British Gas, the utility company owned by FTSE 100 firm Centrica, has purchased a small stake in German broadband services group Power Plus Communications in an effort to bolster its roll-out of smart meters across the UK.
In an announcement on Wednesday morning, Centrica said that the division had invested €4.5 in cash in return for a "minority shareholding" in the German business - the exact size of the interest was not revealed.
Power Plus Comms provides broadband powerline technology for smart grid and smart metering applications. Through this investment, it will work together with British Gas to deploy its technology solutions for its customers in the UK.
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"The transaction will also enable British Gas to further expand its position in smart technology and enhance its smart metering service," the announcement said. The group said the acquisition represents another step towards facilitating the 'home of the future' "in which smart meters will help British Gas customers take greater control of their energy usage and consumption."
"British Gas is leading the roll-out of smart meters and has the largest smart meter deployment in Britain, with around 500,000 smart meters installed to date for residential and small business customers."
British Gas's Managing Director Phil Bentley said that the company wants to maintains its lead position in smart metering by driving the smart meter roll-out to "offer new, smarter ways to help customers take control of their energy usage."
"Power Plus Communications' world leading technology will enable us to connect more of our customers with smart meters, transforming their relationship with energy and helping them better manage fuel bills," he said.
By 14:48, shares were trading 0.23% higher at 315.83p.
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