U.K. customers support efficient energy use

Karl Wills,
Abacus  Billing
Reading, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — September 11, 2007 – A recent survey conducted by Abacus Billing, a global provider of smart meter billing and information applications, has revealed that 82% of gas, water and electricity users are concerned about the amount of energy they use at home. Of these, 68% are more concerned about the resulting environmental impact of inefficient energy use than the direct financial cost.

The survey also discovered that a worrying 79% of U.K. consumers do not think the government is doing enough generally to encourage energy efficiency.

Growing energy consumption and a heightened consumer awareness of the broader environmental impact of passive energy use are contributing to a demand for more accurate controls over energy usage patterns. The only readily deployable, mature technological solution for improving energy efficiencies, cutting utility costs and lessening environmental impact is smart meter information and billing.

Smart meters placed in businesses and homes provide more intelligence and insight for both the user and supplier into usage patterns. This information is then communicated back to utility companies where accurate, detailed, graphical usage reports and bills can be generated online in real time. With smart meters, usage can be broken down in to 15 minute sections.

Karl Wills, CEO of Abacus Billing, explains the benefit of this smarter approach to utility billing: “Smart meter billing is a strategic tool for utility companies. By using incentives such as flexible tariffs, they can induce carbon reducing behaviour change. High volume or peak-time consumption could be charged at a premium, for example. This way, as our resources become scarcer, energy suppliers can reduce their output whilst maintaining their revenue and it makes for a much fairer allocation of resources.”

Despite smart meters replacing traditional meters in projects around the world, U.K. public awareness of this environmentally beneficial household appliance remains disappointingly low – the Abacus survey revealed that only 26% of UK households are even aware of the existence of energy saving devices such as smart meters. Abacus Billing believes that EU governments will need to dramatically alter public perceptions and implement measures to promote greater use of metering data by customers and utilities to facilitate energy use reductions, especially in view of the Energy End-Use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive (ESD) 2008 mandate.

The survey of 100 respondents was undertaken in London. Abacus will announce results of an equivalent survey undertaken in the U.S. in a comparative analysis of attitudes to energy use between both countries.