Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

British Gas tests smart meter app in Bristol

Steve Rogerson
August 25, 2015
 
British Gas customers in Bristol are among the first to try My Energy Live, a smartphone energy app, ahead of a nationwide roll-out. Customers with smart meters who are trialling the free app in Bristol can see how much they’re spending on energy anywhere, at any time.
 
The app shows customers the same information traditionally displayed on the in-home display, provided when smart meters are installed. They can now see the exact cost of the gas and electricity they are using, in pounds and pence, via a live feed display on a smartphone.
 
The app lets customers see how much home appliances are costing, gives a predicted daily energy spend and total of how much energy is being used by day, week or month. The trial started with customers in Bristol last month and will be extended nationwide later this year. Then, any British Gas customers upgrading to smart meters will be able to choose between having the app or the physical in-home display.
 
Sally-Anne, who lives with her two sons in Bristol, is one of the first to trial the app. She said: "Since I began to use my energy live, I've got more clarity about my energy use. The app allows me to monitor the energy we're using simply by looking at my phone. It gives us a starting point and from there we can work out ways of lowering our energy use.
 
“The best example of this is when I use the tumble dryer. Through the app I can now keep an eye on how much energy it is using in pounds and pence, and therefore decide how much I want to spend on that particular chore. Another thing it's really useful for, is if I'm at home on my own and can see that there's a spike in usage. As it's portable, I can walk around the house, phone in hand and see what's been left on and go and switch it off.”
 
Matthew Wright, a smart energy expert at British Gas, said: "Customers with smart meters can see exactly how much energy they’re using, almost as they use it; it also means an end to meter readings and estimated bills. My Energy Live is ideal for people who like to manage their household costs by smartphone. The added bonus is that the account can be downloaded on more than one smartphone, giving even more flexibility to customers.”
 
By 2020, smart meters will be rolled out as standard across Britain. British Gas has already installed more than 1.5 million smart meters in customers’ homes.
 
When a customer has their smart meters installed by British Gas, they will be given the choice of having their energy information displayed on either a physical smart energy monitor or the My Energy Live app. If the customer selects the app, British Gas will help the customer download it to their smartphone and connect it to their home’s smart meters
 
• British Gas installed its 1.5 millionth smart meter at the home of Leicester customer Mrs Pyecroft from Whitwick. More than 25,000 smart meters have been installed by British Gas at homes in the city.
 
“We’ve taken the lead in giving our customers greater levels of control and insight into their energy use through smart meters,” said Jorge Pikunic, managing director of British Gas Smart Metering. “But we’re not stopping there – we’re continuing to innovate in smart-enabled technology. We’re already trialling a tariff that gives people the choice of having free electricity on Saturdays or Sundays along with new apps that give our smart meter customers information about their energy use on their phone.”