Centrica has invested in two start-ups that it hopes will help develop new customer propositions that will also support the flexibility of the grid. It says the co-location of domestic battery storage alongside today’s solar installations alone could enable over 4.5GW of flexible power capacity and it wants to integrate solar, battery and heat pump technology into its customer offer.
It has invested in GreenCom Networks, which has developed an energy ‘internet of things’ (IoT) platform for home energy management.
It has also invested in 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.”