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Londoners first to top up energy the smart way

  • British Gas customers in London trial Smart Pay As You Go meters ahead of winter  
  • New research shows more homes in London want to top up energy online
  • British Gas Smart Pay As You Go London customer, Samantha Antoine, shares her experience 

With winter on its way, British Gas customers in London with Smart Pay As You Go meters can now top up their gas and electricity online or by smartphone, as well as over the phone or at their local shop.

London is one of the first places in Britain targeted for the trial, with more than 1,000 customers now using Smart Pay As You Go meters in the city.

Customers are given a smart energy monitor, which comes with all smart meters, showing how much energy they’re using, in pounds and pence.

The monitors show the current balance and how much credit is remaining. This means customers no longer have to look at actual meters, often located outside or in hard to reach areas in the home.

Samantha Antoine, a student from London, had Smart Pay As You Go meters installed in February and wanted a more convenient way to top-up.  She said:  “Who wants to go out into the street to top up your meter? It’s not nice at all. If it’s pouring down with rain, it’s just inconvenient.”

“For me, the benefit is not having to go to the shop. I’d say that I can see what I’m spending, or I can monitor what I’m using.”

She added: “I’ve been more conscious of what electricity I am using. I need just to unplug stuff to save more money. I am finding that I’m using less, so the more that I unplug, or switch off, the more I’m saving. Whereas before, I never used to, because I didn’t know what I was using, it didn’t really register, but now it does.”

New research from British Gas surveying people in London shows:

  • The majority (94 per cent) say they go online to pay for bills, shopping, home entertainment and banking
  • More than half (59 per cent) say prepayment meters help them budget better
  • Almost a third (31 per cent) say prepayment meters help prevent them from getting into debt 

British Gas Smart Energy Expert, Lauren Vasquez, installs smart meters in homes across London. She said: “For the first time ever, customers with prepayment meters in London can see how much gas and electricity they’re using, down to the penny.

“With the colder winter weather on its way, people will be able to top up from home, rather than going to a local shop. It’s a great feeling knowing I’m helping people in my home city to top up smarter.”

Around 9,000 British Gas customers are already taking part in the trial across Britain. Around 1,000 customers were surveyed by British Gas:

  • 91 per cent say they have a better or similar overall experience using Smart Pay As You Go compared with their old meters
  • 81 per cent of customers say they prefer using the British Gas app
  • 80 per cent likely to recommend Smart Pay As You Go to a friend or family member 

British Gas has installed more than 1.7 million smart meters across Britain. By 2020, smart meters will be rolled out as standard across Britain.

For further information, visit the British Gas website: britishgas.co.uk/smart


Notes to editors

Smart Pay As You Go Meters – Top Tips:

British Gas Smart Energy Expert, Lauren Vasquez, installs smart meters in customers’ homes in London. Here, Lauren gives some top energy-saving tips:

  1. Heating and hot water - Try nudging your heating down by a degree or two.
  2. Fridge and freezer - Putting hot food the fridge is a big no-no. It wastes energy and is bad for your fridge. So just let it cool naturally first.
  3. Kettle – Cup of tea for two? Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need.
  4. Laundry - If you can, do the week's washing in one go and put a full load into the machine. And if you've got an eco-function, put that on.
  5. Electrics - Turn the lights out. If you leave a room, or don't need the lights on, flick the switch and turn them off - even if you've got energy saving light bulbs.”

 

Notes to editors

 

Sources:

  • Research completed with 1,506 UK adults aged 18+ on prepay gas or electricity meters (or both). Commissioned by British Gas and completed by Censuswide in May 2015.
  • British Gas surveyed 1,000 customers on Smart Pay As You Go meters in September 2015 around their experiences using the new meters.
  • By mid-September, more than 1000 customers in London had Smart Pay As You Go meters installed.

 

About Smart Meters

Smart meters replace existing standard gas and electricity meters and will be introduced in homes and businesses as standard by 2020. They come with a smart energy monitor that displays how much gas and electricity is being used, and its cost in pounds and pence, in near-real time. That information is shared with energy suppliers automatically, putting an end to estimated bills and meter readings for customers with credit meters, who pay by Direct Debit or quarterly by cash, cheque or debit/ credit card. British Gas is currently trialling Smart Pay As You Go with customers using prepayment meters. That will mean customers will be able to see their current balance and how much credit is remaining on the smart energy monitor. They will also be able to top up online, by smartphone App, over the phone or by visiting a local shop. British Gas is also trialling apps that enable smart meter customers to get information about their energy use on their smartphone. The information from smart meters gives customers a greater understanding of how they’re using their energy.

 

About British Gas

British Gas is the UK's leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country's homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million UK businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Home Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.

 

For more information contact:

Catrin Millar
catrin.millar@britishgas.co.uk

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.


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