Retroficiency Acquired by Ecova in Energy Efficiency Software Deal

It’s a quieter sector than cybersecurity or enterprise software, but energy efficiency seems to be making real progress. Today a New England startup says it got picked up by a giant on the other side of the country.

Boston-based Retroficiency has been acquired by Ecova, a utility and energy management company based in Spokane, WA, with offices in Seattle and other locations. Terms weren’t disclosed, but Retroficiency’s vice president of marketing, Mike Kaplan, said “it’s definitely a positive outcome for us.”

The company, led by CEO and co-founder Bennett Fisher, developed software that remotely evaluates a building’s energy consumption and potential for efficiency upgrades, as well as helping real-estate managers conduct on-site energy audits.

Retroficiency has 28 employees, and the team is staying on in Boston “to execute on aggressive goals,” Kaplan said. The company was founded in 2009 and raised $7.3 million from investors including World Energy, Point Judith Capital, and angel investors. Retroficiency started out selling its software to real estate firms, commercial property owners, and energy service companies. About two years ago, it shifted to selling mostly to utility companies.

Related companies in energy efficiency include FirstFuel Software, Next Step Living, and EnerNOC.

Ecova is owned by Cofely USA, a subsidiary of French electric utility company Engie. Ecova has a long and winding history: it was born as WPP Energy Solutions in 1996, formed by Avista veterans (back then, that company was called Washington Water Power). After a series of name changes and acquisitions of energy-management firms, Ecova moved into energy-efficiency recommendations at the building level in 2011. The company has more than 1,400 employees.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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