Capita, Spain's Telefonica and the UK unit of CGI, formerly known as Logica, are among the winners after the Government announced the preferred suppliers for £2.8bn worth of contracts to set up and run Britain's new smart grid.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) revealed that the outsourcing group Capita had won the £175m Data and Communications Company licence. This will see it managing the data from the 53 million smart meters that will be installed in every UK home and small business between 2015 and 2020.
Britain's much-vaunted £11.7bn smart grid programme aims to help energy customers reduce gas and electricity bills by allowing them to monitor how much they are using through a smart meter in their house. It can also save energy suppliers money, because it removes the need for them to send somebody round to read the meter.
Capita will also manage some of the other preferred suppliers the Government named yesterday, such as Telefonica and Arquiva, which were selected for communications service provider licences. This will see them providing communications between smart meters and the central data base.
Decc also named CGI as the preferred bidder for the £75m licence to develop and operate systems that send messages between smart meters and utilities.
Germserv was named preferred bidder for the £10m Smart Energy Code and Administrator and Secretariat contract to maintain the code governing the use of smart meters across the energy industry.
Smart meters will form a central part of the fledgling smart grid, through which consumers will eventually be able, for example, to instruct their washing machine to start in the middle of the night, when electricity is cheaper, or to "export" excess energy generated through domestic wind turbines or solar panels to the National Grid.