masterzphotofo - Fotolia
British Gas is trialling a new smartphone app that enables smart meter customers to check information on their energy usage in real time.
The app, called my energy live, is being tested in Bristol, Reading and Wiltshire ahead of a nationwide trial later this year, at which point British Gas’ 1.5 million smart meter customers will be given the choice between using the app or the physical in-home display.
The app takes all the information made available on an in-home smart meter display and makes it available over a live feed on a smartphone or tablet.
It shows customers how much energy they are using, what it is costing them, and gives a predicted daily energy spend by day, week or month. It also allows them to set daily budgets for gas and electricity. It also supports multiple devices on one customer account, said British Gas, enabling more than one member of a household to keep track of energy use and budgets.
Developed by British Gas’ Connected Homes team – the same people behind Hive Active Heating – my energy live is being billed by the utility as the latest in a series of innovations designed to give customers more visibility and control of their energy use.
In July 2014, the firm announced a £500 million investment in connected homes after selling more than 200,000 of its Hive devices. It also plans to offer smart lighting, motion sensors and plugs, and is trialling an internet-connected boiler.
One Bristol resident who has been testing my energy live in recent weeks said she was using it to gain more insight into her energy use and see where she could make savings.
Read more about smart meters
- The Institute of Directors has weighed in on the controversial smart meter roll-out and called for the scheme to be halted, altered or scrapped in its current form.
- In video, head of SAP practice at Tata Consultancy Services explains why British Gas' smart meter project required upgrading SAP logistics software.
- A report from the Energy and Climate Change Committee has warned that plans to install smart meters across the UK by 2020 are veering off track.
“The best example of this is when I use the tumble dryer,” she said. “Through the app, I can now keep an eye on how much energy it is using in pounds and pence, and therefore decide how much I want to spend on that particular chore.”
British Gas smart energy expert Matthew Wright added: “Customers with smart meters can see exactly how much energy they are using, almost as they use it. It also means an end to meter readings and estimated bills.”