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Simple Home Energy Management

Control4, an IP-based home control and entertainment systems company, is announcing a huge new investment of capital to fund an expansion in energy monitoring technology. This move will expand the company's portfolio in networked management of the expanding energy management sector.

Control4 Energy Management



The bread and butter of Control4's business is home theater management.  It networks one's theater and music entertainment through either a console or remote control for a unified system.  Control4 uses either Zigbee or Wi-Fi to network the devices.  But recently the Control4 has been utilizing this technology for other home usage, such as thermostat control and eventually energy management.

The new investment, $17.3 million in equity, is being provided by a conglomerate of interested parties; Best Buy Capital, Mercato Partners and University Venture Fund join current investors Foundation Capital, Frazier Technology Ventures, Thomas Weisel Venture Partners and vSpring Capital.  The reasoning that these interested parties are investing in the company even as Google and Microsoft is producing power management is simple: the display.

 

Control4 Energy Management



Even if information is available it must still be delivered.  Providing an aesthetically pleasing way to illustrate power usage in a simple graphical manner will be key to widespread adoption.  Contol4 already provides this for the complicated home theater systems in many people's houses.  Therefore, once the energy software is created the interface should be a simple overlay.  The concept is put best by a quote included in the press release.

 

"At SmartGridNews.com, we believe the Home Area Network market could be as large as $3 billion annually within the next three years,” said Jesse Berst, Managing Director, Global Smart Energy. “The key to reaching this potential will be to deliver a compelling reason for consumers to embrace home area networks. Control4 has the best answer we've seen so far. The company combines technical specs robust enough for the savvy consumer, applications cool enough to make any neighbor jealous and a simple interface that even a grownup can master."