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|Smart meters for district heating launched for residents to manage debt|
|Thursday, 17 November 2016|
Secure has launched a smart metering system for district heating to provide housing associations and local authorities with a reliable and secure solution to eradicate debt management issues. The Liberty Connect 100 smart heat meter and wireless in home display ‘Pipit’ unit provides tenants greater security, peace of mind and control over their heating budget and has the ability to vastly improve energy efficiency.
With £39million of funding made available for district heating schemes over the next two years under the Government’s Heat Networks Investment Project to help meet renewable heat targets, finding ways to make district heating work for both tenants and landlords is crucial.
The Liberty Connect 100 is a smart pre-payment heat metering solution, providing real-time usage, cost and credit information to the Pipit in home display unit. Tenants benefit from an instant view of their heating consumption and can keep an eye on their spend. The risk of surprise bills and build-up of debt is removed through pre-pay options, and the in home display unit helps tenants to make informed decisions about how much energy they use, in line with the Government’s aim for district heating.
Landlords also benefit from a smarter debt management system, minimising resource required to manage debt issues. Debt recovery is made easier with a system that can recover historic debt and prevent future build-up of debt. With both products based on smart metering technology (SMETs), Liberty Connect 100 uses encrypted vend codes to securely transfer payments between the meter and Secure’s online vending system and remotely switch suppliers where required.
Smart pre-pay options enable tenants to top up online, via text message or over the phone as well as at retail outlets. Secure’s Liberty Connect 100 also offers friendly credit options to avoid interruptions to supply during evenings, weekends or bank holidays.
Ian Hextall, Business Development Manager at Secure, said: “Smart meters have the ability to transform district heating systems, improving energy efficiency and helping to provide reliable, efficient and sustainable power to tenants. The Secure Liberty Connect 100 is a smart, user friendly solution that enables local authorities and housing associations to recoup the cost of providing communal heating, reduce debt risk, and give tenants the tools and support they need to manage their energy costs.”
Southern Housing Group have installed hundreds of new Liberty Connect 100 meters in their properties.
Rachael Mills, Head of Sustainability at Southern Housing Group, said: “Southern Housing Group is committed to providing quality, comfortable, energy efficient homes with low running costs to its customers. The Liberty Connect Smart Meter helps us to meet these goals by helping customers to better understand how much heating and hot water they’re really using, what it’s costing them and identify savings on their bills. From a landlord’s perspective, the Secure Meters help us to identify and support customers that are having difficulties using or paying for their heating and hot water through our Home Energy Advice Team; it also helps us demonstrate value for money for our customers and help us improve our services by being able to select the most suitable metering and billing provider.”
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