Heat network specialist Insite Energy is to manage heat and hot water metering, billing and payment for The Guinness Partnership’s customers living in homes with district or communal heating across England.
The housing and care provider, which is one of the largest in the country, has awarded Insite Energy a three-year contract to manage all its customer smart metering and billing in a switch from a previous supplier. The contract has an option to extend the commitment period by two further periods of 12 months. The contract forms part of Guinness’ programme of continuous improvement of district heating systems under its management.
Insite Energy is initially taking over management of around 1,300 smart meters in existing schemes, as well as all new homes connected to communal heating systems built during the contract period. In addition, dependent upon the launch of the government’s Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 feasibility tool, which aims to identify all those areas where heat sub-meters for heat and hot water must be fitted, Guinness may be required to install heat meters to all or a proportion of its 137 existing schemes with communal heating, serving 3,578 homes.
Victoria Keen, head of sustainability at The Guinness Partnership, commented, “District and communal heating is often a key element of our larger estates and developments and we’ve really been focussing on ensuring these systems meet the needs of our customers. Metering and billing arrangements are a key part of that approach and we are pleased that we will be working with a provider that can support us in continuous improvement and in ensuring our customers have as much choice and flexibility as possible.”
The Guinness Partnership specifies the use of Guru Systems’ smart payment and heat monitoring system for all future developments and is switching some existing schemes to Guru meters. However, Insite Energy will provide a metering and billing service to all properties regardless of the type of meter installed, as its services are compatible with any metering technology. In some cases, it will also manage the billing of electricity and water consumption.
Insite Energy will operate the meters in pay-as-you-go mode to limit debt liability to The Guinness Partnership whilst retaining the ability to switch to credit billing should the need arise.
Keen explained, “We chose Insite Energy because of their ability to meet our key objectives of delivering amazing service to customers and value for money. We’ve worked with Insite on schemes in London for a few years already, so we feel confident to expand our relationship in this way.”
The Guinness Partnership ensures that its customers have the flexibility to top up their meters using a range of different methods. Insite’s Flexi-Pay service is a bespoke payments platform which lets people conveniently and securely pay for their heat online, over the phone, by SMS text, over the counter at any of 24,000 UK Paypoint locations or through its unique auto-top up system that enables residents to select their payment preferences in advance and then let the system manage itself thereafter.
Anthony Coates-Smith, Commercial Director at Insite Energy, said, “We have a great deal of expertise in metering and billing in these types of heat networks. The Guinness Partnership’s philosophy of making life as easy as possible for its customers chimes well with our own approach. Because we’re not an energy supplier, we can focus on providing the most convenient and reliable services for clients and residents. We ensure that residents are treated fairly and charged accurately for their heating and hot water use, and we always try to answer queries in a timely, thorough and knowledgeable way.”
Image – The Guinness Partnership has chosen Insite Energy to manage its metering and billing management across all its heat networks.
Image – One of The Guinness Partnership heat networks that will be managed by Insite Energy is the Stead Street site in Elephant & Castle.
About Insite Energy
London-based Insite Energy is a specialist in providing metering, billing and payment services to customers connected to communal and district heating networks, providing end-to-end services across the life of housing and commercial developments.
Insite’s energy analysts and metering specialists can help heat providers to ensure they comply with all relevant legislations and regulations, and that they maximise the payback on their metering and billing investments. Services include; debt management, tariff setting, reviews and benchmarking, fuel procurement, metering best practice advice, advice on measuring energy efficiency, as well as resident communications.
About the Guinness Partnership
The Guinness Partnership is one of the largest providers of affordable housing and care in England. It owns and manages 66,000 homes, and provides housing services for 140,000 customers. It also provides care services to more than 10,000 people.
Its core activities are delivered by more than 3,000 staff in the UK and comprise: developing and managing housing for social rent, affordable rent and affordable home ownership; delivering housing and care services for older people; and providing support for customers who might need extra help with issues like managing their money or getting into work. Its social purpose means that any surplus it makes is re-invested in new and existing homes and improving its services for the benefit of its customers and their communities.
Its activities are regulated by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).