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Update: Centrica Confirms It Will Bring To U.S. New Energy Management Offers Integrating Solar, Batteries, Heat Pumps

February 19, 2019

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Copyright 2010-19
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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Centrica confirmed to that it will offer in the U.S. its announced expansion of smart home offerings to include the integration of solar, battery and heat pump technology

Centrica said that the planning of such offerings in the U.S. is still in the early days, and no specific states in which the offering will be launched was available

However, Centrica does expect to start testing in markets later this year.

Centrica said that the priority at the moment is to seek out some technology partners for it to work with, across the full gamut of the battery, solar, heat pump space, as well as providers of the platform infrastructure that would sit behind the offering

Earlier (2/18):

Centrica Announces Development Of New Energy Management Offers Integrating Solar, Batteries, Heat Pumps

Invests In Home Energy Management Solutions Provider

Centrica announces that it will, "expand its smart home activity in a move that will unlock the power of millions of customers’ homes, driving down electricity bills through the development of new propositions that will also support the flexibility of the grid."

"The company is working to integrate solar, battery and heat pump technology into its customer offer and has estimated that the co-location of domestic battery storage alongside today’s solar installations alone could enable over 4.5GW of flexible power capacity, one and a half times more than a new nuclear plant," Centrica said

Centrica also announced that its Centrica Innovations arm has made investments into two start-ups as part of an effort to drive forward new technologies and solutions for homes around the world.

The first investment is into European home energy management solutions provider GreenCom Networks. Established in 2011, GreenCom Networks has developed an energy Internet of Things (IoT) platform that 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.

With GreenCom’s platform, customers can integrate millions of decentralized energy devices such as solar PV, battery storage, electric vehicles, heat pumps or storage heaters and optimize their usage either locally or centrally. Such optimization allows the offering of residential customer-oriented services such as flat rates, maximized independence, energy communities or peer-to-peer energy

The second investment is a spin-out company from the University of Oxford’s Energy and Power Group, Mixergy, which has received funding 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.

Sam Salisbury, Director of Centrica Innovations Labs, said: "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."

"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,'" Salisbury said

"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," Salisbury said

"The principle behind home energy management is a micro-system of energy assets that brings together energy insight and efficiency together with the latest energy solutions and optimisation techniques. The industry is expected to be worth £2bn/year in Europe and North America by 2025," Centrica said

Through its Connected Home business, Centrica Hive, Centrica offers a range of smart home products and have deployed over 1 million connected home hubs worldwide.

Centrica Innovations was established in 2017 with the objective of investing £100m in sustainable technology and innovations for homes and businesses.

Centrica Innovations Investment Director, Idan Mor, will now join GreenCom Networks’ Board of Directors.

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