The Hugo energy app put the insights from a smart meter into the palm of your hand. Moreover, it provides graphical data of electricity and gas usage to enable the houseowner to spot unnecessary energy consumption and eliminate wastage. The app is free to download although it requires the input of a credit card to verify your identity and address to make sure that you are legally entitled to access the energy data.
Smart meters are offered by energy suppliers to all homes and this is the market that Hugo has been designed to address. Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly usage patterns of the property can be viewed in either kWh or £ spent. Alerts can be set to track whether consumption is within a set budget. Although less relevant at the moment with tariffs at record highs, the app allows users to view and compare their tariff and switch to better if they wish. This can be another tariff by your current supplier or by switching supplier, this is taken care of by within the app itself, with only consent being required from the user.
One feature, particularly as we move to net zero, is seeing the carbon footprint of the energy you use. It is then possible via the app to offset this CO2 with accredited schemes.
The app also features a section where you can create and share energy saving tips.
Going forward Hugo plans to launch an update to add multiple household meters and so Landlords can manage their tenanted properties or monitor their elderly parents’ household usage and tariffs, for example.
The UK’s drive for smart meter adoption is logical and potentially hugely positive in making UK households engage with their CO2, energy usage and energy costs. However, the smart meter rollout has a fundamental flaw. The rollout relies on the uptake of IHD (In Home Displays), which are now a 20 year-old redundant technology.
They regularly fail, are not portable/ mobile, have supplier integration issues and are severely limited in the technology and data they can offer. Perhaps the biggest flaw is that they fail to provide accurate electricity and gas cost data – as they often only display the costs based on your first ever tariff when you installed the smart meter. As you change tariff the IHD often fails to update and the costs displayed will be your original tariff, not your new tariff.
The Hugo app certainly has the ability to overcome many of the problems that people encounter when using smart meters Additional features such as offsetting CO2 and switching suppliers makes it a central hub of home energy management for hourseholds . Its almost like employing a dedicated energy manager for home, something business have started to get wise to over the last decade.
|• No compatibility issues (if your smart meter is working)|
|• Supplier independent|
|• No reliance on supplier for tariff information|
|• Creating budget/cost projection accuracy|
|• Not reliant on Bluetooth meter telecommunication (HUGO is cloud based) – so energy data|
|• Can be accessed anywhere on the planet|
|• Adapts to single rate and day/night rate tariffs|