The week that I write a post about how there’s a bubble growing in the home energy management space, there’s a subsequent slew of energy management announcements. Go figure. One of the biggest in months is coming later today, but earlier this morning eMeter, a company that’s been selling back office meter-data-management (MDM) software to utilities that takes care of tasks like billing, has announced that it’s getting into the consumer-facing home energy management space.
Dubbed the “Energy Engage” solution, it’s the first consumer-focused application for the company, which was founded in 1998. eMeter Senior VP Sam Klepper tells us that over the past year the company created a 25-person consumer energy management group, with experience in consumer web development from companies like Tivo, Microsoft and Google, to develop the tool. Klepper says that not only is eMeter trying to build a whole new source of revenue from its consumer division, but the consumer product will help sell the back office products and vice-versa.
Klepper says the notion of building the consumer tool came from the fact that utilities that were putting out requests for proposals for vendors to supply back office meter systems, were increasingly (a full 70 percent) tacking on requests for energy management tools to the projects. If utilities are demanding it, eMeters’ Klepper reasons, why not deliver it? eMeter’s first utility partner for the consumer tool is Pepco, which is using the energy management tool for a small residential trial.
eMeter knows it’s far from the first to offer this type of tool. “We aren’t the first to arrive with this solution but we think we’re raising the bar,” says Klepper. I haven’t gotten a chance to check out the tool’s interface, but with dozens of competitive offerings, that’s an aggressive claim. Ultimately eMeter is also looking to partner with hardware makers, including smart meter companies, and energy dashboard firms, for its new consumer product.