- Young firm wins following a global search to find the most innovative ideas to help households have more control over energy use
- Open Utility came second and OpenTRV came thirdMyJoulo tipped as UK’s brightest tech startup by judging panel including British Gas’ Nina Bhatia and the UK’s digital champion Martha-Lane Fox
British Gas has demonstrated its commitment to bringing innovative products and services to homes in the UK, inviting 26 startups to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges representing Venture Capitalists, British Gas executives, and internet entrepreneur Martha Lane-Fox.
The winner, which now receives £30,000 and the opportunity to trial its idea with British Gas customers, was MyJoulo. The product, created by Reuben Wilcock and Alex Rogers, combines a low-cost temperature logger with smart algorithms to deliver personalised home heating analysis and advice via the internet. In second place was Open Utility, a peer-to-peer energy marketplace, receiving £10,000; and in third place was OpenTRV, a product to enable heating rooms to different temperatures, receiving £5,000.
The British Gas Connected Homes Startup Showcase took place in London last week. It followed the launch of a new brand, Hive, by British Gas, dedicated to creating internet-enabled technology products and services that give people greater flexibility and control of their energy use. Alongside the launch of the brand, its first product was unveiled, Hive Active Heating™, a service that lets people control their heating and hot water remotely from a smartphone, tablet, SMS, or via a website.
Nina Bhatia, Managing Director British Gas Connected Homes, said:
“Events like the British Gas Connecting Homes Startup Showcase are all about working with start ups to turn the vision of the Connected Home – where devices talk to each other or to people via the internet – into a reality for households in the UK. While we are increasingly relying on technology to manage many aspects of our lives, from booking holidays to paying for parking, we haven’t seen that same transformation in the way we use energy in our homes. Startups have some really innovative ideas and the winner of the competition MyJoulo has created a product that will help people to understand their energy use in a simple way. Congratulations to Reuben and Alex from MyJoulo on their achievement.”
Senior judge at the competition and the UK’s digital champion, Martha Lane-Fox said:
“The connected home is a market that British entrepreneurs must be part of. This event was about just some of the startups at the forefront of this, which will transform the way we run our lives. It’s heartening to see an established company like British Gas take such an enlightened view on the benefit of supporting innovation from newer, smaller businesses inmaking smart devices that will help people understand how they use and control energy and be more energy efficient.”
Reuben Wilcock from MyJoulo said:
“We’re delighted to have been selected as the winner of the British Gas Connecting Homes Startup Showcase and are very grateful to British Gas for having given this platform to startups like ours. MyJoulo aims to give people easily understandable energy advice and we’re looking forward to bringing this to millions of customers in the UK.”
Notes to Editors:
1. The British Gas Connecting Homes competition took place on Thursday 26 September at the Royal College of General Practitioners in London
2. Each startup was given three minutes to pitch their idea to the judges (who were split into pairs). The best five ideas were then selected with each startup giving five minutes to pitch to the judges in front of an audience, with five minutes for questions from the judges.
3. The winners were:
a. 1st place: £30,000:MyJoulo combines a low-cost temperature logger with smart algorithms to deliver personalised home heating analysis and advice via the web – www.myjoulo.com
b. 2nd place: £10,000:Open Utility – a peer-to-peer energy marketplace, giving consumers choice over who they source their energy from, and making renewable energy profitable – www.openutility.co.uk
c. 3rd place: £5,000OpenTRV – retrofit completely open reference mechanical, hardware, software design for zoned heating control – www.opentrv.org.uk
4. The judging panel was:
- Martha Lane-Fox, Baroness of Soho, CBE,
- Nina Bhatia, MD, Connected Homes , Strategy and M&A, British Gas
- Andrew Brem, MD, Commercial & Product Development, Connected Homes
- David Cooper, Chief Information Officer, British Gas
- Sue Furnell, Senior Strategy Manager, British Gas
- Joe Charlesworth, Partner, PlayFlairCapitial
5. Hive Active Heating™ lets people:
- Control their heating via mobile phone (text or app), tablet or online
- Turn their heating on, off or adjust the schedule and temperature from wherever they are – inside or outside the home
- Control their hot water remotely, allowing them to heat water before it’s needed and boost its supply to ensure there’s enough hot water instantly (applicable to those with a hot water tank)
- Set heating and hot water schedules
- Protect their home from frozen pipes, by setting heating to automatically turn on if the temperature inside drops below seven degrees
6. Hive Active Heating™ will be available from late October for £199 including British Gas installation, with pre-registration available now at hivehome.com
PR Manager, British Gas
British Gas press office: 0800 107 7015
Mobile: 07557 616757
British Gas is the UK's leading energy supplier, and serves around 12 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country's homes – as well as providing energy to one million UK businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Home Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.