Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Itron completes $100m takeover of Comverge

Steve Rogerson
June 8, 2017
 
Energy technology and services company Itron has completed its acquisition of privately held Comverge by purchasing its parent company Peak Holding for approximately $100m.
 
With the acquisition, Itron hopes to strengthen its portfolio of grid products with a demand response offering while also paving the way for game-changing distributed energy management applications using Itron’s OpenWay Riva IoT product.
 
“We are excited to add Comverge’s strong, healthy and growing business and integrate Comverge and Itron’s well-proven solutions to enable distributed energy management,” said Mark de Vere White, president of Washington-based Itron’s electricity business line. “The growing need for utilities to meet energy efficiency regulations, enable customer choice in energy management and better optimise the use of distributed energy resources is driving a convergence between smart connected networks and demand side solutions. Through this acquisition, we are helping our utility customers address these trends to better facilitate grid performance and reliability, reduce peak demand, drive customer engagement and save energy.”
 
Merging Comverge’s offerings with OpenWay Riva will allow utilities to connect seamlessly with homes to improve operational efficiency, and distribution and energy efficiency, while allowing consumers to participate directly in managing their energy use.
 
Taking advantage of the real-time edge computing power of OpenWay Riva, the joint offering should enable utilities to derive more operational benefit from their demand response and distributed energy resources (DER) through more reliable network communications and real-time measurement and verification of load drop.
 
In addition, it will give utilities greater access to data and analytic power, allowing automated DER dispatch decisions, as opposed to relying on grid operators to make decisions manually. It will also help utilities with their grid planning decisions by combining Itron’s forecasting capabilities with data from end-use devices, making the forecasting process more accurate.
 
The combined offering should bring new data and real-time awareness that promises to enhance the consumer engagement experience. It will allow price signals to be sent to consumers in real time and enable demand charge management with real-time alerts and automated load control. It could learn a consumer’s preferences and willingness to tolerate higher temperatures in their home by presenting cost versus comfort trade-off settings and observing interactions with the thermostat during load control events.
 
“With this acquisition, Itron inherits a strong demand response business with immense possibilities for growth while unlocking new opportunities by combining our joint capabilities to create new distributed energy management that can seamlessly integrate into a comprehensive smart grid,” said de Vere White.
 
With thousands of employees supporting nearly 8000 customers in more than 100 countries, Itron applies knowledge and technology to manage energy and water resources.