Centrica, the owner of British Gas, today announced it was making a move into the Italian market with its Hive smart home devices.
The energy supplier signed a five-year partnership arrangement with Italy's Eni, which has 8m retail customers. Centrica's smart energy devices are already available in the UK, Ireland and North America.
The company will be on the lookout for similar partnerships with its connected home business going forward. Centrica aims to expand Hive’s app-controlled heat and water management technology further into new markets next year.
Nina Bhatia, the managing director of Centrica connected home, said: "Strategic partnerships are going to be increasingly important to the growth of Centrica connected home.
Through our customer knowledge, insight and experience, we understand that people want more from their energy and services provider - they want to be in control of how they run their home. Our products and services enable customers to automate their homes, manage their energy and get peace of mind.
This announcement marks the start of the expansion of Hive into Italy and other new markets during 2018.
The move is part of Centrica's plan to invest £500m in its connected home business by 2020.