Homes could cut bills thanks to personalised energy advice trial
From today, thousands of households with smart meters will receive personalised energy advice helping them cut their bills and save money.
The advice, which is tailored to the individual circumstances of each household, is part of a trial being run by British Gas and will go out to up to 10,000 of its smart meter customers over the next six months.
The Government has said that all homes must have a smart meter by 2019. Smart meters send accurate information on household energy use back to suppliers so, as well as ending estimated bills, customers will get a better understanding of when and how they use their energy. It is this information that will be used in the personalised energy efficiency advice to households around the country.
As part of the trial British Gas will investigate which types of communication most effectively motivate consumers to save energy. Up to 5,000 customers will be sent their advice through the post and the remainder will receive e-mails.
The advice being sent to customers will include:
Personalised hints and tips on how the household can cut their energy use. The advice will point out, for example if a customer leaves their boiler on during the working week. A recent analysis by British Gas showed that households who leave the boiler on whilst they are at work or away for the weekend pay an extra £140 a year.
A comparison of a household's energy use compared to other homes of a similar size in the same postcode. Customers will be able to see if they are spending more than similar properties in the area.
Give an average breakdown of where the energy is used. The advice will highlight how much the average customer spends on lighting, heating the home, heating hot water and appliances. This will show customers the areas where most savings could be made.
Dean Keeling, Managing Director of British Gas Smart Homes, said: "This is a watershed moment for smart meters in Britain. Households are under financial pressure but personalised energy efficiency advice is another way of using smart meter data to help inform customers so they can take steps to cut their bills.
"Smart meters already give customers greater control and have put an end to estimated bills. Personalised energy efficiency advice is the next piece of the jigsaw for smart meter customers".
One of the major advantages of a smart meter is that they come with a portable smart energy monitor which shows the customer how much energy they are using in pounds and pence in real time.
When combined with the monitor, personalised advice will give customers a greater awareness of how they use energy, practical tips on cutting energy use and a clear understanding of how much money they are saving as a result.
Smart data analytics from technology partner AlertMe will be used to ensure the most relevant information and advice is provided to each household in order to maximize their opportunity to reduce waste and cut bills.
The trial will last for six months with British Gas aiming to extend personalised energy efficiency advice to all its eligible smart meter customers by the start of 2013.