In this live studio interview at European Utility Week 2014, Engerati speaks to Jorge Pikunic, Managing Director Smart Metering, British Gas about the UK smart meter rollout, The British Gas Smart Energy Report and innovation in the industry.
British Gas leading smart meter rollouts
Pikunic points out that the smart meter rollout in the UK continues to make good progress, with British Gas in the lead. British Gas has already installed over 1.5 million meters, of which over a million have been installed in residential properties. The meters offer customers the following benefits:
1.More accurate bills
2. Transparency and control- Customers have access to their consumption information which helps them control consumption better though the newly released British Gas Smart Energy Report. Customers spend on average 4-5 minutes on line to view their consumption and gain efficiency tips.
3. New propositions to customers- Half hourly meter reads for time of use tariffs. Customers can also connect remotely to the meter which will help make the pre-payment process easier and more convenient for the customer.
4. New technologies such as the smart grid, demand side response and big data
Focused on service
Pikunic explains that British Gas has always been service-focused and their participation in smart home energy management (HIVE) and smart meter rollouts is testimony to this. “With new and innovative technology, we intend to help consumers do a lot more as far as energy consumption and management goes.”
Many parties are entering the energy sector which is calling for more and more innovation. Pikunic says that British Gas is ready to evolve and welcome these new entrants and change into the market.
Pikunic points out that British Gas understands the importance of keeping their customers happy and is therefore shifting from a generalised approach to customer service to a more individual approach as this will create more convenience for the customer, thereby building trust in the utility. Consumption data (from smart meters especially) will give more insight into customers’ needs and this will help British Gas provide the appropriate services to individual customers.