Watch out Opower. 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 world of home energy reports for utility customers just got heated. Opower has filed a complaint against Efficiency 2.0, claiming the company infringed on Opower’s copyrighted home energy reports. Efficiency 2.0 denies the claims.
The annual smart grid event Distributech kicked off in San Diego Tuesday morning and — as expected — it’s unleashed a whole series of news from smart grid-focused firms. Here are 10 trends and news bits out of Distributech this morning.
Tendril, the venture-backed home energy management startup, has raised yet more funding and acquired a startup focused on software for behavioral energy efficiency. I’d been wondering how Tendril would try to maneuver in the difficult and increasingly competitive space.
Shame, guilt, and embarrassment are always good tools to change people’s behavior. This morning Microsoft added in a “score” functionality to its energy management tool Hohm which gives a Hohm score to every address entered based on how energy efficient the building is.
Startups interested in snagging a piece of the smart grid market don’t have to know how the first thing about distributing power or building a better smart meter. There’s plenty opportunity for web firms to help utilities manage customer engagement in a market that may reach over 100 million households when all is said and done.
Energy management tools — software and gadgets to help curb energy consumption — are the unofficial must-launch product for greentech firms this summer. And they’ve been coming from everywhere: smaller startups like smart meter software maker eMeter, an international conglomerate like GE (s GE), and mammoth IT firms like Microsoft (s MSFT) and Google. (Read about 10 energy management tools here.) But one New York-based startup called Efficiency 2.0, which has spent the past four years developing sophisticated energy management algorithms, says it’s the first to be able to offer truly targeted energy-efficiency recommendations to customers, which it believes will put it at the front of the pack.
Think about how Netflix (s NFLX) and Amazon (s AMZN) use your demographic and purchase information to recommend books and movies that you’ll actually like and possibly buy. That’s what Efficiency 2.0 is shooting for, company CEO and founder Tom Scaramellino explained in an interview this week. Efficiency 2.0’s software collects a whole bunch of information about the energy consumer — like location, age and demographic data, as well as some answers the consumer provides in response to prompted questions about lifestyle and residence — and churns out recommendations on ways to curb energy consumption that rings true for each individual. For example, if the user is 23 years old, Scaramellino said, then the engine would likely recommend more cost-effective energy-saving techniques that don’t require a lot of upfront expense.
Read More about How One Startup’s Energy Tool Can Outsmart Google, Microsoft