Smart meter installation firm Smart Metering Systems (SMS) has bolstered its position within the market by acquiring two of its rivals and securing two further contracts.
SMS announced on Monday that it is to acquire CH4 Gas Utility and Trojan Utilities, as well as IT solutions firm Qton Solutions, for a total consideration of £6.89 million.
The company said the two acquisitions would increase SMS’ activity in the industrial and commercial smart metering market, within which it is looking to strengthen its position.
CH4 will add around 100 engineers and 60 contractors, while Trojan Utilities’ network of 80 smart gas and electric engineers will enhance SMS’ reach in the market.
Alan Foy, chief executive at SMS, said that the deals would help the company realise its strategy of controlling a “large proportion” of its installation capacity.
“This will provide confidence to customers in our delivery model for the new domestic smart metering market. In addition, the acquisition of Qton Solutions allows us to gain direct control and ownership of all software applications used by SMS.
“We are delighted to welcome the employees of the three businesses and look forward to working with them,” Foy added.
The news was followed this morning by the company revealing it had signed a framework agreement with Ecotricity to deploy and finance smart meters across its entire UK portfolio, for which it will install around 50,000 dual fuel systems over the coming year.
Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said the deal would “kick-off” its “ambitious” smart meter deployment programme which aims to provide smart meters to all of its customers within two years.
“Smart meters are key to moving the energy industry into the 21st century. We see them at the heart of a Smart Home and a Smart Grid – and an energy system that’s customer and environment centric.
“Our customers will have a much better understanding of how much energy they are using and when, with access to real time data via the Ecotricity app. We’re looking forward to the end of estimated bills and the whole meter reading charade, and accounts that are always bang up-to-date – no sudden surprises either way,” he said.
The next year looks set to be crucial for the government’s smart metering programme as it looks to finally ramp-up deployment. The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s long-standing target of deploying smart meters for every home and business by 2020 remains at risk of being missed, having only installed little more than 2 million to date.