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Prepay: Why Pay As You Go and Pay In Advance Creates a Win-Win

November, 2019

Everyone is used to getting their utility bills after the fact. The average person spends a few seconds per month looking at their utility bill and, unless it feels extraordinarily high, usually shrug their shoulders and pay it.

For the customer, this traditional way of billing generally revolves around a “it seems about right” mentality. Unless they get naturally curious, most people are not tracking their utility consumption very closely. Again, they scan the bill and then pay it. End of story.

Or is it? Utility customers who pay in advance—instead of after the fact—pay more attention to their consumption and, as a result, save an average of 8% on their utility bills. That’s great for the customer, but why would utilities be on board for something that would cut out almost 1/10th of their sales?

Here’s why: Customers who pay in advance never make a late payment. They can’t! They never miss a bill or skip out. Prepay customers never pay late and utilities never have to send claims to collections. Instead of offering electricity, water, and gas on the honor system—customers getting it upfront with the promise to pay for it later—utilities can get paid first and their customers can decide how much they want.

Folks who use a pay-as-you-go model know in advance how much energy they have left and are naturally encouraged to make decisions around that amount. In a way, prepay treats the meter like a gas tank instead of a bar tab. Drivers with a quarter of a tank make different decisions than those with a full tank—they might decide to run errands all at once instead of one at a time, for example. And, so it is with prepay utilities—customers become more aware of how their behavior affects their bills.

And, that’s truly the win-win with prepay. Customers save on their bills, while utilities save on their efforts to collect on unpaid bills. And everyone saves energy.

At Accelerated Innovations, we are helping utilities around the world offer something more to their customers and their employees: progress, savings, and innovation. Our hosted customer self-service platform does it all, integrates seamlessly and delivers an outstanding digital experience for residential, commercial users of water, gas and electricity. With MyMeter® at the core of all we do, the possibilities are limitless.