British Gas has unveiled me (mobile energy), a new energy service based around an app, which is aimed at young urban professionals – although anyone can use it – it allows them to sign up for the service, manage their energy use, easily split bills with housemates and move the account to a new address, all from the smart device.
Entirely manageable through a Smartphone app, the new service has been developed to be streamlined but efficient. As Phil Kohler, Director of Product Development at British Gas comments: “We wanted to ensure our new offering made a genuine difference to our customers, which meant we needed to be really strict about the functionality we included in it. If the feature didn’t make a significant difference to our customers’ lives then it didn’t go in.
Key features within the new app include a predicted bill, where customers can enter their current meter reading to predict how much their bill is likely to be at the end of the month; meter readings where customers can enter their actual readings to receive more accurate bills. This section also includes a torch to help take the readings. It also features a Bill Splitter function so that the ‘bill owner’ can calculate how much each flatmate owes and send reminders direct from the app so no one ever misses a payment (that should lead to harmonious urban living – Ed.), as well as home moving and contact services too.
The new energy service has been designed with 18 – 30 year olds in mind, with every element tested by the target group to make sure it adds value to their lives. The sole focus of me is to provide a rich service that completely fits with the way this ‘Smartphone Generation’ live their lives, says British Gas.
The app was designed by design specialists Rufus Leonard, which worked closely with the British Gas project team in one joint location to create the brand and the design for the new energy service based around a Smartphone app. Aimed particularly at
Neil Svensen, CEO at Rufus Leonard, explains: “British Gas recognised this market was under-represented by energy companies and were very open to approaching them in a different way. To be able to strip things back and run the offering entirely on a Smartphone was really refreshing. We’re proud of the meservice we have helped create and look forward to evolving it in line with customer feedback over the coming months.”
The pilot, which will see consumers encouraged to provide feedback to help develop the app, will run until September. The project team will continue to invite feedback beyond then to continue to improve the service.