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Survey uncovers huge consumer demand for efficient energy use
79% believe the government is not doing enough to encourage households to be energy efficient

Reading, UK, 10 September 2007 - A recent survey, conducted by Abacus Billing, a leading global provider of innovative smart meter billing and information applications, billing products and managed services, has revealed that 82% of gas, water and electricity users are concerned about the amount of energy they use at home. Of these, 68% are more concerned about the resulting environmental impact of inefficient energy use than the direct financial cost.

The survey also discovered that a worrying 79% of UK consumers do not think the government is doing enough generally to encourage energy efficiency.

Growing energy consumption and a heightened consumer awareness of the broader environmental impact of passive energy use are contributing to a demand for more accurate controls over energy usage patterns. The only readily deployable, mature technological solution for improving energy efficiencies, cutting utility costs and lessening environmental impact is Smart Meter Information and Billing.

Smart meters placed in businesses and homes provide more intelligence and insight for both the user and supplier into usage patterns. This information is then securely communicated back to utility companies where accurate, detailed, graphical usage reports and bills can be generated online in real-time. With smart meters, usage can be broken down in to 15 minute sections.

Disappointingly, the Abacus survey revealed that only 26% of UK households are even aware of the existence of energy saving devices such as smart meters.

Karl Wills, CEO of Abacus Billing, explains the benefit of this smarter approach to utility billing: “Smart meter billing is a strategic tool for utility companies. By using incentives such as flexible tariffs, they can induce carbon reducing behaviour change. High volume or peak-time consumption could be charged at a premium, for example. This way, as our resources become scarcer, energy suppliers can reduce their output whilst maintaining their revenue and it makes for a much fairer allocation of resources.”

Despite smart meters replacing traditional meters in projects around the world*, UK public awareness of this environmentally beneficial household appliance remains disappointingly low. Abacus Billing believes that EU Governments will need to dramatically alter public perceptions and implement measures to promote greater use of metering data by customers and utilities to facilitate energy use reductions, especially in view of the Energy End-Use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive (ESD) 2008 mandate.

The survey of 100 respondents was undertaken in London. Abacus will announce results of an equivalent survey undertaken in the US in a comparative analysis of attitudes to energy use between both countries.

*E.g. in Italy, the world's largest smart meter deployment was undertaken by major electricity provider Enel SpA, to its entire customer base of 27 million.

About Abacus Billing
Abacus is a leading global provider of billing products and managed services for the telecommunications and utilities sectors. With over ten years’ experience, Abacus delivers end-to-end, fully web-enabled services and software solutions that make billing cost-effective and time efficient. Abacus solutions, ranging from entirely outsourced Abacus billing management services to Abacus Customer Care and Billing software, enable a broad range of customers to concentrate resources on their core business activities. All solutions are flexible, scalable, multi-lingual and multi-currency, enabling customers to bring new products to market quickly. Abacus is also a pioneering developer of utilities smart metering billing services. www.smartmeterbilling.com.

For more details please contact Hazel Butters or Sally Forge
Prompt Communications on behalf of Abacus
Tel: 020 8996 1652 / Out of hours : 07780 687813
hbutters@prompt-communications.com / sforge@prompt-communications.com

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