British Gas gets its own Internet of Things firm

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British Gas has agreed to acquire smart home firm Alertme, in a bid to accelerate connected home services in the UK and worldwide.

Alertme, founded in Cambridge, creates smart home technology that allows customers to monitor and control their home energy.

The Centrica-owned energy firm, which already has a 21% stake in the business, already uses Alertme’s technology for its Hive service, allowing users to control their heating and hot water remotely from a smart device.

British Gas said the deal would help Centrica’s roll-out of connected home services across the UK for its 11 million customers as well as other markets around the world.

"This acquisition underlines our commitment to helping customers manage their homes, including their energy, more easily," Nina Bhatia, Commercial Director of British Gas, said.

"Already, we’re the only business in the UK that can build the technology, develop the software, and provide expert in-home installation and service. With access to new technology and skills, we’re strengthening our capability at British Gas to develop a family of products that will put people in control of their homes in a way that’s simply never been possible before."

Mary Turner, CEO of AlertMe said: "We are excited to move forward with British Gas, with an opportunity to roll out service for tens of millions of homes, and to realise our ambition for further global distribution."

Bhatia added: "We’re also very excited at the potential we now have to enable further development of connected homes products and services in other parts of the Centrica Group – with Direct Energy in North America, and Bord Gáis in the Republic of Ireland."

The transaction is expected be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

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