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iControl funded to control home security, energy

Start-up's home automation system controls security along with thermostats and lighting. Investors see home security as entree to energy management.

Is the best way to manage your energy use through a home security system?

Start-up iControl Networks said Wednesday that it has raised $23 million to further develop its home security system that also allows people to control home energy through the Web and mobile devices, including the iPhone.

Investors in the series C round brought corporate investors ADT Security Services, Cisco, Comcast Interactive Capital, and GE Security. Charles River Ventures, Intel Capital, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers--through its iPhone application iFund--are also investors. To date, iControl has raised over $45 million.

Will home energy management enter through home-automation networks? iControl Networks

There are dozens of companies developing home energy monitoring systems, some of which are simply displays while others communicate with smart meters or home-area networks.

iControl's approach is to create a hub, connected to a home broadband connection that has wireless connections to IP cameras and security boards as well as thermostats and lighting. To control energy-related devices, it uses the Z-Wave wireless standard for home automation which can also control doors and locks.

iControl intends to sell its technology through other providers, such as home-security companies and utilities looking to offer networked services to consumers.

"iControl is extending home security and energy management to the broadband Internet and iPhones so consumers can see, protect and manage their homes anytime, anywhere," said John Doerr, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The famed venture capital firm decided to invest in iControl because it found consumers were willing to pay ongoing fees for security. Energy-efficiency tools are offered as an add-on.

"Consumers will pay hundreds of dollars to put in new technology, they'll pay $30 to $40 a month to secure their peace of mind...we found through this Trojan horse that we can bring in new technology" for energy management, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Ellen Pao told Greentech Media in June.