first utility shortlisted for two prestigious awards

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Thu, 06/08/2009

First Utility, the UK’s first smart meter energy supplier, has been shortlisted for two prestigious Housebuilding Innovation Awards: Best Low or Zero Carbon Initiative and Housing Product of the Year.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 5th November at the Millennium Mayfair Hotel in London.

First Utility’s entries focused on the company’s roll out of smart metered gas and electricity across the UK, working with the likes of Galliard Homes and The Andersons Group to install smart meters in over 10,000 new homes being built in the UK.

Martin Moir, Head of Sales at First Utility, said: “It’s great recognition from the house building industry to be shortlisted for these two awards.  It echoes the positive feedback our developer partners get from their customers; people like to be able to better monitor and control their energy usage, and value getting energy bills that are 100% accurate rather than the estimated bills people are offered by other providers.”

Moir continues: “First Utility’s offering is a compelling proposition for house builders and developers. It gets rid of the headache of sorting out thousands of different energy bills for all the plots on a new development as they are sold, and it also helps make new homes more energy efficient.”

Ben Roskrow, Publishing Director at Housebuilder Media, which organises the awards, said: “The Best Low or Zero Carbon Initiative and The Housing Product of the Year were both highly competitive categories with a number of entries and for first:utility to be shortlisted is a major achievement.”

Smart meters revolutionise the way in which consumers manage their energy consumption by enabling greater control; research has shown that they can reduce energy usage by 10%.

First Utility’s smart meters take automated readings of energy consumption at half-hourly intervals throughout the day; these are sent wirelessly to First Utility’s Warwick-based head office.  As a result of this up-to-date data accurate monthly bills are generated, meaning first:utility customers never receive estimated readings and there are no more surprise ‘reconciliation’ bills.

The key benefits include:

- Modern metering for modern houses without any addition costs

- Billing: first:utility provide consolidated accurate and regular billing on developments taking away the need to spend man-hours on reconciling multiple estimated bills and eliminating the probability of over/under payments on accounts.   Developers receive one monthly bill from first:utility with accurate readings and breakdown of energy use from all the meters on site.

- Smart Meters contribute to the Code for Sustainable Homes:  Smart Meters installed on each supply point will provide accurate and detailed online visibility of use every half an hour.  It is this ‘every 30 minutes’ management of energy used during construction that is recognised as the criteria contributing points towards code levels.

- Installation and project management: Each developer is assigned a first:utility dedicated New Build Manager who will make  will make proactive contact to plan meter installations in advance and react to changing circumstances. Meters are fitted within schedule by first utility’s own meter installers.

- Show home support package: first:utility works with show home staff to explain the benefits of smart energy supply and provide sales literature and handover packs.

Notes to Editors

About First Utility

First Utility is the smarter independent utilities supplier, offering electricity, gas, phone and broadband services to a range of consumer and business customers.

It is the only energy provider to provide smart meters to all its customers, and therefore the only utility company to ensure 100% accurate billing across all its services. It is through the use of smart metering technology that first:utility can empower consumers to manage their own energy consumption and bills. It is headquartered in Warwick.
www.first-utility.com

For further media information please contact:
press@first-utility.com

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