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Brits look to tech to de-stress pre-trip planning

  • Two thirds of people (67%) have a regimented routine before they go away on a trip
  • 70% are also taking actions to reduce their energy use while they are away
  • Six in ten (60%) would adopt new technology if it helped make going away easier
  • Four in ten (43%) with smart prepay energy meters check their energy balance and top up while away

The UK has been revealed to be a nation of pre-trip planners, new research conducted ahead of the spring half-term break shows, with over two-thirds (67%) embracing a regimented homecare routine that begins, on average, four days before they leave for a trip.

With the majority of the nation preparing in advance, top of the pre-trip to-do list is making sure routine tasks such as doing the washing up (76%), emptying the bins (73%) and cleaning out the fridge (61%) are completed.

Over two-thirds (70%) are also taking actions to reduce their energy use while they are away, such as switching off the lights (73%), turning down the heating (71%) and turning off any unneeded appliances (70%).

With so much to do, it’s no wonder that nearly two-thirds (60%) are willing to embrace any tech that could help de-stress the pre-trip preparation – especially as six-in-ten (60%) of us feel stressed before leaving, and a quarter (25%) admit they are still unable to relax while away due to worrying about home.

Yet, it’s clear that people aren’t embracing tech as much as they could be. Although a defrosted freezer (41 per cent) and mouldy food in the fridge (27 per cent) were voted as some of the worst things to return home to after a trip, 15% of analogue prepay energy customers – who need to top up their meters manually to keep the power on while they are away – admit this is the chore they are most likely to forget to do.

Asking your energy supplier to upgrade your analogue prepay meter to a smart prepay meter, at no extra cost, will allow you to check your balance and top up your credit online from anywhere. This means you no longer have to run the risk of forgetting to top up your meter and running out of credit while away.

Victoria Bacon of Smart Energy GB, said: “After a trip away from home, the last thing you want to come home to is a disaster like a defrosted freezer.

“A smart prepay meter can help eliminate this concern, as you can check your balance and top up online or from your phone remotely, something that four in ten smart prepay customers tell us they find helpful.

“In fact, 43% of smart prepay customers are already making the most of their ability to check their balance and top up while away, helping them to cross that chore off their to-do list forever.”

Sarah Fitzgerald, a mum from Essex, is one of many smart prepay customers already making the most of this feature. She said:

“I usually don’t think about the gas or electric running out before I go on holiday, because with two kids there’s already too much other holiday prep to be worrying about. Unfortunately, my gas credit did run out a few years ago while we were away over Christmas, which caused a lot of stress.

“Now that I have upgraded to a smart prepay meter, if I’m running low on electricity or gas while I’m away from home I’ll get a message warning me about it and I can just top the meter up via my phone, no matter where I am. It’s just makes life that bit easier and helps me to relax while I’m away.”

You can find out what kind of holiday-maker you are – a Stressed-out Sally or a Nonchalant Nigel – by taking part in Smart Energy GB’s fun quiz here.

If you have a prepay meter and are interested in upgrading to smart prepay, please contact your energy supplier to request a smart meter installation, or visit