Ovo Energy has launched the Smart PayG+ payment and control tool for Britain’s 11m pay as you go (pre-pay) energy customers.
Smart PayG+ can be accessed via an app, text, phone or desktop. It should prevent users having to visit shops to top up cards or suffering blackouts, via functions like auto top-up and alerts when credit is needed.
A smart meter linked to Ovo tariff scheme can also help customers better understand their energy usage in order to save both energy and money.
It is intended to help UK pre-pay customers better manage and control their energy supply from a single device, linked to smart meter readers, to their financial benefit.
Ovo Energy has nearly 450,000 customers, equivalent to a 1.6% share of the UK energy retail market.
The firm claims Smart PayG+ is the first ever full service Smart pre-pay technology platform and says it is supported by Frank Field MP and the National Energy Action body in its attempts to better serve pre-pay customers.
Ed Davey, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, is also a supporter, commentating that: “Pre-payment customers have been neglected by energy companies for too long and they deserve a better deal. That’s why I challenged energy suppliers last April to offer smart meters with Pay As You Go tariffs to all pre-payment customers by the end of 2016. It’s great to see Ovo prioritising this part of the market and I hope other suppliers will follow.”
David Gooch, chief digital officer at Ovo Energy, says that his firm’s tech and design team set out to make customers’ lives easier. “For the PayG market we wanted to transform the archaic customer experience of traipsing to the shop to top up and stop the lights going out at unexpected times,” he said. “We are literally putting the power into the customers’ hands and giving them unprecedented control and convenience over the cheapest possible energy supply.”