Boston-based startup Essess utilizes thermal technology to identify homes and buildings that are wasting energy.

Did you recently notice a van patrolling around your neighborhood with infrared gear and laptops? Fear not. They were just trying to save you money on your electric bill, and ultimately make the world more energy efficient.

Boston-based startup Essess deployed vehicles with “thermal-imaging rooftop rigs that create heat maps of thousands of homes and buildings per hour” to find out which ones were leaking the most heat, according to the MIT News Office

But Professor Sanjay Sarma, an Essess co-founder and MIT professor of mechanical engineering, says that heat isn’t the only thing leaking from these building and homes.

“What you should really see is dollar bills flying out of the building,” Professor Sarma told Reuters. “That’s really what’s happening. You’re just throwing out dollars bills. They’re just flying out. And we can grab those dollar bills and return them to the consumer.”

Professor Sarma says that the technology Essess has developed can show you how much money you’re losing on energy then his company can show you can save money. Essess also explains that the traditional method of doing an energy saving analysis would normally take hours. With thermal technology, it takes only minutes.

“From my standpoint, you know, you have over 130 million homes in this country,” Tom Scaramellino , the president and CEO of Essess, told Reuters. “With our system you can scan all of those homes very, very cheaply.”

Top photo courtesy of Essess