Energy retail

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Long gone are the days when energy companies merely supplied power, Matthew Vickers believes. Today retailers are providing some of the most sophisticated types of customer service available, which the Energy Ombudsman chief executive describes as akin to social work. Speaking to Utility Week, Vickers explains why we must tread carefully when making comparisons with other industries, his caution around increasing digitsation and his fears about “empathy” becoming the latest corporate buzzword.
Interviews
Digitally excluded households face an energy market premium of up to £485, National Energy Action (NEA) has estimated. The charity revealed the figure to Utility Week in response to a Citizens Advice report which urged the sector to ensure that going forward information and customer support is not solely provided online and that people can still access help and advice in a variety of non-digital formats.
News
Challenger energy retailer Social Energy has begun its global expansion, launching to customers in Australia. The company, which began supplying UK customers last year, says it is offering customers in the Southern Hemisphere a green energy package and an exclusive Duracell home solar battery system.
News

Featured

The government needs to set out a strengthened policy framework if its ambition of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year is to be achieved, industry voices have warned. Eon chief executive Michael Lewis said the target will be a “massive but necessary step” towards ending reliance on gas for heating.
News
Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action has raised concerns following Ofgem’s decision to defer the introduction of new questions and categories regarding social obligations reporting by a year. Licence conditions stipulate that suppliers must submit data to the regulator quarterly and annually on a variety of areas, including debt levels, disconnection rates, prepayment meters, smart meters, payment methods used by customers and help for vulnerable customers.
News

Latest in Energy retail

Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action has raised concerns following Ofgem’s decision to defer the introduction of new questions and categories regarding social obligations reporting by a year. Licence conditions stipulate that suppliers must submit data to the regulator quarterly and annually on a variety of areas, including debt levels, disconnection rates, prepayment meters, smart meters, payment methods used by customers and help for vulnerable customers.
News
Suppliers should be banned from taking on new customers or accessing upfront payments if they fail to meet their Renewables Obligation (RO) by the deadlines, an industry chief has suggested. The comments come following Ofgem's announcement that missed RO payments will be mutualised for the third consecutive year.
News
More than 620,000 electricity switches occurred in October, the most so far in 2020 and the highest since April 2019. According to Electralink’s Energy Market Data Hub, 621,000 changes of supplier were recorded in October, 4 per cent more than during the same period last year and 20 per cent more than in September 2020.
News
Ofgem has confirmed that missed renewables obligation (RO) payments will be mutualised for the third consecutive year after a number of suppliers failed to meet the deadlines. The energy regulator recently revealed 33 suppliers failed to meet their total obligations by 31 August for buy-out payments and 1 September for RO certificates. As a result there was a combined shortfall of more than £105 million in buy-out funds.
News
Centrica has completed a £16.7 million three-year energy market trial in Cornwall that saw local and national network operators simultaneously buy flexibility for the first time. Participants in the trial, which included 200 homes and businesses, successfully traded 310MWh of flexibility over its course.
News
Utility Week Live Online, the virtual exhibition and conference from Utility Week’s publisher Faversham House, has now opened to visitors, ahead of the live show dates of November 24-26.
Market insight
Ofgem has written to the CMA asking it to consider the impact on other regulated sectors of its stance on the cost of capital in water. Ofgem urged the CMA to ensure its redetermination is not “treated as making broader assessments beyond the present and specific context of PR19”.
News
Smart metering company Calisen been awarded preferred bidder status on a portfolio of 1.3 million units. This takes its total pipeline for 2025 to 13.2 million smart meters.
News
There was a combined shortfall of more than £105 million in the renewables obligation (RO) buy-out funds due to suppliers not meeting the relevant deadlines, Ofgem has revealed. The regulator said 33 suppliers failed to meet their total obligations by the deadlines - 31 August for buy-out payments and 1 September for RO certificates.
News
Citizens Advice has warned against plans to impose a fixed per-meter charge on gas customers to fund a new support scheme for biomethane injection. The charity said a flat fee would leave households “bearing a disproportionate share of costs”, noting that a studio flat will be paying the same levy as a large manufacturing facility.
News
Despite the most recent switching figures showing a declining rate, Ofgem consumer research has found more people are now inclined to change supplier than in the spring.
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