Evolving energy legislation and millennium efficiency targets are evidence that energy security and sustainability are an on-going concern worldwide. Government mandates and policy dictate the manner in which the electricity market operates. This has translated into energy providers being required to provide residential customers with detailed consumption feedback in an effort to raise awareness around household electricity usage and cost. Utilities, particularly in the developed world, are seeking to transform electricity and gas from a low-interest commodity to one that generates dynamic interaction between the distribution company and the customer.
Countries such as Ireland, Australia and the US have looked at using customer billing, amongst other smart meter-related technologies, as a platform to educate customers on their consumption. The billing structure in each country may differ, but the extent to which electricity usage has been reduced is synonymous with the comprehensiveness of the bills and the frequency with which they are sent to customers. Enhancing bills can be a costeffective method of reaching the customer base as a whole or for targeting certain groups, making it an excellent tool to help utilities assist their customers to improve their energy management. It is worthwhile considering the impact of smart billing across different geographical contexts and where smart meters have acted as the pre-cursor to smart billing.