U.K. smart meter start-up secures funding


Joel Hagan,
Chief Executive,
London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — April 2, 2008 – U.K. smart energy meter start-up Onzo has announced that it has secured £2 million in funding from energy company Scottish and Southern (SSE) and investment firm Sigma Capital Group, and has pledged to begin production of its energy display units by quarter four.

Under the deal, SSE and Sigma are to invest £1 million each in the company to fund the final phase of the development process and will both provide non-executive directors who will join Onzo’s board. SSE has also placed initial orders worth more than £7 million for Onzo’s energy display products and data services and has secured exclusive rights to provide the technology to its customers in the UK and Ireland.

Onzo’s technology provides users with a display unit featuring real time information on their energy use as well as detailed long term energy use data that can be delivered through their quarterly bills or accessed online.

Onzo chief executive Joel Hagan explains that the technology features complex algorithms that analyze energy use patterns and provide users with detailed information on which electrical appliances are using the most energy and at which times.

"The algorithms mean it is capable of providing information on energy use down to the appliance level and can also give that information in terms of energy used, carbon emissions generated or financial cost," he says.

The company will initially focus on installing the technology for domestic customers, but Hagan says that unmodified versions of the meters would work just as effectively for small businesses.

David Gardner, head of ventures at SSE, says that the company hoped the deal would give it an edge over its rivals.

"Energy customers have a growing expectation that their supplier will provide new ways to help them reduce their energy consumption, and in the future this could become an important service differentiator," he says.