Energy management investment

January 13, 2000, 15:30 CET

NOK 6 million has been invested by Statoil in Intelli, a new Norwegian company offering domestic energy management services.

This outlay gives the group a 20 per cent interest in the enterprise, with telecommunication companies Ericsson and Telenor as co-owners.

Intelli is one outcome of an Intelligent House project launched by the three companies three years ago, and aims to build up a network of "intelligent" homes based on the internet as the communication channel.

A "smart" box supplied by the company links domestic systems managing lighting, heating and alarm functions with the service contractor's facilities.

This allows energy consumption to be managed – for instance, the hot water system can be switched off when the network is carrying its heaviest load.

"Intelli's goal is to have more than 500,000 customers in the Nordic region by 2004," says special consultant Ivar Bore in Marketing & Energy. "And we expect half of all Nordic homes to be intelligent in 2010."

In his view, the sale of smart boxes will take off in the same way as mobile phones and the internet.

The system allows people in need of nursing care to receive the services they require, for instance, allowing them to stay longer in their own homes before having to move to an institution.

"This makes the solution very interesting for local authorities," Mr Bore notes.

Energy suppliers have also shown great interest in the system, in part because it can carry out automatic meter readings.

Intelli has had 10 pilot customers in Oslo over the past year, and is currently extending these trials to private homes in the Trondheim area.