British Gas to roll out Hive in Italy
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.