Bristol Energy is a sustainable energy company with social value at its heart. The company’s mission is to create profit for purpose, by helping tackle social and environmental challenges such as fuel poverty and climate change.
Bristol Energy is a national electricity and gas supplier operating in the UK. Serving over 100,000 UK homes and consistently ranked amongst the top 10 energy suppliers nationally (Which? and The Citizens Advice Bureau), Bristol Energy was conscious of lacking a mobile digital offering.
The provision of a capability that supports mobile-savvy customers is an important element of Bristol Energy’s inclusive strategy. Among the objectives that Bristol has sought to achieve are:
Enhance customer engagement and loyalty
Increase smart meter uptake
Provide a platform for future new energy services
Andy Coleman, Head of Smart Metering Transition
We are really excited to partner with Eliq, as we believe they can help us deliver our ambitions as a business. The benefits of smart metering will only be realised with the provision of useful technology and insights for our customers, so are keen to rapidly develop these with Eliq. We want to help our customers understand what they are paying for and how they can make meaningful and beneficial change. We aim to develop a market-leading offering that builds a smart platform that truly helps our customers.
By working with Eliq to roll out their app, Bristol Energy hopes it will become the predominant way in which customers choose to manage their accounts. The platform, designed to Bristol’s requirements, is designed to provide customised, useful insight to each smart-metered customer. Eliq’s data analysis capabilities provide useful advice to customers based on their consumption patterns; allowing them to put monitors in place to help manage their costs.
The app, which is free to use and download, is available for iOS and Android devices and allows customers to better monitor, understand, manage, and reduce their consumption by receiving AI-based alerts on consumption spikes and accessing intuitive self-service tools around billing, payment, meter read submission (for legacy metered customers) and budgeting.
In addition to data analytics capabilities, the application allows customers to request a smart meter with the tap of a button; easing the process for the customer and supplier.
By completing a soft-launch and offering the app to 4000 randomly-selected Bristol Energy customers, the company has been able to extract some data-driven insights useful for measuring and extrapolating expected business benefits.
After 6 weeks of the product soft-launch, Bristol Energy was able to convert 2,100 customers into using the service.
The following insights were received based on this initial sample, and feedback received from over 150 customers:
92% report that the app is very useful for sending their meter readings
85% report that the app is very useful for seeing their account balance quickly
Only 4% of users report that the app is not easy to use
Based on the initial feedback, customers have made the following comments:
“Makes life simpler in a complex world”
“It was easy to use and provided me with all the information I would want from an energy app”
“It was totally straight forward. Particularly impressive was the low number of clicks and I appreciated not having to find my details. It was the easiest download an app and log in process I have experienced. Thank you”
“I enjoy using the app and flick through it instead of flicking through Facebook”
Since the soft-launch, over 30% of Bristol Energy’s legacy app users have requested a smart meter. This has resulted in a significant decrease in customer outreach costs associated with communicating smart metering benefits to legacy customers.
Customers in the energy sector spend an average of 9 minutes per year engaging with their supplier (Accenture 2017).
Bristol Energy has already seen that customers are spending approximately 5 minutes per month using the app. Accounting for a likely drop-off after initial use; this will still represent a marked increase in customer engagement.