New energy platform to revolutionise metering and billing of heat networks

Grant Prior 3 months ago

A new smart energy app and portal that gives heat network customers greater control of their energy consumption and spend has been launched by Vital Energi, helping service operators at one pilot project to reduce debt by 12.5% in under 6 months.

Named Glass, the software gives heat network users the visibility and control to better manage their energy and allows users to top-up or pay their bills anytime, anywhere.

Additionally, heat network operators can access energy consumption and financial data via a dedicated portal that allows them to better serve customers and optimise network performance.

Housing associations, local authorities, developers and other service managers can view data across multiple sites as well as individual properties.

This can help identify and proactively support residents by providing energy saving and payment advice to reduce debt and ensure bills are paid on time. 

Operators and service managers will be able to send payment reminder alerts and notifications to residents through the app to help aid their financial management, and recent pilot schemes have shown Glass has helped improve revenue collection by up to 44% within weeks of being implemented.

Since 27th November of this year, the Government’s new Heat Metering & Billing Regulations has ensured that energy customers only pay for what they consume. Glass will give users and operators the ability to view real time consumption data and support operators in achieving compliance.

Ian Whitelock, Chief Executive Officer at Vital Energi, said: “Glass integrates our comprehensive district heating expertise and understanding into one user-friendly platform. We’ve already received strong initial feedback from our pilot projects and we’re confident that the app’s functionality is significantly greater than any similar tool in the market.

“We recognise that, more than ever, people need the ability to manage their energy use effectively, in a manner that is easy to understand and simple to use. For residents who use a pay-as-you-go and credit billing energy supply, the ability to review and pay bills instantly from home using a smart device or online portal is something we’re really proud of. 

The platform also delivers significant benefits to heat network operators, by providing greater data visibility that improves energy efficiency and reduces debt risk. Glass can be easily retrofitted to properties using our new vPort solution which makes previously difficult data, visible and accessible using modern communication.”

Glass has been successfully trialled across four projects being delivered by Vital Energi, and it is currently working with residential rental company UNCLE to support over 200 properties as part of a £100m build-to-rent development at Wembley. 

From early next year, Glass will support 137 homes to manage and reduce their energy use at Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters as part of a £5bn regeneration project to transform the city’s northern docks.

The project will provide heat both for homes and commercial space connected to Peel L&P’s Mersey Heat district heat network, with the potential for 9,000 homes to benefit from the software over the coming years.

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