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EnerNoc goes shopping to spread demand response

Efficiency company EnerNoc buys Global Energy Partners to expand its demand-response services nationally.

Energy efficiency company EnerNoc said today it has acquired privately held Global Energy Partners, a move that gives EnerNoc a bigger national presence.

Boston-based EnerNoc provides demand-response and energy management services to commercial and industrial businesses.

EnerNoc's demand-response services are run from a network operations center in Boston.
EnerNoc's demand-response services are run from a network operations center in Boston. Martin LaMonica/CNET

Companies get paid a monthly fee for being ready to turn down energy consumption during peak times. Utilities contract with EnerNoc when they need to lower demand, an approach that is typically more cost effective than turning on more power generators.

Global Energy Partners is in the same businesses as EnerNoc but it has or continues to work with utilities in the western U.S., including Pacific Gas & Electric in California and the Bonneville Power Administration in the Northwest. Global Energy Partners also has technical expertise with OpenADR, a communications protocol for automatically handling demand response in commercial buildings. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Managing demand-side resources through demand-response programs is becoming more important for grid operators as they plan for the future. Rather than plan for construction of new power plants, grid operators PJM, for example, expect reductions in demand to account for about 7 percent of its planned capacity in next few years.

EnerNoc, which is one of the few green-tech start-ups to successfully go public, has acquired a few smaller companies over the past two years to expand.