Silver Spring Gets VC Dollars to Make the Grid Smarter

The power grid can only get smarter, a fact that is motivating Silver Spring Networks and a growing number of other startups looking to smarten up our electrical system. Redwood City, Calif.-based Silver Springs has raised an additional $17.4 million in funding, according to VentureWire (hat tip VentureBeat). The funding reportedly comes from Foundation Capital and Edison Electric Institute and is part of a round that brought in $40 million last year. Update: Silver Spring’s CTO Raj Vaswani told us that EEI did not take part in the his funding.

Silver Spring uses IP-based software and hardware to enable utilities to remotely monitor and control power. While other smart grid companies use proprietary networks and systems, IP allows for cheap and easy maintenance and upgrades. Check out this great flash demo to get a quick idea of how the system works.

For the consumer, adding broadband connections to gas, water and electricity meters means they get access to a variety of advanced metering services, including demand response programs and transparent dynamic rate structures as well as more complete energy use information on the monthly bill.

Elsewhere in the smart grid space, eMeter recently took in funding, also from Foundation Capital. GridPoint raised more money as well, bringing its total venture funding to over $100 million. Cleantech VCs that we’ve spoken with all say they’re looking for smart grid investments, so don’t expect to see interest in this technology slow down any time soon.