British Gas is to hire up to 200 apprentices in smart metering, taking the total recruited to approximately 1,000 this year.
The apprentices will join the 1,400 British Gas Smart Energy Experts already installing smart meters in homes. British Gas expects to continue recruiting in smart metering to complete the nationwide roll-out by 2020.
The apprentices will install smart meters, explain to customers how to use the smart meter in-home display, which shows how much energy is being used in pounds and pence, and provide energy efficiency advice.
Customers will benefit from an end to estimated bills, accurate meter readings and the ability to better understand their energy usage, resulting in potential savings on bills. British Gas is currently trialling Smart Pay As You Go with customers who have prepayment meters. The company is also creating new apps that give smart meter customers information about their energy use on their phone.
British Gas has installed over 1.5 million smart meters in homes, and is now fitting them at an average rate of one every sixty seconds.
Jorge Pikunic, Managing Director of British Gas Smart Metering, says:
“This year, we will recruit around 1,000 apprentices in smart metering. We’ve taken the lead in giving our customers more control and insight into their energy use through smart meters. The new recruits will mean we can help even more people benefit from smart meters.”
Energy Minister Lord Bourne spent a day meeting with trainee Smart Energy Experts at the British Gas Academy in Tredegar to hear more about the apprentice programme and British Gas’s smart meter roll-out.
Lord Bourne, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said:
“Apprenticeships give young people the security of a pay packet, the dignity of a recognised qualification and the skills to drive the economy and country forward.
“Smart meters will help millions of households get to grips with their energy use and save money on bills and we need engineers with skills in this sector, so it’s great to see British Gas expanding its smart meter apprenticeship scheme.”
The new British Gas recruits will receive technical training and will study for the City & Guilds Level 2 QCF Diploma in Smart Metering Dual Fuel. Once they have qualified, they will be ready to go into customers' homes to install smart meters. They will each have their own fully-equipped van, and be supported by the latest tablet and mobile phone technology.
To find out more about working for British Gas, visit www.britishgasjobs.co.uk or follow @britishgasjobs on Twitter.
Notes to editors
About Smart Meters
Smart meters replace existing standard gas and electricity meters and will be introduced in homes and businesses as standard by 2020.They come with an in-home display that shows how much gas and electricity is being used, and its cost in pounds and pence, in near-real time. That information is shared with energy suppliers automatically, putting an end to estimated bills and meter readings. The information from smart meters gives customers greater understanding of how they’re using their energy. British Gas is currently trialling Smart Pay As You Go as well as new apps that enable smart meter customers to get information about their energy use on their smartphone.
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