British Gas deploys 1.5m smart meters and trials app

British Gas Smart Meter Challenge results
British Gas has launched a number of consumer engagement initiatives including the Smart Meter Challenge where customers such as London-based Manju Parmar (above) wrote a blog based on their experiences of monitoring energy use

In the UK, one of the Big Six energy suppliers involved in the UK smart meter rollout has confirmed it has installed 1.5 million units.

Gas and electricity supplier British Gas has installed 500,000 units since June 2014, some of which are offering time-of-use tariffs.

Managing director of British Gas Smart Metering Jorge Pikunic said the company is trialling a tariff that gives customers a choice of free electricity on Saturdays or Sundays, reports Energy Live Network.

British Gas’ smart meter app

British Gas is also trying out new apps for smart meter customers information that display energy usage information.

Customers in the southern county of Bedfordshire are roadtesting the free app, My Energy, which gives the same data as displayed on the in-home display, according to a local media report.

The app displays 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 will be put out nationwide extended nationwide later this year, when any British Gas customers upgrading to smart meters will be able to choose between having the app or the physical in-home display.

Striking over smart meter installation hours

Meanwhile, another major UK energy supplier EDF Energy is facing strike action from staff in a dispute over pay cuts, job losses and extended working hours to install smart meters.

Unite, the union that represents meter readers and fixers, office staff and managers, has called a two-day strike next Wednesday and Thursday.

It is accusing the company of backtracking on an agreement last year to protect current staff.

Unite adds employees have had to work longer hours for the smart meter programme but claims EDF Energy has withdrawn the London allowance “which could mean a pay cut of up to GBP 6,000”.

Under the government’s smart meter rollout, around 53 million gas and electricity meters are expected to be installed in homes and small businesses by 2020.

Onay Kasab, Unite Regional Officer said: “EDF Energy is failing to abide by last year’s agreement whereby current staff would not be adversely affected by the company’s programme to introduce smart metering.”