Community heating smart metering specialist Switch2 Energy has won a top industry award for customer service.
The company has won the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) Customer Engagement Award for its smart metering partnership with Sheffield City Council.
Switch2’s smart metering technology is being used by Sheffield City Council to dramatically cut customer bills and reduce energy consumption across 6,000 homes connected to its district heat network. On average residents are saving 38% on their annual heating bills since the introduction of meters. The technology is predicted to reduce residents’ annual heating bills by a total of £1.4 million.
In 2013, Sheffield City Council appointed Switch2 to roll out pay-as-you-go smart prepayment metering across thousands of unmetered properties connected to its city-wide district heat network.
Previously, residents had paid a set weekly amount, irrespective of how much energy they used. The challenge for Switch2 in conjunction with Sheffield City Council was to educate and reassure residents of the potential cost and environmental savings they could make by using G6 smart pay-as-you-go metering, and to educate them on how to use the technology and maximise their savings.
Switch2 devised and implemented a major multilingual customer engagement programme, starting with initial information meetings. Resident Liaison Officers were appointed and trained to assist Switch2’s team with implementing seamless project delivery, involving resident meetings and information days, distribution of information, and door-to-door support visits.
Kirsty Lambert, Director of Switch2 said: “Transparency and fairness in customer service are so important in delivering successful district heating schemes and we are proud to receive this award for our partnership with Sheffield City Council. The feedback we have had from residents is very positive, but the hard evidence of the project’s success is the huge cost and carbon savings that are being achieved.”
The Switch2 G6 pay-as-you-go energy meter takes energy prepayment to a new level. It uses smart wireless technology to enable residents to pay for their heat at their convenience – via the internet or smartphone app, by phone, or any PayPoint location. The technology includes a graphical in-home display to show residents how much energy they are using – helping them to monitor and reduce consumption and save money.
Switch2 has more than 35 years experience of smart metering and billing for the community energy and district heating sector. The company remotely manages and monitors its smart meters from its UK customer service centre, which offers complete billing and administration services.