How energy insights can help amidst rising prices in the UK
Since the 1st of April, the updated price cap on energy prices came into force in the UK with a whopping 54% increase hitting customers' pockets. This staggering number projects that by October 2022 UK energy bills could rise to 3,000 GBP from the current numbers between £1,277 (€1,544) and £1,370 (€1,656) per year. In fact, according to new research by British Gas, almost one in three Brits (28%) are stressed about paying this year’s energy bills. With this in mind, it is not surprising that customers are looking for more ways to control their energy usage and save costs.
Prevent bill shock and fuel poverty
The numbers of people driven to fuel poverty are worrisome; the National Energy Action in the UK said that high wholesale prices pulling domestic bills in the UK would put 8,5 million households in serious financial difficulty, twice the number of last year. Thus, many people are looking for advice on how to deal with the upcoming increases and how to control their energy consumption.
Citizen’s Advice, UK’s national charity, said that many people visit their pages with a particular interest in guides on helping pay energy bills or how to manage their expenses. Economical solutions to control energy spending include pre-paid meters or fixed contracts. In practice, these solutions don’t really pay back because energy retailers have pulled the prices of all the cheaper fixed-rate energy tariffs, or are offering them at costs way above the price cap. Plus, these solutions don't satisfy customers' expectations to understand how and when they consume energy.
Jamie Scott, Senior Account Executive at NET2GRID, remarked on the plight that UK citizens are facing. ‘’Rising energy prices and the impact they are having on the overall cost of living crisis are daily headline news. The phrase ‘heat or eat’ is a genuine concern for many and the fear of bill shock is pushing them to already make drastic changes to their energy consumption without an understanding of what impact it will have” he says. “Helping consumers to save energy and take control of their bills has never been more important.”
Implement energy insights
As the actual amount paid still depends on how much energy is used in the home, utility companies will need to find better ways to understand and cut down on energy usage. On top of governmental and energy retailers’ assistance to ease customers’ pain, a sustainable alternative is to provide energy insights for the household’s energy consumption from smart meter data. NET2GRID’s solution ‘’Customer Engagement’’ allows utility customers to have greater transparency of their costs and spending habits. To customers struggling with affordability, debt, and the overall burden of utility bills, alerting them when there is unusually high consumption would help from unnecessarily high costs. NET2GRID, with its Machine Learning algorithms, helps to determine household energy consumption and suggests personalized and actionable insights. Some of the key energy insights features include:
Identifying energy activities such as laundry, cooking, and lighting
Monitor which part of energy activities are in the final bill
Project next month’s bill for greater transparency and to avoid bill shocks
Self-comparison abilities to help customers set goals to assist financial management & sustainability
’’Solutions like NET2GRID’s customer engagement are key to enabling responsible energy retailers to provide this insight and support to their vulnerable customers. Taking it one step further and with the same data, energy retailers can enhance their customer intelligence so that can guide those fortunate enough to be able to invest in their electrification journey. Being able to support both ends of the spectrum is something that is extremely valuable and has a pivotal role to play at the heart of the energy transition,’’ Scott concludes.