WINDSOR, England, July 20 (UPI) -- A British energy utility is introducing a system of energy programs designed to help consumers realize significant savings on residential energy costs and reduce carbon emissions.
British Gas New Energy and AlertMe.com said Monday they will test home management technologies for British Gas's nearly 16 million natural gas and electricity customers.
AlertMe.com last month said it had secured $13 million in funding from Good Energies, Index Ventures, SET Venture Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners to develop Smart Energy systems such as the one it is testing with British Gas New Energy.
AlertMe.com's Smart Home platform taps into the assumption that savings on home energy, which represent about one-quarter of total energy use in Europe, is the "fastest and lowest-cost way to close the large gap between today's demand and what renewables can supply," AlertMe.com and British Gas said in a news release.
"The energy-saving technology from AlertMe.com, which is based on its Smart Home platform, is cheap and easy to use and can help consumers make significant savings on their residential energy costs, year-upon-year," the release stated.
"The introduction of Home Energy Management is an exciting prospect and will help bring the home into the 21st century, saving customers money and reducing carbon emissions," said Gearoid Lane, British Gas New Energy managing director.
The system involves a broadband Internet connection at the home that allows for monitoring and adjustments even away from the residence. The kit measures and controls individual appliances and the house's overall energy use.
The release said the key features include information that allows a homeowner to check energy usage throughout the home; control, allowing the user to make changes from remote locations; and automation through a system that optimizes energy consumption.
The system has the option to let a homeowner see how much energy is being saved compared with previous periods.
The companies said the first system they will offer for trial will be an automated heating control system that enables homeowners to do such things as turn on heating before they arrive home or control it when on an extended trip. The release said this option gives the consumer the ability to adjust home heating needs for minimum energy costs without giving up comfort.
"When one considers that heating accounts for around 47 percent of total U.K. final energy consumption and 78 percent of energy use outside the transport sector, the economic and environmental potential of this technology becomes clear," said AlertMe.com Chief Executive Officer Pilgrim Beart.
British Gas New Energy and AlertMe.com said the service will be available to British Gas customers by the end of the year.