In the UK, energy provider Scottish Gas has on Wednesday engaged in a pilot project aimed at digitalising services to its customers in Edinburgh through the introduction of ‘Smart Pay As You Go' meters.
According to a local publication, the new smart meter allows consumers to top up their gas and electricity online.
Under the pilot, Scottish Gas installed 550 Smart Pay As You Go meters and supplied smart energy monitors that allows consumers to monitor their energy balance.
The utility said the project is one of its measures to upgrade services in line with technology trends after carrying out a survey on the Edinburgh population.
The research from Scottish Gas showed that:
- The majority (91%) of respondents go online to pay for bills, shopping, home entertainment and banking
- More than half (62%) believe prepayment meters help them budget better
- Almost half (45%) believe prepayment meters help prevent getting into debt.
Scottish Gas is the Scotland-based division of UK energy provider British Gas providing electricity and gas services.
The utility has to date installed more than 25,000 credit smart meters in Edinburgh homes and more than 1.7 million across the UK in its bid to reach Europe’s targets to install smart meters in every home by 2020, Scottish Housing News reported.
The news follows one of the 'Big Six' energy suppliers E.ON's launch of its Smart Pay As You Go scheme during Q2 of 2015.
Metering & Smart Energy International reported that the scheme will allow the utility to give its customers with prepaid meters the chance to switch to smart meters and pay less.
The project aims to install smart prepaid meters to E.ONs' first 30,000 existing customers who sign up to the pilot scheme, although is likely to be rolled out fully in 2016.
According to the utility, the scheme will provide signed customers the same tariffs as post-paid households, which it claims makes bills GBP67 cheaper on average than its closest prepayment competitor.
The consumers will be able to top up using a mobile device app, online or over the phone, rather than paying cash at their local shop.