As part of war on climate change, or at least as part of the PR game of trying to look as green as possible, the Government is trying to get us all to have smart meters installed in our homes to measure our energy use.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change reckons the smart meter market is set to be worth £9bn by 2020, and one company believes it has got a head start on many of its rivals.
However, even the Aim-listed BGlobal, which manufacturers smart meters, concedes that one of the problems facing the smart meter industry is that customers can change energy provider. Utility companies are therefore reluctant to pay for the meters and leave them in the homes of people who then opt to use other providers.
The solution is to sell the meters to specialist asset investors, and last week BGlobal managed to raise £15m from Barclays Asset & Sales Finance. BGlobal’s chief executive, Tony Barnes, says the money will be used to further develop the group’s meters. The group has contracts with three major energy providers to put meters into homes.
Bglobal has also launched a new campaign for business customers seeking to comply with UK Government directives on carbon reduction.
The company, which on Friday secured £15m of financing from Barclays Asset & Sales Finance to fund a further roll-out of its products, saw its share price march higher still on Monday as it unveiled its “Energy Counts” campaign, a smart metering solution to companies’ requirement to reduce carbon emissions.
As part of the government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme, money collected from participants for carbon emission allowances will be channelled back to the participants based on their overall performance.
“Therefore, a company that achieves significant energy and carbon savings is likely to receive a payment greater than the cost of purchasing their allowances,” Bglobal said.
“The message is clear – be ready or pay the penalty. Installing Bglobal smart meters is the first step towards getting ready for the CRC challenge,” said Toby Barnes, Bglobal’s chief executive.