Bri­tish Gas to roll out Hive in Italy

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Jil­lian Am­brose

BRI­TISH Gas is set to roll out its Hive smart home de­vices into the Euro­pean mar­ket be­fore the end of win­ter through a ma­jor deal with one of Italy’s largest house­hold sup­pli­ers.

The smart en­ergy gad­gets, al­ready in 660,000 homes in the UK and the US, will be of­fered to the 8m cus­tomers sup­plied by the re­tail arm of Ital­ian gas gi­ant Eni. Bri­tish Gas, which is owned by Cen­trica, plans to pair up with more ma­jor Euro­pean sup­pli­ers as a foothold into re­gional mar­kets for Hive smart home tech­nolo­gies across the Con­ti­nent.

Nina Bha­tia, who runs Cen­trica’s con­nected home busi­ness, said the prod­ucts will be avail­able in Italy in the first quar­ter of next year and other mar­kets are ex­pected to open up in 2018.

Hive is fac­ing stiff competition in its at­tempt to cor­ner the emerg­ing mar­ket for smart home de­vices from Google’s Nest ther­mo­stat and Ger­man com­pany Tado, but Ms Bha­tia said that by part­ner­ing with trusted sup­plier brands with large cus­tomer bases Hive is more likely to be wel­comed into homes.

The ex­pan­sion is part of a £500m bet by Cen­trica on the growth of the con­nected home mar­ket.

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