Newport City Homes (NCH) and Switch2 have won a national award for their joint success in tackling fuel poverty. The joint project was voted ‘Best Initiative to Combat Fuel Poverty‘ at the Association of Gas Safety Managers (AGSM) Supplier Excellence Awards.
More than 750 homes connected to NCH’s Duffryn district heating scheme have halved their energy consumption by using Switch2 Energy’s G6 smart energy pay-as-you-go meters. Previously, residents paid a fixed weekly charge for their heating and hot water, but now they have control over their usage and costs, which allows them to budget better and save money.
Since implementing the smart pay-as-you-go meters, annual gas consumption at the Duffryn biomass boiler plant has reduced by around 50%, with a saving of around 2,032 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Kirsty Lambert, director of Switch2 said: “Our partnership with Newport City Homes is providing affordable heat to residents and lifting them out of fuel poverty. The Switch2 G6 pay-as-you go system provides a transparent and convenient system, enabling residents to budget better and to see in an instant how much energy they are using to heat their homes. This is encouraging residents to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint.”
Andrew Lloyd, energy and compliance manager for Newport City Homes, commented: “Our residents told us that they wanted to pay for what they used and wanted flexibility using the system. The Switch2 meters have helped us achieve this. It’s a great example of how partnership working can deliver spectacular results for residents.”
Andrew added “Residents can time their heating and hot water and control each room with thermostatic radiator valves fitted to each radiator. The meters give the residents greater control to use their heating how they want to.”
Commenting on her experience of using the G6 prepayment smart meter, resident Pauline Woods said: “I’m a fan of it. I like the fact that I can be in control. I can put money in it when I want to and see how much I’ve spent.”
The G6 meter makes pay-as-you-go energy more customer friendly. It uses smart wireless technology to replace the traditional corner shop/token-based system. Residents can instead ‘top-up’ online, by a smartphone app, by phone, or any PayPoint location. The technology includes a graphical display to show residents how much energy they are using – helping them to 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 provides complete billing and administration services.
NCH also won the AGSM Renewable Project of the Year Award for its Duffryn biomass district heating scheme. The woodchip used to fuel the system is farmed from a sustainable forest, so every tree cut down is replaced with a sapling.