Smart meter wireless startup Eka Systems has been steadily adding large hardware makers to its list of partners. Last month we spotted a deal to use Eka’s wireless mesh networking in Landis+Gyr’s residential smart meter system. This morning Eka says it has scored a deal with GE Energy to integrate GE’s I-210 meters with Eka’s wireless system.
With utilities increasingly adding in energy-efficiency technology like smart meters, GE has been working with various tech companies to provide utilities with the most intelligent gear and software; GE has also partnered with Silver Springs Networks, and Itron for its I-210 line. Eka champions wireless mesh networks, because mesh technology can provide one of the cheapest available wireless options. Utilities could run connected smart-meter services over wireless mesh for just a fraction of the price of using, say, a phone company’s cellular network.
Smart-meter technology is just starting to be deployed in the United States. 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. That’s like the early ’90s were in terms of Internet adoption.
Based in Germantown, Md., Eka has reportedly raised around $40 million in funding to date. Its most recent round, for $18.5 million, which the company announced in July, was led by Flybridge Capital Partners and including the Angeleno Group, RockPort Capital Partners, The Westly Group and Metropolitan Investment.