RWE npower embarks on smart prepayment metering trial


London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — October 29, 2007 – RWE npower, the U.K.’s largest electricity company supplying gas, electricity and related services to around 6.8 million customers, has announced trials of a central prepayment energy service. The utility will be assisted by LogicaCMG, an IT and business services company. Over the six-month pilot programme.

LogicaCMG’s Instant Energy smart metering service is currently allowing prepayment customers involved in the trial to manage their energy usage on a ‘Pay As You Go’ 24/7 basis. The Instant Energy service facilitates real time communication with customers’ meters using SMS messaging. It enables customers to top up their credit, using the same technology as pay-as-you-go mobile phones, ensuring that the consumer is in control and fully aware of how much credit is on their meter.

There are business and customer benefits to be reaped from the Instant Energy Service. Customer benefits include:

  • Better service, as energy can now be bought in a shop, online, via text message
  • Greater visibility of usage
  • Tariff changes can be made automatically ensuring that the customer pays the correct price and does not get into debt unexpectedly.

Business benefits include:

  • Improved customer proposition
  • Improved operational effectiveness
  • Greater capability to trial new offerings outside Business As Usual systems and processes.

Jane Franklin, commercial metering manager, RWE npower commented: “The advantages of smart metering have been recognized by the government and this is a clear step towards smart metering becoming a reality. This trial is the perfect opportunity to test new offerings to our customers with our partners LogicaCMG and Onstream, both of whom have an excellent and proven reputation in the field of smart metering. The success of this trial is key for us, given the importance of smart metering in the government’s energy strategy.”

Rich Hampshire, principal consultant, energy and utilities, LogicaCMG UK said: “We are very excited to be working with RWE npower, who is clearly committed to ensuring the best service and competitive price for its customers. LogicaCMG has worked with the majority of major UK energy and utility companies to ensure that the solution delivers a step change to the experience of this customer group and exceed the suppliers’ expectations of future services. Energy companies are now able to realize the operational benefits of smart metering technology and the debate has now shifted from the reasons for the deployment of smart meters to the speed of their rollout.”