Technology has become seamlessly integrated into our daily lives, with apps for almost everything we can think of. We can get a parcel delivered to our door, order a taxi or order food in a restaurant, all in the blink of an eye from an app.
With energy companies however, it still feels as if we have to wait for a letter to come through the door or spend half an hour on hold just to find out what our energy bill is. Fortunately, there are some energy companies that are in the twenty-first century, leading the way on technology and customer experience.
Energy companies with user-friendly apps with great features are receiving positive feedback on both social media and via word of mouth. This can provide an opportunity to get the edge over competitors and increase market share.
We take a look at some of the most innovative app features on the market, which could benefit both energy providers and customers.
Real-Time Energy Usage
Giving customers the option to track their energy consumption, basically, like a remote smart meter, is one feature that is in high demand. Apps that provide the information necessary to help customers control their energy spend and check their balance makes lives easier for customers. It also saves time and money for providers as less money needs to be spent on customer service centres if much of the information customers require is available in-app.
Winter Saving Feature
A helpful app feature which some companies have implemented is the addition of a winter savings option. This allows customers to pay into a savings pot for the winter months when energy usage tends to increase. Some companies also offer rewards for customers that meet savings targets, such as an additional £5 for their winter savings pot if they save £100 for example.
Having your electricity or gas meter read can be a pain if you need to have someone come round your property to do it. With an app connected to your home energy system, whether you’re at work or in the Bahamas, it doesn’t matter, you can even submit meter readings from the poolside.
AI algorithms are becoming increasingly better at responding to a broad range of queries even if they’re written in a conversational style. Energy companies can benefit by integrating an AI algorithm into the app to save costs and improve customer service. A large majority of queries, such as help finding a service or help paying a bill can be handled by the AI algorithm. More complex problems can then be directed to a customer service agent.
IoT Connected Heating Systems
The technology is already there to control your home heating system via the use of an app. ‘Smart thermostats’ connect your home heating system to the wifi, allow you to set the heating on your way back from your jollies. This can also be adapted with a multi-room function, as it can be installed on individual radiators giving you control of the temperature in each room, allowing for further energy efficiency and savings.