AGL launches service that pinpoints appliance energy costs

Energy giant AGL has launched a new digital service that allows customers to monitor their electricity usage by appliance category, meaning you can see exactly how much cash you’re spending on things like cooking, heating, cooling, watching the TV and washing the dishes.

AGL’s Chief Customer Officer, Melissa Reynolds, said the ‘Energy Insights’ service would give customers further value from their digital energy meters and the knowledge to reduce power usage to save on bills.

“This service uses digital meter data and smart algorithms to provide customers with personalised estimates of how much energy is used in each category, the approximate cost and its contribution to their overall bill,” she said.

The service is currently only available to households in Victoria with smart electricity meters. Customers must also have been with AGL for longer than six months.

“Eligible customers will be receiving their Energy Insights report in line with their billing cycle over the coming weeks,” said Ms Reynolds.

“We’re promoting it with an advertising campaign featuring a new television commercial which started screening across the state last night.

“Energy Insights will help our Victorian customers make more informed decisions about how and when they use their appliances.”

The service will be rolled out in other states to customers with digital meters by September.

Insights are provided on appliance categories including cooling, heating, electric water heating, lighting, refrigeration, cooking, laundry & dishwasher and home entertainment.

The service was tested from July to October last year by 3,000 AGL customers with digital meters across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.

“While the Energy Insights breakdown is only an estimate, more than 60 per cent of customers who provided feedback said they planned to or had already taken action based on the insights from the trial,” Ms Reynolds said.

“The new service has been introduced as part of our Customer Experience Transformation program and follows the introduction of self-service meter reads, which allow customers to read their own meters to keep up-to-date with costs and avoid estimated bills.”

Getting value for your energy provider

Digital reporting and monitoring services are becoming increasingly common in Australia, with energy providers competing to offer the best ‘value’ services, in addition to just competing on price. Major retailers such as AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia often lead the way in respect of digital reporting, but several other, smaller providers are offer helpful tools, including Powershop.

While these types of incentives are certainly worth considering when you decide to switch electricity retailers, Canstar Blue research shows that price and name recognition are the biggest decision-making factors for consumers.

When asked about their main reason for picking their current energy provider, 21% of more than 7,500 survey respondents said they had shopped around to find the best price, while a further 21% were attracted to a big discount.

Nineteen per cent cited name recognition as their main reason for picking their provider, while a further 7% said they went with the retailer that had the best green energy credentials.

There are many factors to consider when deciding between energy providers and new services like AGL’s Energy Insights look set to play an increasingly important role in the years to come.

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