AT&T is offering a service for customers to pay their utility bills using smartphones, text messages, kiosks, the Internet or by phone.
The application – PayGo from AT&T – will also allow customers to monitor and manage their energy consumption.
AT&T will be the sole US provider for PayGo’s utility payment service.
An AT&T spokeswoman said the application will work for existing AT&T customers, and utilities also can offer it for non-existing AT&T customers.
In order for customers to use PayGo from AT&T, they must have a smart meter that has a disconnect switch. If they don’t have smart meters with disconnect switches, the meters can also be provided by AT&T.
Many of PayGo’s services – the near real-time processing of meter information and the flexibility to pay via mobile phone or the Internet – will only be available for prepaid electric customers. According to AT&T, in addition to consumer convenience that prepayment allows, a recent study from energy management consulting firm DEFG found that prepay energy customers at Oklahoma Electric Cooperative reduced their energy usage by an average of 11 percent annually.
Other PayGo from AT&T payment options include post-pay via smart phones, a gift card, and energy efficiency programs.