British Gas New Energy and AlertMe.com, the award- winning provider of smart energy saving systems for homes, have today announced an agreement that will see the two companies trial home energy management technologies, to help British Gas customers cut their energy consumption, save money and reduce their household carbon emissions.
This agreement follows the announcement in June of AlertMe securing £8 million in Series B funding by investors Good Energies, Index Ventures, SET Venture Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners allowing AlertMe to continue its commitment to developing leading Smart Energy systems. The financing enables AlertMe.com to extend its product development program, continue to ramp up its distribution strategy and to expand the existing team.
Home energy usage accounts for more than one quarter of total energy consumption across Europe and the United States, and consumers are increasingly looking for ways to save money and help the planet. The energy-saving technology from AlertMe.com, which is based on its Smart Home platform, is cheap and easy to use and can help consumers make significant savings on their residential energy costs, year-upon-year. Home energy-saving is the fastest and lowest-cost way to close the large gap between today's demand and what renewables can supply.
The AlertMe.com energy kit is connected to the Internet via the home's broadband connection, providing an online service that is easy to use from home, office or even while on holiday. It constantly measures and controls individual appliances within the home as well as measuring and managing the home's overall energy usage. The home-owner can then conveniently view this information and change settings.
Three key features are:
Through the secure online service or their mobile phone the householder can view in detail where energy is being used throughout their home and which appliances are costing them the most amount of money, and determine where they can make the changes which will return the biggest savings. They can also view other relevant information, such as tracking temperatures in different areas of the house and comparing their usage historically.
The intelligent monitoring system and text or email suggestion service means that even if a user is away from their home, they are able to adjust heating controls, turn off switches and plan usage for non-peak times. For example, they can override heating profiles if the weather suddenly changes or if they come home early. Through the use of SmartPlugs customers will be able to turn appliances on or off remotely, protecting against typical accidents like leaving the iron on.
The intelligent monitoring system automatically optimises consumption depending upon the householder's activities. For example AlertMe can automatically reduce energy costs by turning off the heating when the house is empty or turning off appliances left on standby. The user is then able to view the savings that have been made as a result.
Gearóid Lane, Managing Director of British Gas New Energy, said: "The introduction of Home Energy Management is an exciting prospect and will help bring the home into the 21st century, saving customers money, and reducing carbon emissions. And it's all so simple to use - never again will consumers need to stick their heads into a poorly-lit airing cupboard to struggle with complicated controllers"
The first offering to be trialled with British Gas will be an automated heating control system, which makes it easy for consumers to adjust their home heating for minimum energy costs, without compromising comfort. The system is easy to set up and allows the consumer to alter their heating at any time from the Web or any mobile phone. For example, householders can turn on their heating before they get home, or control it when away on holiday.
The service could be made available to British Gas customers by the end of 2009.
Pilgrim Beart, Chief Executive Officer of AlertMe.com, said: "When one considers that heating accounts for around 47 per cent of total UK final energy consumption and 78 per cent of energy use outside the transport sector1, the economic and environmental potential of this technology becomes clear".