Companies to Watch 2014: It's time to nominate this year's smart grid superstars

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Last year more than 12,000 votes were cast in our Companies to Watch finale. Can we top that this year? Let's find out! Today we're kicking off our fifth annual competition where savvy Smart Grid News readers nominate companies they believe will be 2014's smart grid superstars.

To nominate a company for the SGN 14 send an email to nominations@smartgridnews.com. To be considered, your nomination must be submitted by midnight Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 and must include:

·         Name of the company you're nominating and its website address

·         A thoughtful explanation in 100 words or less that tells us why you think the company has the potential to be a 2014 smart grid superstar

That last part is important. It's not about the quantity of nominations we receive for each company. It's the quality of your recommendation that determines whether a company makes it through the first-round screening by SGN editors. If you nominate more than one company, please send separate emails for each.

Be sure to take into account the whole package when you nominate companies. For instance, they may have great technology or stellar leadership, but do they also have the financial wherewithal and a solid marketing plan and/or strategic partnerships? Finally, please base your nominations on future potential – what they will do in 2014 – not on past glories.

We'll take your nominations via email only until midnight Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, Jan. 16. That is a firm deadline; no exceptions.

After Jan. 16 our team will conduct a preliminary screening and post summaries of the companies that made the first-round cut. Then you'll have an opportunity to vote on the 14 Companies to Watch in 2014.

So what about our 2013 winners?

As mentioned above, a record 12,000+ votes were cast to determine the winners in our 2013 Companies to Watch competition. Click to page 2 for a recap of how those 13 companies fared last year and also for links to previous years' winners.

Revisiting the SGN 13

Belden – This St. Louis-based company continues to transform into a leading signal transmission solution provider with cable, connectivity and networking products. As 2013 ended, it topped The Patent Board’s latest list for the Industrial Components and Fixtures industry. For the second consecutive quarter, Belden received the highest score for technology strength -- a measure that indicates the overall strength of the company's innovation and patent portfolio.

CEIVA Energy --  In December, the home energy management system provider announced survey results that showed its Homeview deployment with Glendale Water & Power drove a nine-fold improvement in respondents’ understanding of their energy consumption, while inspiring 83 percent of respondents to change their behavior to reduce energy and water use. Following its selection as an SGN Company to Watch in 2013, CEIVA garnered an innovation award for leadership in home networking from Fierce Energy.

Cisco – We told you in May of last year about two new Cisco electric power offerings – a security architecture as well as aa substation solution that includes a new switch, new router interface module and new reference design. In August Cisco opened a Center for Innovation in Rio de Janeiro to integrate Cisco’s portfolio with technology from local players to create solutions that meet the needs of the Brazilian market. Smart grid is one of the focus areas.

EnerNOC – In November we told you EnerNOC scored a win with Austin Energy to help expand its demand response (DR) program, one of many in 2014 for the company that provides demand-side management solutions. Others include a joint venture with Marubeni Corp. to deploy DR in Japan and a contract with Ausgrid in Eastern Australia. And SGN wasn't the only company watching EnerNOC in 2013; Deloitte ranked it as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in North America.

ISA Sensing – Last spring this Portuguese technology company launched a new solution in the Spanish market that helps reduce energy costs in homes and offices, resulting in savings up to 25%. Cloogy provides real-time energy consumption information, historical data and monthly expenses forecasts. It also analyzes users' consumption profiles and helps them understand which is the more appropriate contracted power rate.

PayGo – This Atlanta-based payment solutions provider had a big win in May with the announcement that AT&T – in expanding its leadership in smart grid by offering prepaid applications that help manage energy usage and reduce costs – would be the sole U.S. provider for PayGo’s utility payment solutions which include near real-time processing of meter information for prepaid services.

Schneider Electric – We told you in September that Schneider beat out seven other vendors to have its online energy management and sustainability software suite, StruxureWare, chosen by the city of Boston as its enterprise energy management system for all city operations. We also mentioned launch of its new Orbit mobile platform designed to increase productivity of field workers.  And as the year ended, the French industrial giant's pending takeover of London-based Invensys continued in headlines.

Sensus – Infrastructure company Sensus made a major score in 2013 when it was selected to support the UK government’s plan to deploy electric and gas smart meters to 10 million locations in the northern region of the country. The company also delivered its one millionth iPERL water meter to the city of O’Fallon, Missouri.

 

Space-Time Insight – The next generation situational intelligence solutions company was picked by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to provide its geospatial and visual analytics software. Space-Time Insight also provided the software to Ontario, Canada’s Hydro One.

 

Structure – Global consulting services company Structure was named "Best-of-the-Best" by Service Performance Insight Research in the 2013 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark. The company also was named Energy Risk Magazine’s Energy Trading and Risk Management Software Advisory Firm of the Year for the second consecutive year.

 

TempoDB – The time series database service last year raised a $3.2 million series A funding round. A start-up last year, TempoDB is said to be the first purpose-built time series database service.

 

Tollgrade Communications – The cutting edge network assurance solutions company announced its Virtual Broadband Technician for broadband service providers and reached a strategic agreement with Brazil’s ELO Sistemas Electronicos in which ELO will offer and sell Tollgrade’s LightHouse distribution monitoring as part of its grid modernization program.

 

Verdeeco – A smart grid analytics firm, Verdeeco introduced its Alarm Management Console that improves network security and provides increased efficiency in dealing with potential threats. The company also unveiled a configurable online customer portal application that utilities can offer their customers.

 

And don't miss these…

SGN's 2012 Smart Grid Companies to Watch

SGN's 2011 Smart Grid Companies to Watch
 
 

SGN's 2010 Smart Grid Companies to Watch

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