SSE smart tech partner raises $23m ahead of winter heating revolution

A German start-up that supplies smart-heating technology to millions of SSE's UK customers has raised $23m to help fund its expansion into new markets and roll out a remote monitoring system for household boilers in Britain. This latest round of fund-raising from the Munich-based company brings the total raised so far to $57m, SSE smart tech partner raises $23m ahead of winter heating revolution 1making it one of the world's best-funded smart home technology companies. Before the coming winter, SSE will use Tado's technology to monitor and diagnose common boiler problems before sending out a technician. The technology will also allow suppliers like SSE to identify a problem before customers are even aware of it.

“Because we are able to connect to the digital interface of the heating system we know up front what is going on inside the boiler - what is the water pressure, is the pump spinning, are there any error codes showing? And this will work across any manufacturer," said Christian Deilmann, chief executive of Tado. So SSE can really reduce its operating expenditure because it'll know what the problem is, which part is needed and how long it will take to fix,” he said. The technology is currently in an advanced testing phase and will be live in its final version by September.

Mr Deilmann added that it was “only a matter of time” before all households have a standard intelligent heating control, such as the ones offered by Tado and its rivals, including Nest and Hive. “This is a new market segment but we want to win this race," Mr Deilmann said. “We plan to use the new funding to expand our market leadership and develop further services for our users". Tado's intelligent technology allows people to switch off lights and turn heating on and off through their mobile phones. A further feature lets users see how much money they’re saving on energy bills.

The company has also developed a smart thermostat that connects any heating system to a smartphone app which automatically senses when a house is empty and turns down the heating to save energy.  The app monitors each room individually and tracks household movement so that when a person starts to head home, Tado reacts by warming up the house.

Tado works with energy suppliers across Europe, including SSE in the UK, with whom it signed an exclusive agreement in 2015 to supply its technology to SSE’s 9.6 million British customers. It’s also working with Telefonica's UK unit, O2, to develop a smart home system that will be available later this year. Utilities companies are increasingly looking to tap into the growing intelligent energy sector by snapping up smaller start-ups. Google bought Nest for $3.2bn in 2014, and British Gas, a unit of Centrica, acquired AlertMe in 2015.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/26/sse-smart-tech-partner-raises-23m-ahead-of-winter-heating-revolu/

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