PLATFORM_ is an integrated developer and operator of Build to Rent apartments across the UK with an operational portfolio of some 600 apartments and a development pipeline of a further 1,500 apartments. PLATFORM_ aims to create modern living spaces which enhance the lifestyle of their residents through thoughtful design, smart technology and responsive service.
PLATFORM_ currently operate four Build to Rent developments with shared heat networks in Bracknell, Bedford, Stevenage and Crawley with 516 apartments in total. Driven by the shared heat network arrangement, PLATFORM_ acts as utilities reseller to its residents for heat, electricity and water, passing on bulk purchase savings to its residents.
During 2018, PLATFORM_ undertook a tender of the utilities billing and metering service (incorporating related customer services) across its portfolio. The aims of this exercise were to:
Key priorities for PLATFORM_ were for the service provider to be able to deliver a seamless transition, to provide accurate meter reading and timely billing, to provide an outstanding level of customer service at all times, to offer options based on digital technology and to invest in the professional relationship with a view to fostering a long term partnership.
After a successful tender process, Switch2 was delighted to be appointed and eager to hit the ground running to improve the customer experience, help PLATFORM_ understand their billing environment, deliver reduced debt and achieve an increased level of professionalism. We put in place a robust handover process from the incumbent supplier. This included:
The transition also included the introduction of a new tariff structure across heat, gas and water, which Switch2 supported.
By December 2018, Switch2 was in full operation at all four sites with first bills sent electronically to customers in January 2019. In February 2019 balances carried forward from the previous billing provider were incorporated.
Switch2 delivered on their promises and after replacing unreliable data loggers, were soon providing best-in-class metering and billing for PLATFORM_, backed up by our award-winning customer services, and leveraging our market-leading use of technology. In addition, Switch2 has supported PLATFORM_ in reducing outstanding balances relating to utilities by over 40%.
Since delivery of the complete solution from Switch2, both schemes have received a continual flow of heating and hot water with affordable heating bills being sent out on time each quarter; all the while decreasing each of the scheme’s pre-existing debt by 68% at Chips and 85% at Budenberg.Read case study
Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association appointed Switch2 as ESCo partner for its new housing development in Welwyn Garden City. Under the 40-year contract, Switch2 is responsible for heat network development and management, including supplying metering and billing technologies and services.Read case study