British Gas has announced a €4.5 million (£3.6 million) investment in a German technology company that provides broadband power line technology for smart metering applications.

The investment in Power Plus Communications (PPC) earns British Gas a minority stake in the company, as well as a seat on the German company’s board.

PPC, founded in 2002, provides a broadband technology that transmits data over existing power lines for smart grid and smart metering solutions.

As part of the investment, British Gas will work with Power Plus Communications to develop and deploy technology solutions for its UK customers, and enhance its smart metering service.

British Gas currently has the largest smart meter deployment in the UK, with around 500,000 meters installed to date in homes and small businesses.

Phil Bentley, managing director at British Gas, said: “Power Plus Communications’ world leading technology will enable us to connect more of our customers with smart meters, helping them better manage fuel bills.”

Earlier this year, British Gas admitted that it would have to replace some of the smart meters it had installed after the government published new technical requirements for the devices.