Hakan Cover
Hakan Cover
Hakan Cover
Hakan Cover
Hakan Cover

Jersey Electricity Getting to Zero-Carbon via Mobile App

Oct. 7, 2021
My JE app, will provide a customer engagement platform that allows for the development and promotion of future energy services based on true energy insights that drive uptake, sustain engagement and loyalty.

Jersey Electricity (JE), a vertically integrated power utility, engaged in generation, transmission and distribution, is the sole supplier of electricity to the Island of Jersey, part of the British Channel Islands. The public limited utility serves around 50,000 domestic and commercial customers. The island utility’s vision is to inspire a zero-carbon future. Around 95% of the electricity Jersey Electricity supply is imported from low carbon, hydro (36%) and nuclear (64%) sources in France through three undersea supply cables.

An important part of JE’s Zero Carbon strategy is investing in stronger digital customer relationships. “Connecting with our customers is the first step,” said Werner Bornman, JE’s director of technology, “It’s inevitable."

To deliver a new digital customer experience, JE has implemented a customer engagement platform from the Swedish provider Eliq, based in Gothenburg, Sweden delivering mobile apps and a forthcoming replacement of JE’s web portal. Over the course of 6 weeks, after rolling out the new mobile app, 27% of JE’s customers began using it.

The mobile app, called “My JE”, enables customers to access Smart and real-time data, helping them to better understand their electricity usage, budget in £s and kWhs in between their quarterly bills and reduce consumption and costs. They can also view bills and access their account balance, compare electricity usage with similar properties and set up notifications on usage anomalies or high forecasts to help control costs.

JE, meantime, benefits from a customer engagement platform that allows for the development and promotion of future energy services based on true energy insights that drive uptake, sustain engagement and loyalty.

Bornman commented: “The success of the launch campaign is thanks to stellar work and commitment from the JE communications team who have actively engaged with the community across online and offline channels, along with the fact that this is a product that has exceeded the expectations of most energy customers with very positive feedback”. In fact, the uptake of the app is considerably higher than the industry average.

Smart Metering Installed Across the Island

My JE has been made possible by JE’s Island-wide roll-out of Smart-Meters. The final phase involved the replacement of JE’s 4,100 Pay As Go prepayment meters completed in 2020, making Jersey the first jurisdiction in the British Isles to complete such a roll-out. The meters and JE’s communications systems enable the utility to relay the consumption data they collect back to customers via the app.

My JE marks the next stage in Jersey Electricity’s development strategy towards building a smart grid, supporting the Jersey Government's objective to become carbon neutral by 2030. 

Near-term functionalities include deeper personalization of the content and more advanced analysis of disaggregated energy consumption as well as support for three-phase meters and more.

“Power utilities are increasingly becoming digital businesses, offering energy intelligence as a service,” explains Tech Director Bornman.  “And Jersey Electricity is at the forefront of this transformation. My JE has been made possible by our Island-wide roll-out of Smart-Meters which enable us to relay the consumption data they collect back to customers. In this way, we hope to help customers to better understand their usage and enable them to use electricity more efficiently and cut costs.’

My JE — A Hit with Customers

Over 10,000 Islanders have now downloaded My JE, and feedback is very positive.

JE head of customer care Brian O’Gorman said the app helped one customer to save £8 (US$10) a day by quickly highlighting a fault on their heating system which would have otherwise gone undetected until they received their bill which, by then, would have been significantly inflated.

‘Because the app shows consumption in kWhs (units) and £s daily, weekly or monthly, this customer quickly noticed an unusual spike in her daily consumption from £5 (US$7) to £13 (US$17) and contacted us asking what was causing it,’ said Mr O’Gorman. ‘Our data showed a large appliance was running all the time, very likely the immersion water heater.

‘Further investigation revealed the pressure-relief valve on the immersion had developed a fault and a leak, resulting in the immersion continuously heating new cold water replacing the hot water lost in the leak.’

A keen Jersey weather watcher pre-empted a warmer day and lighter winds by turning down their home’s heating thermostat and discovered, via the app, that the move had saved them £4 (US$5) in just one day.

Digital tools underpinned by analytics and behavioural science have an impact not only on creating transparency, customer satisfaction and loyalty, but also the size of the energy bill.

The Next Step for Island Utilities

The solution was delivered in a collaboration between JE’s in-house data and IT solution provider Jendev together eoyj, Eliq, Jendev’s partner, which specializes in energy customer experience and deep energy data analysis for consumers and SMEs.

Werner Borman said: ‘Island utilities are particularly constrained in the number of carbon neutral power sources available and therefore need to rely on an even stronger partnership with customers and their flexibility to deliver carbon neutrality. The first step on this journey is inevitable investment in strong digital customer relationships, and so far, it’s been incredibly well received by customers. We hope that this project will inspire other island utilities to follow on the same path.’ 

JE CEO Chris Ambler added: ‘Our Vision is to inspire a zero-carbon future. Energy efficiency and technology will have a big part to play on this journey. We are already increasing our focus ‘beyond the meter’ and this is one of several projects that shows how we are putting customers at the heart of the energy system. We see related technologies such as demand-side management and smart home controls, vehicle-to-grid charging (V2G), renewable distributed generation and energy storage — all of which we’re currently trialing — becoming ever more widespread and we see digital technology as a key enabler.’

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!