The Flash-creators behind Greenbox’s energy monitoring software have announced their first utility pilot project. The San Bruno, Calif.-based startup says it is partnering with smart-grid startup Silver Spring Networks on an energy management project for Oklahoma utility Oklahoma Gas and Electric. It’s the first progress we’ve heard from Greenbox since we profiled the young startup back in April, when Greenbox VP of Marketing Matt Smith told us the startup was looking to work with utilities, home system installers and, one day, big-box retailers to sell its product.
Greenbox hopes to bring its history of innovations in Flash to software that tracks energy, gas and water consumption and (hopefully) helps residents cut down on using those resources. Greenbox’s value-add to the energy monitoring world is its web-based interface that presents energy data to the user with graphs and charts. For the Oklahoma project Greenbox’s “consumer-friendly” interface gathers data every 15 minutes, and utilities use a web-based version on their end, too.
Greenbox founder Jonathan Gay said in a statement that the software will set “a new standard for energy intelligence in the home,” but since we haven’t reviewed it extensively, we’re not sure how slick it is. Greenbox’s Smith previously told us that the company’s idea is to make the software much more interactive, using a recommendation engine to propose behavioral changes or even products to buy, like more efficient light bulbs. They also have a community comparison feature, which could boost consumer interest and use
Making energy management compelling and attractive could do a lot for the nascent technology. Smart meters are just starting to be installed in homes around the U.S. that will provide dynamic pricing — Northern California utility PG&E has installed just 900,000 smart electric meters and gas modules, but it has a goal of installing 10.3 million total of both types by the end of 2011. The Oklahoma utility only has a footprint of 765,000 customers, and the initial project will just be a small percentage of that, so it seems like these investments are just starting to ramp up. But smart meter startups like Trilliant have been raising money to meet the growing demand.