First Utility is an energy company with a difference. It is the first energy company to roll out smart meters to all its customers. Smart meters take automatic daily readings of your energy usage and send the information via mobile communications to the First Utility offices. As a result, customers receive 100% accurate billing and can monitor their gas and electricity usage online. Its aim is to help consumers understand their daily energy usage so that they can make small changes in their habits that will help them save energy and money.
1. What is a smart meter?
2. How much does it cost to have the meters fitted?
3. How much does it cost to maintain the meters?
4. What if the meters break?
5. What's the difference between a smart meter and an energy monitor?
6. How can I pay my bills?
7. What do the smart meters do?
8. What are the benefits of using a smart meter?
9. Will a smart meter save me money?
10. Are they easy to use - are they confusing?
11. Are they easy to use if you are elderly or have a disability?
12. How do I get the most from a smart meter?
13. I can't see my current meter very well because of where it is positioned. How easy is it to have the smart meters where you want them instead of having them hidden away?
14. Do I have to get a smart meter to join First Utility?
15. First Utility is a new company - what are its customer satisfaction levels?
A smart meter is a gas and electricity meter with an attached communication device (similar to a mobile phone) which constantly records accurate readings of energy usage (every half hour for electricity and daily for gas). Every day First Utility requests this information from the Smart Meter and it will send all of these readings through to its head office in Warwick. The information is then used to provide you with accurate bills containing easy-to-understand graphs and information. Also, customers can access their detailed usage and bill information online at any time
£0. The installation is absolutely free and won't cost you anything
<p> Again this will cost £0.
The meter is made from robust materials and has been tested, in fact First Utility hasn’t yet heard of one being broken because there is very little need to touch it.
An energy monitoring unit is a visual device that estimates how much electricity you are using at certain times of the day. Only smart meters give accurate energy bills based on actual usage.
Monthly Direct debit, you only ever pay for what you use.
a) Rather than just receiving one value every month or quarter from a standard gas or electric meter, you will now be able to receive energy consumption information at any time of day online, allowing you to better monitor your energy use. You will be able to view your electricity usage on an hourly basis and gas consumption on a daily basis.
b) Estimated readings will be a thing of the past as all Smart Meters are remotely monitored by your supplier so that they can examine when you use most power. This means that estimates will be unnecessary, your bills will be far more accurate, and you will only ever be charged for the precise amount of gas and electricity you use.
c) Because information is sent directly to your energy supplier, it will no longer need to pay to dispatch meter readers of their own, and hope to have less need for call centres set up to deal with customer queries about estimated bills. This all means savings for suppliers, and could lead to reduced energy rates for all of us.
d) The Smart Meter is a giant leap forward in meter reading technology, allowing users to see up-to-the-minute information on their energy consumption, and how much this is costing, in a detailed, but easy-to-read, graph on their online account. Here users can compare their usage by day, week or month to see where they are using most energy and highlights where they can make improvements.
They provide online visibility of your energy usage. This highlights where you use the most energy and where you waste energy which helps you make informed minor behavioural changes that can save you energy money.
Smart meters can reduce household energy bills by 5-10% - Energy Saving Trust
Not at all. First Utilty has worked very hard to ensure the information customers see is understandable, whether it's online or on the bill.
They are very simple and we are constantly looking for ways to make simpler.
Smart meters give you the data to make informed decisions on how to save energy in the home. The simple and easy graphs in your online account highlight how much energy you are using each day/hour. By making small changes in your daily habits you can really see how much energy you are saving which ultimately saves you money as well.
The smart meter in almost all cases is fitted where the existing meter is fitted. Don’t worry you’ll hardly ever have to access it. All your electricity reads are sent wirelessly to the First Utility billing centre every half hour. Gas readings are sent wirelessly once each day.
No. First Utility have an iSave tariff that can work on your current meter where you can submit regular meter readings to ensure your bills are as accurate as possible.
First Utility prides itself on customer service. The company set exceptionally high standards and expects to achieve them in every way it can.
First:Utility in the News
11th May 2009: 'Smart meters lower price of gas and electric deals'
16th October 2009: 'Gas and electricity market competition increases'
23rd October 2009: 'New gas and electricity tariff tops tables'
30th October 2009: 'Smart metering 'to cut gas and electricity bills''
Save up to £389 on your energy bills