LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - July 5, 2012) - The UK's largest independent gas and electricity supplier, First Utility (http://www.first-utility.com/), has partnered with Opower to launch a brand new service to give its 100,000 customers a clear picture of their energy consumption.
The service, My Energy, is a European first: a tool which allows consumers to compare their gas and electricity usage with that of like-for-like homes in their area* and receive personalised tips to help their household save gas and electricity. It is believed My Energy could save UK households up to £1.7 billion and 3 million tonnes of carbon over a three year period**.
Academic research by Dr. Robert Metcalfe of the University of Oxford and Professor Paul Dolan of the London School of Economics, identifies that energy consumption is reduced by around 5 per cent over a month after consumers receive information with their bills comparing their energy usage to their neighbours'. Consumption dropped still further when personalised advice was included in the bills. Metcalfe notes that, "information on small steps to change behaviour may have to be provided with energy statements to obtain long-lasting change."
All First Utility customers now have access to secure information detailing how their energy usage compares to similar houses in their neighbourhoods, together with personalised tips on how to reduce energy consumption. My Energy encourages customers to drive down their own personal consumption. Over the coming months, further functionality will be added, including an unusual usage alert, allowing customers to receive emails and SMS messages to warn them when their energy usage is higher than normal. Future developments will also include elements such as text message reminders to alert people to turn down their thermostats when warmer weather is forecast.
Ian McCaig, CEO of First Utility, commented at the event to launch My Energy: "First Utility's mission has always been to change the relationship consumers have with their energy consumption by bringing innovative and game-changing services and propositions to market. We were the first energy company in the UK to roll out smart meter technology to all customers almost four years ago, enabling accurate billing free of estimates and giving customers greater visibility of their energy usage than ever before. With My Energy, we have another first!"
Alex Laskey, President and Founder of Opower, added: "The Opower platform is the only scalable energy software for the utility industry that helps customers save energy and money. To date, our utility programmes have saved customers over $140 million across 10 million households. With First Utility and its launch of My Energy we are expecting to see similar results here in the UK and, most importantly, customers will be able to make insightful decisions about their energy consumption."
About First Utility
First Utility is the smarter independent utilities supplier, offering electricity and gas services to a range of consumer and business customers. It is the only energy provider to rollout smart meters to all its customers, throughout the UK. It is through the use of smart metering technology that First Utility can empower consumers to manage and reduce their own energy consumption and bills. First Utility is headquartered in Warwick. To find out more, visit www.first-utility.com.
Opower is the leader in energy information software, providing the utility industry's only cross-channel platform proven to drive energy efficiency gains on a large scale. Using cutting-edge behavioral science and patent-pending analytics, the Opower platform enables utilities to provide targeted energy data and advice to each customer. Over 70 utilities-including 8 of the 10 largest in the U.S. - partner with Opower to improve the effectiveness of their energy-efficiency portfolios and motivate their customers to become more energy efficient, while dramatically increasing the level of customer engagement and overall customer satisfaction. For more information, please visit www.opower.com.
*First Utility customers' home energy usage is compared to 100 nearby, occupied homes with similar characteristics. These comparisons allow First Utility customer to understand how their energy use stacks up against other similar First Utility homes, and find opportunities to save.
**Based on all UK households adopting My Energy.