British Gas boosts micro-energy strategy with eco boiler launch

MicrogenerationUtility giant British Gas is launching the UK’s first micro-combined heat (micro-CHP) boiler in the consumer market. The utility company will market it as a unit that can generate electricity and as a result heat, therefore helping to make savings on energy bills and cut CO2 emissions by 20%.

The boiler will be available from 2009, and will join a portfolio of “microgeneration” products that the company plans to market next year. British Gas has signed a distribution deal with its maker, Baxi Group.

British Gas launched a range of wind turbines and solar panels to allow consumers to generate their own energy in March this year. The products can now be installed without planning permission after changes in legislation that came into force on April 6. The company is also launching smart meters, which tell consumers how much energy they are using.

The utility giant says about 1.5 million boilers are replaced every year in the UK. It forecasts the new boiler could take up to 30% of the market.

Last month, the energy company appointed HBOS marketer Rick Vlemmiks as marketing director, as Chris Jansen was promoted to a senior commercial and strategy-oriented role (MW October 23).

At the start of this year, British Gas said it planned to double its 2008 advertising spend to 70m, following price hikes. It launched a brand campaign to encourage consumers to fill in its Energy Savers’ report in February (MW February 21).

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