A GEM of an energy saving idea
18 March, 2013
A GEM of an energy saving idea
Mercury Energy today released its Good Energy Monitor service (GEM), a web-based tracking and reporting tool providing residential customers with much greater visibility of their energy consumption and cost.
Mercury Energy General Manager, James Munro, said GEM is a 'game breaker' for the retail electricity industry in New Zealand and is exclusive to Mercury Energy customers.
"By giving customers unparalleled visibility of when they are using electricity, GEM enables them to be more in control of their energy usage and gives them the information to help reduce their bills," said Mr Munro. “Of course, it’s up to the customer to decide if they want to take advantage of GEM and how they want to use their information. “
GEM presents information collected from customers' electricity and gas meters in easy-to-read graphs and shows how they are doing with respect to energy efficiency compared to similar homes.
For the two-thirds of Mercury's residential customers who have a smart electricity meter, their consumption information can be displayed down to daily and half-hourly usage. GEM also overlays local temperature data to show customers how their consumption changes with the seasons, giving insight into heating costs.
"GEM offers an improved service to all our residential customers, but it’s where they have an electricity smart meter in place that the product really comes to life. Examining when electricity is being used will help a customer determine how it is being used, and give them insight into how to save,” said Mr Munro.
“By using smart meter data customers can see how their bill is tracking daily. GEM will also project their estimated monthly electricity costs after the first week of their new billing cycle. If a customer’s usage is tracking above a predetermined threshold compared to their historic levels, they can receive an email alerting them to a potential high bill so they have some advance warning and the opportunity to adjust their consumption before the bill arrives," he said.
Customers without a smart meter will still benefit from many of the features GEM offers, including the GEM energy savings tips, similar homes comparison, monthly reports and prior year consumption comparison.
"The site contains a wealth of energy efficiency advice. Customers can develop their own energy savings plan by selecting from a library of over 50 detailed efficiency tips. They can even set a savings goal and then track their performance against the target. If they choose to answer a short questionnaire about their household, GEM will focus the energy efficiency advice onto areas more relevant to their individual situation," Mr Munro said.
"Smart meters are increasingly becoming the norm, with around two-thirds of our customers now having them. They have delivered a number of benefits to customers already, but these have been largely unseen. GEM represents a step-change in that it makes the advantage of smart meters very visible and very real for customers. GEM is all about giving customers the information they need to be in greater control of their energy consumption and cost."