C3 snaps up Efficiency 2.0 to tackle utility customers

Carbon and energy software player C3 — the quiet firm started by Thomas Siebel and which counts Condoleezza Rice as a director — has acquired another energy software startup Efficiency 2.0, the companies announced on Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

To me this move connotes growing consolidation in the energy software and management industry. Tendril CEO Adrian Tuck told me back in January that he thought 2012 would be the year that the energy management players would have to “go big or go home.” Tendril earlier this year bought the assets of Recurve, which sold software to help energy auditors determine the most cost-efficient energy efficiency measures for their customers, and before that acquired Grounded Power for its behavioral analytics.

My other immediate thought on this deal: watch out Opower. Opower is a direct competitor with Efficiency 2.0, and now Efficiency 2.0’s residential and small business focused software have the backing of the well-funded C3.

C3 sells a variety of software-as-a-service products to help companies and organizations measure, mitigate and monetize carbon, energy and resources. C3 has a handful of announced customers including Dow Chemical, utilities PG&E and Constellation Energy and Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar. Both SAP and Hara compete in this space as well.

While C3 has focused on helping companies and organizations manage energy consumption with software, Efficiency 2.0 has aimed at developing algorithms around energy efficiency recommendations for utility customers. Think about how Netflix and Amazon use your demographic and purchase information to recommend books and movies that you’ll actually like and possibly buy — Efficiency 2.0 developed software and websites that in work in similar ways to get home owners to reduce their energy consumption.

This move by C3, is the company’s way to tackle utility customers. Indeed in C3’s announcement of the deal on Tuesday, it quoted Saul Zambrano, Sr. Director, Products Group, Customer Energy Solutions, at PG&E, as saying that the combo product would create “a single source” for energy efficiency software for residential, small business, corporate and industrial customers.

C3 is well funded. Last year Siebel explained the way he raised money for the company as: “After a year of meetings, we sent an email on a Friday and raised $200 million by Sunday.”