Cleantech meetup! is on “Waste Conversion: BioMass, BioFuels, BioChem” will be on Febuary 27th. Get discounted tickets right now!


Kate is a recent graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and has a strong background in entrepreneurship and global politics. After helping launch an AgTech startup on the central coast, Kate is back in her hometown looking to take her experience into the world of Cleantech and help grow the Sacramento region.