British Gas has rolled out 200,000 smart meters across the UK. The continuing smart meter rollout, with devices installed in homes and businesses, is aimed at showing users their energy usage in real time as well as enabling them to run energy hungry devices at cheaper times.

The number of smart meters now being used marks a significant increase from six months ago, when 80,000 were in place.

As parent group Centrica told stock markets that 2010 operating profits will be “slightly ahead of current market expectations”, it updated investors on its smart metering initiatives.

British Gas reiterated that its recently-purchased stake in smart meter data firm AlertMe was a crucial part of the smart meter strategy. AlertMe sells hardware and a service that sends electricity consumption data over the Internet, and allows users to manage and control a wide range appliances over the internet or smart phone. It has linked its system with Google's PowerMeter, which can generate graphs of electricity usage that can be viewed anywhere using a mobile phone or computer.