WSJ writes on Green Software

WSJ writes on Green Software saving energy, listing Carbonetworks, Optimum Energy, and Verdiem.

focused on low-technology steps such as turning down thermostats and switching off lights when they're not needed. Now more high-tech "green software" programs have popped up to help companies cut their energy consumption.

Software start-ups such as Carbonetworks Corp., Optimum Energy LLC and Verdiem Corp. are making new programs to help businesses monitor their energy use and figure out when to use power at times when power rates are cheapest, among other things. Several large Fortune 500 companies are also spurring the trend of green software by designing their own applications to reduce energy use.

Microsoft is joining the mix as well

This may help explain why so many businesses are turning to green software companies. At an industry conference in San Francisco last month, one of the most anticipated panels was a session called "The Next Cleantech Frontier -- Software." One speaker, Robert Bernard, is chief environmental strategist for Microsoft Corp., which is rolling out software to help measure and track greenhouse gas emissions in 40 cities around the world as part of a collaboration with President Clinton's Climate Initiative, an effort launched by the former president in 2006 to help address climate-change issues.

The smart thing is customers are running pilot programs like UPS cited below to test the energy savings in their own environments.

Green software sales, meanwhile, are taking off. Verdiem says the number of electronic devices in businesses using its Surveyor program for remotely-adjusting energy use of computers and other equipment shot up to 600,000 last year from about 85,000 in 2006. The Seattle company says its 200 customers, which include giants such as Clear Channel Communications Inc. of San Antonio and a pilot program with UPS, have saved a combined half a billion kilowatt hours of electricity, or 500,000 tons of carbon emissions, since it began offering the service about two years ago.