John Jabara’s Savenia Labs was one of the first companies in Bethesda Green’s incubator when it started in 2009.
Four years later, the company that provides energy ratings for popular appliances is offering a new service and is on the cusp of going nationwide.
The concept helped Savenia win Best Environmental/Energy Company at the recent Maryland Incubator Company of the Year awards. Jabara and his staff buy a batch of appliances or electronics, test how much electricity those products use at a lab at the University of Maryland and integrate that information with energy costs in different areas.
Savenia will also attach a carbon footprint rating to the appliance by incorporating how different areas produce the electricity being used to power different products.
For example: The company can take a coffee maker, gather market data such as how long people typically leave a pot of coffee on a hot plate, test the electricity output and determine that $25 product may cost a consumer $100 to use in the long run. Savenia then provides that information to retailers in the form of an energy rating label displayed on the store’s shelves.
“Winning the award is a great milestone as we go forward in the process of rating lots of new products,” said Jabara, a Bethesda resident. “We will basically identify the most popular products, buy those products ourselves without any manufacturer influence, come up with a user profile and see how much electricity it will use.”
Jabara’s first retail client was Stronsiders Hardware. His company now provides energy rating labels for products in Ace Hardware stores in Northern Virginia, D.C. and Baltimore.
Today, Savenia launched another service. After requests from large companies and universities looking for information on their own electric use, Jabara’s company will now provide subscription-based access to a datbase with its ratings and cost information on various appliances.
The goal is to one day offer the ratings label service nationwide in big box retailers, though Jabara said the company isn’t quite there yet. Savenia’s office is still in the Bethesda Green Incubator, above the Capitol One Bank on Cordell Avenue.
“Once you hit a certain point, you’re expected to move up and on,” Jabara said. “We’ll be there soon.”