By Lynn Schofield, Communications Manager at Jersey Electricity
The Climate Change Citizens’ Assembly, which published its recommendations earlier this month on the path Jersey should take to become carbon neutral, has rightly recognized the important role that energy conservation and efficiency must play.
It called on the government to develop a strategy for retrofitting residential buildings to ensure optimal energy efficiency and recommended that building codes and planning laws set carbon neutral standards for all buildings by 2023.
Jersey Electricity has long believed that energy conservation and energy saving technologies play a critical role in the transition to carbon neutrality and has always worked hard to help customers in this area. In addition to free energy advice at home by mobile customer advisors, the Smarter Living Showroom, which opened in 2018, offers further competent advice to demonstrate the latest highly efficient and low-CO2 heating and hot water systems and controls.
To help customers save energy and reduce costs, JE created a customer app called My JE that makes it easier than ever to understand and manage electricity usage and cut bills. Almost 9,000 islanders downloaded My JE within a few weeks of its launch and user ratings have been very positive.
Brian O’Gorman, director of customer care at JE, said the app helped a customer save £ 8 a day by quickly highlighting a bug in their heating system that would otherwise have gone undetected until they received their bill, which by then would have been considerably inflated.
“As the app shows consumption in kWhs (units) and £ s daily, weekly or monthly, this customer quickly noticed an unusual increase in her daily consumption from £ 5 to £ 13 and contacted us to inquire about the cause,” said Mr. O’Gorman. “Our data showed that a large device was running all the time. It turned out that a fault with the immersion heater caused it to keep heating new cold water to replace the hot water lost through a leak. ‘
An avid weather watcher in Jersey anticipated a warmer day and lighter winds by turning down the heating thermostat in his house and discovering through the app that moving had saved him £ 4 in just one day.
The My JE app was made possible by the island-wide rollout of smart meters and JE communication systems that allow the utility company to return the data collected by the meters to customers. You can also view and save bills, set weekly or monthly usage goals to get a better budget between quarterly bills, and compare usage between similar properties.
The app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play, but is being further developed by JE’s own billing provider JENDEV in collaboration with Eliq, a leading Swedish provider of energy information and mobile apps for utilities.
The next step is to develop the functionality to include multi-meter customers, including buyback customers, three-phase customers, multi-location customers, and pay-as-you-go customers.