21 March 2013 — Participation in prepaid energy service results in an average reduction in energy usage of 11 per cent, a study has found.

The study, by management consulting firm DEFG, economist Michael Ozog, the Oklahoma Electric Cooperative market participants and public stakeholders through the Prepay Energy Working Group, involved a statistical analysis of the relationship between participation in prepayment and energy consumption.

DEFG vice president Cindy O’Dwyer said the major finding was that participation in prepaid energy service resulted in an average reduction in energy usage of 11 per cent.

The 11 per cent decrease is attributable to usage reductions while service is connected and is not a consequence of service disruption. With an average monthly bill for Oklahoma Electric Cooperative’s customers running US$146, the 11 per cent savings implies a US$192 annual reduction in a customer’s energy bill.

“Relative to other common energy efficiency measures, that is a large number and is achievable without a significant outlay by the customer in equipment. Nothing in the current portfolio really compares to prepaid energy in regard to the size of the impact, speed and cost effectiveness,” Ms Dwyer said.