Home Energy Management Gets Boost In UK

The British home energy management startup AlertMe has snared $24 million in new capital, which is good news for the young company. But perhaps more importantly, it also reached a $30-million deal with British Gas that will give the UK power behemoth a seat on the AlertMe board while allowing the start up to install as many as two million smart meters by 2012.

AlertMe is chasing the trend of moving beyond basic smart meters and toward home area network (HAN) connectivity. The company says it can offer consumers real-time monitoring, control, automation and analytics. That means, for example, turning off lights or appliances over the Internet and by smart phone — abilities that would lead to energy-bill savings of 15 to 20 percent, the company said.

image via AlertMe

“Nearly a third of all energy is used in the home so consumers can play a significant part in saving energy and reducing their carbon footprint,” CEO Mary Turner said in a statement. “It’s up to the energy sector and government to educate and engage them. Getting it right will be a win-win situation for both consumers and the energy industry, so British Gas is an ideal strategic partner for us in the UK.”

In addition to British Gas, AlertMe said Good Energies, Index Ventures, SET Venture Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners — all of whom had previously invested in the company — were in on this second round of financing.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.