Energy retail

Editor's picks

Ofgem has been accused of being reactive in its approach to assessing financial resilience in the energy retail sector, as well as slow to design new policies to address risk, in a new report. The 111-page document, written by finance consultancy Oxera, made a series of recommendations to strengthen Ofgem's regulatory regime following dozens of supplier failures over the last year.
News
More than 20 million smart meters have been connected to Britain’s national network, the Data Communications Company (DCC) has revealed. The DCC said the Midlands has been the fastest region to take up the technology with North Kesteven in Lincolnshire becoming the first area to reach a more than 60% take-up of smart meters.
News
Energy retailers have been given three weeks to provide Ofgem with information relating to their direct debit activities, the business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed. It comes after the regulator’s chief executive Jonathan Brearley expressed concerns that some suppliers may have been increasing direct debit payments by more than is necessary or directing customers to tariffs that may not be in their best interest.
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Featured

Marred by connectivity issues and a lack of consumer interest, there are still 50% of properties without a smart meter more than a decade into the rollout and the chances of completing the project by 2025 now seem remote. Should the rollout be handed over to the networks as a ‘plan B’? Or should the devices remain optional for consumers but with greater incentives? And will the deployment ever actually end? Utility Week asks the experts.
Analysis
This new report looks at how energy retailers can re-invigorate face-to-face engagement in an uncertain world to forge closer relationships with consumers, offer support and build trust.
Downloads
“Truly horrific” is how Scottish Power’s chief executive recently described the looming winter energy bill crisis. As such it’s time for a massive shift in policy and approach. Writing for Utility Week Keith Anderson says with the Queen’s Speech due in a few weeks’ time, the government must consider how to introduce a social tariff to protect those most in need.
Opinion

Latest in Energy retail

This week's roundup of national news coverage includes reports of households resorting to ‘buy now pay later’ loans to cover bills amid reports that a windfall tax on energy giants would not harm UK pension pots, but separately that such a tax would fail to deliver the desired relief to billpayers. Scottish Power’s Keith Anderson warned of a ‘horrific winter’ for customers if the government does not majorly intervene and elsewhere delays in renewables projects threaten the pace of net zero.
News
Well-intended initiatives by energy companies to improve gender equality in the industry are failing to consistently deliver, in part due to unsupportive company cultures, a new report has revealed. The Powerful Women group highlighted multiple issues including the inconsistent quality and accessibility of mentoring and coaching programmes and the reluctance of women to take advantage of flexible working policies for fear of being overlooked for career opportunities.
News
Ofgem has redistributed more than £384,000 of Renewables Obligation payments recovered from business energy supplier Delta Gas and Power after the late payment deadline for 2020/21. The money has been returned to suppliers in proportion the mutualisation payments they made to fill the shortfall that remained following the deadline.
News
Rebecca Teasdale, senior manager at Baringa, discusses the need to simplify the process for consumers to upgrade their homes for net zero, which she says will require a disparate industry to come together to provide with a “one-stop shop” experience.
Opinion
There were major disparities in the proportion of people in fuel poverty across different regions in England in 2020, the latest government statistics show. The two worst affected regions were the West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber, with the proportion of people in fuel poverty at 17.8% and 17.5% respectively.
News
Only one in ten (10%) billpayers intend to ask their supplier to return some of their credit balances, new research has found. A survey commissioned by Uswitch.com found that two thirds (66%) say they plan on leaving their credit balances with their supplier in a bid to reduce their monthly bills.
News
Scottish Power's retail arm has recorded a £12 million loss for the first quarter of 2022, with the company citing the price cap methodology as causing a strain on earnings. The company, which at the end of March served 4.8 million customers, said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by £118 million, or 111.5% year-on-year.
News
Energy retailer Utilita has told Utility Week it has a target list of 50 locations for expanding its Energy Hubs bricks and mortar store model. The company currently operates nine of the town centre stores, where customers can get energy advice (in multiple languages), top up or rent out rooms for community use.
News
Over the past eight months the Utility Week editorial team have been recording the split of male and female interviewees and contributors across our coverage. Editor James Wallin looks at the progress made and urges the sector to help us do more.
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