A home security company is finding a ready-made market among its customers for automated energy management technology since their homes already have lighting linked into automated security system control centers. Vivint has increased enrollment in its energy management program from 10,000 to 70,000 customers since early summer. Now, the home security company--with 540,000 security customers nationwide, including in California--has teamed up with Tendril. It is offering Vivint\u2019s new energy management customers a web-based portal that analyzes and displays their electricity use on any computer or smart phone. The web portal also allows remote control of energy using devices in homes via Vivint\u2019s security system panel. \u201cOur customers already are saving money,\u201d said Tanguy Serra, president of the security company\u2019s new division, Vivint Energy. The company estimates its customers can save up to 20 percent on their power bills, while it charges its existing security service customers just $8\/month for the energy management service. Serra explained Vivint\u2019s security control panel already is set up to run the lights in its customers\u2019 homes. Appliances can be linked in with smart adapters that communicate with the control panel. Customers plug the adapters into their wall outlets and then plug their appliances into the adapters, which can be turned on and off by a signal sent from the control panel. In addition, customers can install smart, communicating thermostats which can be remotely operated through control panel. Put it all together and Vivint customers can have a complete home area network through which they can remotely and automatically manage electricity use, for instance, setting up rules to govern heating and air conditioning systems and lighting. They can even turn the dishwasher on while they\u2019re at the movies--though they\u2019ll still have to load it themselves. The cost of the extra devices needed to create a full home area network is billed in addition to the monthly service fee. A smart thermostat costs $99 and the adapters $39. New customers must also order Vivint\u2019s security system, which entails a down payment for installation and a monthly fee of about $50 for a minimum of 42 months. Looking ahead, Serra said Tendril has entered into an agreement with Whirlpool under which it\u2019s providing software to link the company\u2019s smart refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances into a variety of energy management control centers-- such as Vivint\u2019s--using the Zigbee protocol. Tendril chief executive officer Adrian Tuck said the company\u2019s communications software and web-based energy information portal piggybacks on Vivint\u2019s service. The Tendril system also allows Vivint\u2019s control center to communicate with smart meters, where they are installed and enabled by utilities. Eventually, Serra said, the service could incorporate information on time-of-use pricing, a policy the California Public Utilities Commission is interested in pursuing to dampen peak demand. When smart meters aren\u2019t in place, or Tendril does not have access to their data, Vivint can clamp an energy measurement device onto the wires leading into a home\u2019s circuit breaker to analyze how power is used. It communicates with the Vivint control panel, which uploads the information to the web for customer access. Serra predicted the energy management service would see continued penetration among its security service customer base at about the same rate experienced this summer. And why not? For $8\/month it\u2019s hard to see a downside. Eight bucks barely gets you a coffee and a roll.