By Lynn Schofield, communications manager at Jersey Electricity
THE Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, which published its recommendations on the route Jersey should take to achieve carbon neutrality earlier this month, rightly acknowledged the important role energy conservation and efficiency have to play.
It called on government to develop a strategy for retrofitting residential buildings to ensure optimal energy efficiency and recommended that Building Standards and Planning laws specify carbon-neutral standards for all buildings by 2023.
Jersey Electricity has long held the belief that energy conservation and energy-saving technologies have a vital role to play in the transition to carbon neutrality and has always worked hard to help customers in this area. As well as offering a free home energy advice service by mobile customer advisers, further expert advice is available at its Smarter Living showroom, opened in 2018, to demonstrate the latest high-efficiency, low-carbon heating and hot water systems and controls.
In a further move to help customers save energy and reduce costs, JE has designed a customer app, My JE, which makes understanding and managing electricity consumption and reducing bills easier than ever before. Almost 9,000 Islanders downloaded My JE within weeks of its launch, and the verdict from users has been very positive.
JE head of customer care Brian O’Gorman said the app helped one customer to save £8 a day by quickly highlighting a fault on her heating system which would have otherwise gone undetected until they received their bill which, by then, would have been significantly inflated.
‘Because the app shows consumption in kWhs (units) and £s daily, weekly or monthly, this customer quickly noticed an unusual spike in her daily consumption from £5 to £13 and contacted us to ask what was causing it,’ said Mr O’Gorman. ‘Our data showed a large appliance was running all the time. It transpired that a fault on the immersion heater resulted in it continuously heating new cold water to replace hot water lost in a leak.’
A keen Jersey weather watcher pre-empted a warmer day and lighter winds by turning down their home’s heating thermostat and discovered, through the app, that the move had saved them £4 in just one day.
The My JE app has been made possible by the Islandwide rollout of smart meters and JE communications systems that enable the utility to relay the data the meters collect back to customers. You can also view and store bills, set weekly or monthly usage targets to better budget between quarterly bills, and compare usage between similar properties.
The app, though readily available to download from the App store or Google Play, is still under further development by JE’s own in-house billing provider JENDEV in partnership with Eliq, a leading Swedish provider of energy insights and mobile apps for utility companies.
The next step is to develop its functionality to embrace multiple-meter customers, including those on the Buy Back Tariff, three-phase customers, those with multiple premises and Pay As You Go customers.