EDF Energy launches voice controlled energy accounts with Amazon Alexa
Innovation means customers can ask Alexa to check balances, tariffs, payments and submit meter readings
EDF Energy has today announced a new and easy way for customers to control their energy account, through Amazon’s Alexa voice service. EDF Energy, the UK’s largest producer of low carbon electricity, is the first energy supplier to create an Alexa skill, as Amazon launches Alexa alongside its smart speaker, Amazon Echo, in the UK.
Amazon Echo is a hands-free, voice-controlled speaker designed entirely around voice - it’s always ready, hands-free, and fast. Alexa is the brain behind Echo - just ask, and she’ll answer questions, play music, read the news, set timers and alarms, check sports scores and more. And with Echo’s far-field voice control functionality, this can all be done from across the room, just by asking.
Alexa skills are capabilities, like apps, that enable customers to interact with Echo devices in a more intuitive way using voice. With EDF Energy’s Alexa skill, customers will be able to ask Alexa to check their account balance and next payment date, submit a meter reading, and verify when their tariff is due to end.
EDF Energy’s innovation accelerator Blue Lab began exploring how to adapt the Amazon Alexa technology for its customers earlier this year, and has worked closely with Amazon to develop the first Alexa skill tailored to meet the needs of energy customers.
EDF Energy’s collaboration with Amazon is part of the company’s commitment to making energy easy and putting customers in control through connected home technologies and other innovative products and services, such as its smart thermostat HeatSmart, and the Show Me Your Bill functionality in its app.
Beatrice Bigois, Managing Director of Customers at EDF Energy said:
“Amazon Alexa creates a fantastic opportunity to simplify life at home for our customers. Our innovation accelerator Blue Lab has used the Alexa Skills Kit to open up new, simple and easy ways for customers to interact with their energy. For instance, customers will be able to speak to Alexa to access their energy account, check their next payment date or give a meter reading.
“EDF Energy is very excited about Alexa coming to the UK, and we are proud to be the first energy supplier to offer this service to our customers.”
Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa said:
“We’re seeing incredible interest in Alexa’s smart home skills, from both developers and customers, and we’re very happy to have EDF Energy on board for the launch of Alexa in the UK.
“There is no more natural way to get your account information than to simply ask for it, and with the EDF Energy skill for Alexa, that’s all EDF Energy customers have to do.”
In response to the major transformation within the energy industry from smart meters and connected homes technology, EDF Energy launched Blue Lab at the end of 2015. Blue Lab, based on the south coast, applies the benefits of a start-up – small teams made up of diverse specialist skills and knowledge including a strong digital R&D team - to help accelerate innovation for customers.
Blue Lab works alongside EDF Energy’s existing Research & Development UK Centre, which is currently exploring projects in nuclear energy, renewable technologies including storage, energy management, energy efficiency, smart meters and digital innovation.
Customers will be able to pre order Amazon Echo from today at www.amazon.co.uk/echo and the first products will be up and running in homes in the coming weeks.
For more information contact:Lisa Ahmad
External Communications Manager
020 7752 2173
Notes to editors
EDF Energy’s Blue Lab:
More information on Blue Lab can be found here – https://www.edfenergy.com/blue-lab
EDF Energy’s Show Me Your Bill Campaign:
In May this year, EDF Energy launched its Show Me Your Bill campaign and mobile app. The Show Me Your Bill app (available via iOS and Android) makes it quick and easy to compare tariffs, by using a QR reader to scan competitor bills and extract the tariff details. The app then compares that tariff to those available from EDF Energy and displays the savings that person could make by switching. There is also the opportunity to refer a friend using the app, helping even more consumers check if they could get a better deal.
EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to over 5 million customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.
EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.
These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.
Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.
In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.
EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 14,000 people at locations across the UK.
To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/