Centrica is investing in two startups that specialise in Internet of Things (IoT) technology for the home.
It’s part of the company’s effort to expand its smart home activity and drive down electricity bills while also supporting greater flexibility of the grid. The funding comes from Centrica Innovations, which was established in 2017 with the objective of investing £100m in sustainable technology and innovations for homes and businesses.
The first investment was made as part of a fundraising round by home energy management solutions provider GreenCom Networks, whose energy IoT platform allows customers to save money by reducing their energy consumption, or even make money by making any surplus power in the home available to the grid at periods of high demand.
Mixergy, a spin-out company from the University of Oxford’s Energy and Power Group, has also received funding from Centrica Innovations to support the growth of its smart hot water tank technology. Mixergy’s intelligent hot water system combines sensory and IoT technology to keep track of hot water levels, learning the usage habits of the household so it only heats just enough to meet their needs.
“These investments are an important step forward to a time when IoT-enabled technology in the home will operate as a single unit to ensure that energy is used in the most effective way,” said Sam Salisbury, director of Centrica Innovations Labs.
“Our mission is to make people’s lives easier, by providing seamless, time-saving services that are easy to use, have a positive environmental impact, and help save them money. Just as we have done for our business customers, home energy management takes this a step further by giving these customers access to new products that will enable them to generate and store their own energy as part of the ultimate ‘Intelligent Home‘.
“Central to this will be an offer to customers that will deliver a greater variety of choice depending on whether their priority is warmth, price or the environment.”
Osborne Clarke’s Next-generation connectivity report takes a closer look at how energy and utilities and other sectors will benefit from innovative technologies such as IoT and the next wave of connectivity.