Green IT: Boston’s Mini-Cluster of Companies Using Hardware, Software, and Web Information Technology to Lower Consumer Energy Usage

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on targeting leaks and sources of energy inefficiencies in homes and helping customers retrofit homes to reduce energy waste. It pulled in a $2.6 million Series B round last summer.

—Big conglomerate General Electric took on a greener profile, announcing it was putting $200 million into its Ecomagination Challenge, to spur new ideas in energy efficient building, smart grid technology, and renewables. Cambridge-based mobile app firm Appswell is benefitting from this one, by powering the app for the contest. It took user-submitted ideas for cleantech apps and turned the top-voted ones into reality.

Many experts say that venture capital dollars won’t be pouring into traditional cleantech companies at the pace we’ve previously seen, due to slim returns and uncertainty about sustainable ways to encourage consumers to adopt technologies like wind and solar power. But there is going to be money flowing to those Web- software-focused companies, which typically can operate with smaller seed-stage financing while they scale.

“I think we’ve been confused for a few years in the U.S,” says Karlen. “And I think now policy and venture capital dollars are refocused on the right things.”

We’ll have to keep our eyes out on the deals that flow into this sub-sector of green IT. In the meantime, feel free to notify us in the comments below if we’ve missed any energy efficiency startups in the Boston area.

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