British Gas takes £5.7 million stake in AlertMe

UK utility British Gas has made a £5.7 million investment in energy management company AlertMe to cement its place in the smart meter market.

The agreement, which sees Centrica-owned British Gas take a 15.96% stake in the company, is reportedly worth a total of £20 million in terms of AlertMe’s home energy management products and services.

AlertMe will be positioned as British Gas’ home area network partner in its plans to rollout two million smart meters to its customers by 2012.

The home area network platform allows two-way communication for real-time monitoring, control, automation and analysis, allowing customers to manage and control a range of home-based activities from their computer or smart phone. The technology will work with British Gas’ new smart meters.

AlertMe claims that the ability to switch heating and appliances on and off can improve energy efficiency, saving up to 15-20% on energy bills.

“We want to make energy saving as easy as possible for our customers,” says British Gas’ managing director Phil Bentley.

“AlertMe’s innovative product portfolio… will provide our customers with a range of new, easy to use tools to reduce their energy consumption and cut their fuel bills.”

British Gas joins Good Energies, Index Ventures, SET Venture Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners as investors in AlertMe, closing its second round of funding at £15 million.

Meanwhile, National Grid’s gas and electricity metering company OnStream, has awarded a £2.4 million contract to Logica for communication, data and pre-payment services as part of its programme to rollout 26,000 smart meters over the next five years.

OnStream currently provides services supporting over four million traditional meters and 20,000 smart meters, but has plans to install more than 100,000 smart meters over the next year.

Logica’s Instant Energy service supports over 75% of the smart meters being installed in UK homes, with 15,000 new smart meters going in every month. The new agreement is expected to further boost that figure and Logica’s market position.

For further information:

Related stories:
Smart meters may not improve energy efficiency, says study (16-Sept)
UK Government asks for input on faster smart meter rollout (29-Jul)
National Grid unveils plans for major investment in UK infrastructure (21-May)
British Gas to roll out smart meters to a million UK homes (29-Mar)
British Gas New Energy and AlertMe.com joint forces on energy management (21-Jul 2009)

08 October 2010