German electronics giant Siemens has just bought eMeter, a San Mateo-based startup focusing on smart grid technologies for utilities such as power and water.

eMeter, which is led by Veritas CEO and former Oracle executive Gary Bloom, gathers information from two-way meters. The data then travels to utility companies and allows them to make better business decisions, to understand peaks in demand and to read meters automatically.

Consumers can also use the information to find ways to use less energy and lower their bills.

Collectively, the practice of gathering and disseminating energy usage information for greater efficiency and sustainability is known as the smart grid, and it’s been a focus at Siemens of late.

“The acquisition of eMeter will allow Siemens to expand its reach globally in the energy information and meter data management space,” said Jan Mrosik, CEO of the Smart Grid Division of the Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector, in a statement today.

While Siemens has its own energy division, eMeter’s staff and technology will be part of the company’s Smart Grid division within the Infrastructure & Cities Sector. (As an interesting footnote illustrating Siemens’ scope, this sector alone has 87,000 employees worldwide.)

eMeter has taken a total of $68.8 million over six rounds of institutional funding. JP Morgan advised eMeter in the acquisition.