AlertMe was launched in 2008 as a service enabling householders to monitor home security and energy consumption. In 2008, it achieved a turnover of £380,000 and had 29 staff.
In 2009, AlertMe made smart energy its central focus by installing 'smart plugs' in all its systems. Smart plugs communicate wirelessly with a communications hub, and can then be programmed via a secure internet connection, a television or a mobile phone. Householders can use the system to monitor and control electrical appliances. Appliances can, for example, be programmed to switch off automatically when a house is unoccupied.
The service has achieved significant commercial success - by mid-2009 the company had shipped over 15,000 AlertMe units. It has also been recognised in several awards.
AlertMe is now planning to expand its smart energy offering to cover all household energy consumption through the launch of a whole-house electricity monitor and an online heating controller. The company expects to launch this broader service by the end of 2009.
According to AlertMe, its systems are an effective substitute for smart meters, which also provide householders with detailed information on their energy usage but are unlikely to become widely available until 2020. The full system can learn average temperatures around a house as well as how long it takes to warm up or cool down. Based on this information it can optimise heating, hot water and appliance usage, saving energy and money.
The company calculates that its full smart energy service will enable consumers to save up to 25% of their domestic energy costs and reduce CO2 emissions by 1 tonne per household per year. On this basis, it reckons that the kits will pay for themselves in about a year.
In June, AlertMe announced an agreement with British Gas New Energy to trial home energy management systems. Automated heating control could be offered to British Gas customers by the end of the year.
Finalists (250+ employees)
Jones Lang LaSalle
WSP Environment & Energy
Waterman Energy, Environment & Design
Statement on agreement with British Gas New Energy