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Silver Spring buys Greenbox's Web energy software

Smart-grid company Silver Spring Networks adds home energy monitoring by buying Greenbox Technology.

Smart grid company Silver Spring Networks said on Tuesday that it has an agreement to buy Greenbox Technology, a home energy-management software company started by the makers of Flash.

The planned acquisition is a significant expansion for Silver Spring Networks, which makes wireless networking cards that are embedded in smart meters to broker communications between homes and utilities.

Silver Spring Networks

Seven-year-old Silver Spring Networks is one of the most successful Silicon Valley green-tech start-ups. Its IP-based networking technology is being used in a number of smart-grid programs led by large utilities, such as Pacific Gas & Electric and Florida Power & Light. CEO Scott Lang said earlier this year that it plans to go public, although it has been considered an acquisition target itself.

Greenbox Technology's Web-based energy-management software is designed for consumers looking to trim their energy use. It allows people to see the electricity consumption of devices in the home and provides recommendations on how to cut use.

In-home energy-management software is a crucial piece of many smart-grid programs. By providing a dashboard to view data and an energy-management program--accessed either through a Web portal or stand-alone monitoring device--consumers can cut consumption by about 15 percent, according to initial smart-grid trials.

With the acquisition, the Greenbox software, already used by thousands of people, will be available to more consumers, said Matt Smith, the company's vice president of market. Greenbox Technology's product is aimed at utilities who offer the software as an "energy-management portal" to consumers in smart-grid projects, he said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Greenbox Technology, which was founded in 2007, was angel funded.

Right now, Greenbox's software pulls data from a smart meter to give consumers a read on their energy use. But the company is working on future versions of the software that can operate with a wireless thermostat to control the settings for a homes heating and cooling system, Smith said.