NEW prepayment meters are being installed in hundreds of homes to help residents pay for their gas and electricity.
From the end of the month, Derwentside Homes will install the new smart meters, which display how much gas and electricity is being used and how much it costs, in 200 homes.
Under the pilot project, the meters will be installed in the company’s properties as they become vacant.
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It follows a deal between Derwentside Homes and energy provider Ovo.
Vicky McCourt, new business development manager at Derwentside Homes, said: “The deal we have struck with Ovo will go a long way to helping our residents to reduce their energy use - and to cut their bills.
“Prepayment meters can be very expensive for customers on low incomes, who often have no choice but to have this type of supply arrangement.
“However, Ovo are consistently very competitive on the market when it comes to prepayment deals and by supplying customers with real time information on their energy use, and its costs, we can help to bring prices down even further for our residents”.
The first meter has just been installed at a house in Moorside, near Consett and Derwentside Homes says it ultimately hopes to have smart meters installed in all of its properties.
Ms McCourt added: “New residents will be set up with Ovo as their supplier - but, importantly, they will have the choice whether to stay with them or switch to an alternative provider.
“We believe this exciting initiative has the potential to reduce fuel poverty among Derwentside’s residents.”