British Gas trials prepay units in consumers homes

british%20gasBritish Gas has launched the first online tariff for prepayment meters and is testing 10,000 new pay-as-you-go units in consumers’ homes.

It is hoped that the move will help tackle fuel poverty. It follows yesterday’s (June 24) meeting between the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform’s select committee and bosses from the “big six” energy suppliers.

The EnergyPOINT units are self-installed and plug into a phone line. Each unit dials a freephone number that connects to the consumer’s bank. Money is then deducted from the bank account and credited to the electricity key on the device. It is hoped the units will be made widely available to consumers this summer.
Patrick New, British Gas head of commercial for Pay As You Go Energy, says the units will help consumers to keep track of spending and he expects that they will be especially attractive to working people or those with children.

British Gas claims that the new tariff, Click Pay As You Go Energy, will save prepayment customers 6% compared to offline prices. The utility giant is the first energy retailer to offer in-home electricity top up units.

British Gas has 2 million Pay As You Go Energy customers and is piloting a trial of prepayment smart meters in Manchester. Its rival e.on began a trial of 7,000 energy saving smart meters in consumers’ homes in April this year (MW April 3).

The BERR select committee launched its inquiry into the energy market in May this year. It is understood that prepayment meters were one of the areas discussed in yesterday’s meeting.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here