What does Ovo's potential takeover of SSE mean for the big six and does it signal a new era of consolidation in the energy retail market? Adam John talks to experts including former Npower boss, Paul Massara.
Disruptor brand Rebel Energy has postponed its launch until 2022 when it hopes to profit from a “decidedly different” competitive landscape. In a letter to customers Rebel’s chief executive and former BP trader Dan Bates and chief operating officer Penelope Hope highlighted how the energy crisis had caused a number of suppliers to fail in recent months. They added that once the current energy crisis has subsided Rebel exists to “stand in the gap”.
Energy UK has called for the introduction of a new Energy Bill as part of a commitment by the sector to deliver a net-zero power system in the 2030s. The pledge, outlined in a new report out today (27 October), follows on from the government’s commitment to a decarbonised system by 2035 which was confirmed in its Net Zero Strategy.
Elexon has decided to bar small supplier Omni Energy from registering new electricity meters after the company failed to sufficiently reduce its credit cover percentage. The disruptor brand, which specialises in serving in prepayment meter (PPM) customers, previously warned it was “highly likely to cease trading”.
A more than £1 billion tax windfall should be used to help fuel poor households in the forthcoming budget, the head of the charity National Energy Action has argued. Adam Scorer warned that without emergency support, millions of households will sink further into debt or be forced to turn off their heating, becoming at risk of serious ill-health.
Energy suppliers have been warned not to use threatening tones in communications with their customers over debt, following research showing this may be counterproductive. The research by Ofgem was published alongside its latest Consumer Protection Report which raised concerns some suppliers were prematurely or even incorrectly involving debt collection agencies. The regulator said in one case a supplier issued a county court judgement to a consumer over a small amount of debt, despite not having sent them a bill.
Ellen Fraser, energy retail partner at Baringa Partners, sets out her main observations about the ongoing crisis in energy retail and discusses some of the changes that are needed to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Good Energy, Green Energy UK and Ecotricity have been accredited by Which? as its first ‘Eco Providers’ for energy. The consumer group assessed the green energy credentials of more than 40 energy suppliers, giving each of them a score of out 20.
In his latest piece for Utility Week Matthew Vickers, chief executive and chief ombudsman, Ombudsman Services, talks about how consumer trust is as important as the physical infrastructure needed to decarbonise and reach net zero. Vickers argues the sector needs to rethink the retail interface and build it around trust.
Ofgem has been threatened with legal action by a number of small suppliers which said they no longer have confidence in the regulator and have demanded redress for what they deem as its failings. In a letter written by Jo Gilbert, the former chief operating officer of the recently failed PFP Energy, Ofgem was accused of helping to bring the energy market “to its knees”.
Ofgem has expressed concerns that the number of priority services register (PSR) services offered by energy suppliers seem to be “out of step with need”. The regulator’s latest Consumer Protection Report draws from the latest social obligations data from domestic suppliers, as well as engagement with consumer groups and charities over the course of the pandemic.