Now that we’re a few weeks into winter, many of us have piled on our heavy coats, swapped our cool cotton sheets for cozy flannel ones, shoveled snow from the sidewalks… and cranked up the furnace at home. But as we blast heat into our homes, how many of us stop to wonder where the energy comes from? To keep costs low and families warm, more and more people are turning to alternative means of home energy in recent years. According to the PitchBook Platform, 150 companies in the Alternative Energy Equipment industry have raised VC funding since the beginning of 2007. These companies create equipment used to harness the power of renewable resources—like wind, thermal heat or light from the sun—to generate electricity and make sure our energy supply is both maximized and sustainable. Venture capitalists have heated up the space with a total of $8.1 billion invested in the same time frame; however, last year’s investments were the lowest we’ve seen in recent years, tapering dramatically from 2008’s $1.9 billion invested to 2012’s $700.6 million. Will activity reignite in 2013, or will this “hot” industry continue to cool off?