Centrica plc today announced that its British Gas division has invested EUR4.5m in cash in return for a minority shareholding in Power Plus Communications Gmbh (“Power Plus Communications”), a German based technology company that provides broadband powerline technology for smart grid and smart metering applications. Following this transaction, British Gas will also hold a seat on the Board of Power Plus Communications.
As part of this investment British Gas will work closely with Power Plus Communications to develop and deploy technology solutions for its customers in the UK. The transaction will also enable British Gas to further expand its position in smart technology and enhance its smart metering service.
British Gas’s latest investment is another important step towards facilitating the “home of the future”, in which smart meters will help British Gas customers take greater control of their energy usage and consumption. British Gas is leading the roll-out of smart meters and has the largest smart meter deployment in Britain, with around 500,000 smart meters installed to date for residential and small business customers.
Phil Bentley, Managing Director at British Gas, said “We want to continue to lead in smart metering, making energy saving as easy as possible for our customers. This is why we continue to drive the smart meter roll out and offer new, smarter ways to help customers take control of their energy usage. Power Plus Communications’ world leading technology will enable us to connect more of our customers with smart meters, transforming their relationship with energy and helping them better manage fuel bills.”
Ingo Schoenberg, Power Plus Communications CEO, said: “We are delighted to welcome British Gas, the UK’s largest energy provider, as a strategic investor. This is a massive opportunity to contribute towards transforming the energy sector by connecting every customer with a smart meter and providing a platform to save money and reduce carbon emissions.”
Centrica Investor Relations: 01753 494 900
British Gas press office: 0800 1077015
Notes to editors
- Power Plus Communications (PPC) has raised a total of EUR 12 million through the issue of preference shares to British Gas, Siemens Venture Capital and existing investor Climate Change Capital. The fundraising will allow PPC to expand its market penetration in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
- Centrica plc has acquired a minority interest in Power Plus Communications AG through its wholly owned subsidiary, GB Gas Holdings Limited on behalf of British Gas.
- Founded in 2002, PPC provides broadband powerline communication technology for smart grid and smart metering solutions. The technology transmits data over existing power lines.
For more information on Power Plus Communications go to: www.ppc-ag.com/