First Utility launches smart metering nationally in U.K.


Mark Daeche,
Chief Executive,
First Utility
Warwick, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — October 28, 2010 – Independent U.K. energy company First Utility has launched its smart meter offering as well a new tariff, Smart as Standard, nationwide, enabling households across the nation to obtain a smart meter for free and to take advantage of its benefits.

First Utility claims its Smart as Standard tariff, which is available for dual fuel only, is now the cheapest of all the standard tariffs.

Citing research by YouGov for the company, First Utility says that while the government has plans in place to rollout 47 million smart meters by 2020, there is currently high consumer demand for smart meters being installed across homes much sooner, with 48 percent of UK consumers wanting to have smart meters within the next 12 months,.

Furthermore, the research found that an overwhelming majority of energy customers (70 percent) think their energy provider should foot the bill for implementing the smart meter technology.
Since its launch in September 2008, First Utility has built its customer base to 45,000 to become the largest non “Big Six” energy supplier. Due to the high level of demand, the company says it had to undertake a phased, regional approach to its smart meter rollout. This is now being extended nationwide with national smart meter installation partner, Onstream, a National Grid company.
“Today marks a significant milestone at First Utility,” commented First Utility chief executive Mark Daeche. “Households across the U.K. can now take advantage of the benefits that smart meters bring. We know that this smart meter rollout is definitely answering a consumer demand and we are pleased to be able to provide a real alternative in the energy marketplace.”

The YouGov research also highlighted issues that consumers face when it comes to their bills. Over half (51%) cited accuracy on a bill as one of the ways they would like their energy bill to be improved, and more than four in ten (42%) people would find being able to access a greater level of detail on their energy usage and spend as an improvement.

First Utility’s smart electric meters provide half-hourly readings and the smart gas meters daily readings of consumption. Smart as Standards customers also are able to access Google PowerMeter.

According to First Utility more than half of its customers who have been surveyed believe that their smart meter and access to energy usage information had led to a change in their behaviour.