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Siemens buys eMeter's smart grid 'big data' software

eMeter's software for collecting meter data and making sense of the reams of information they produce will be integrated into Siemens smart grid product line for utilities and cities.

Smart meters: a font of information.

Energy heavyweight Siemens is buying some Silicon Valley software savvy to make sense of the smart grid.

Siemens Energy today announced that it has acquired San Mateo, Calif.-based eMeter and that its meter data software will be integrated into Siemens product line. Financial terms were not disclosed, and the deal is expected to close later this month.

eMeter's software is designed to collect data from two-way meters and feed it into utilities' back-end business systems. The venture capital-backed company is headed by former Oracle executive and Veritas CEO Gary Bloom.

By collecting data such as customer power consumption every 15 minutes, utilities can automatically read meters and get a better understanding of demand trends. Energy usage information can also be presented to consumers through a dashboard or dedicated device to help consumers lower utility bills.

One of the challenges for utilities is that water, gas, and electricity meters create masses of data that has to be collected over different networks and then integrated into systems. Tying meter data into billing applications, for example, helps utilities streamline their operations.

eMeter is also building analysis software that processes reams of data two-way meters and other grid equipment for business reports and analytical applications. The company this year introduced a cloud version of its EnergyIP meter data management software with Verizon.

Siemens Energy, which was an investor in eMeter, said that eMeter's software will be an integral piece to its product line aimed at utilities. "Ever-increasing demand for solutions to improve the effectiveness of the smart grid for cities and utilities makes this acquisition even more important. eMeter is renowned for its superior software and services capabilities that enable electric, gas and water utilities to realize the full benefits of the smart grid," Jan Mrosik, CEO of the Smart Grid division of the Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector said in a statement.

Analysts predict that the increase in data from networked meter will create strong demand for back-end software in the next few years. eMeter's meter data management software competes with analytical software from Oracle and SAP.