Echelon makes smart meter networks and building automation systems. Could it bring the two businesses together? On Wednesday, Echelon shipped its 2 millionth smart meter, adding recent contracts with a host of Danish utilities and partners to its big list of European clients — and, on the other side of the Atlantic, its contract with Duke Energy. Duke CTO David Mohler has said he’d like to see smart grid systems link up with building automation systems that control air conditioners, lights, boilers and other energy-sucking devices. Could Echelon sync up its building networking standard LonWorks with its smart meter services?
While Michael Anderson, senior vice president of Echelon’s Networked Energy Services, i.e., smart meter business, wouldn’t comment on if Echelon’s was linking up buildings and smart meters just yet, he told us in a late-night Monday call from Helsinki, Finland: “The two technologies will come together very, very well. In the last six months it’s been nice to see customers approach us on this idea.”
If it happens, it’ll be about time. Smart grid analyst Jesse Berst sees a huge underserved market in linking new smart grid systems to the plethora of building automation systems sitting under-utilized in office buildings around the country.