Energy retail

Editor's picks

After a bruising week for the energy retail market, in which wholesale power prices hit dramatic new heights, more than 500,000 customers saw their supplier exit the market and a major price comparison website was forced to suspend its energy services, the real fear is that we have yet to see the worst. Adam John looks at where the energy retail sector goes from here.
Analysis
Ecotricity has reiterated its ambitions to take over green rival Good Energy, making a new £53 million offer for the shares it does not already own in the company. The board of the latter has described Ecotricity as an "unfit" owner.
News
Average power prices over the past two weeks have been eight times higher than the average in 2019, according to data from EnAppSys. Phil Hewitt, director of the energy market analyst, told Utility Week further supplier failures were inevitable and that retailers should be lobbying Ofgem to give them some relief from the price cap. He said many suppliers had been far too relaxed about actively trading in the intraday and advanced markets.
News

Featured

Business energy supplier Haven Power is to be rebranded as Drax as the group looks to more closely align its supply business with its generation arm.  Haven was acquired by Drax Group in 2009 and supplies more than 20,000 large industrial and commercial customers with more than 12TWh of renewable electricity annually – the equivalent yearly power use of more than 3 million homes.
News
Elexon has said it is consulting on raising the Credit Assessment Price (CAP) to a new record high of £137/MWh following continued increases in wholesale electricity prices. The current price of £113/MWh is already the highest to date and only came into effect on Wednesday (8 September) after being confirmed by the administrator of the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) in August. It had previously been set at £96/MW
News

Latest in Energy retail

Octopus Energy is partnering with Severn Trent to develop renewable energy assets on land owned by the water supplier. Speaking to Utility Week Zoisa North-Bond, chief executive of Octopus Energy Generation, said the goal was to develop “direct wire” assets for Severn Trent sites, where power is generated close to where it is consumed.
News
Ofgem should give energy tariffs “Olympic medal-style” ratings of gold, silver and bronze to prevent “greenwashing” by energy suppliers, a thinktank has urged in a new report. The Social Market Foundation said the current arrangements for certifying the green credentials of energy tariffs are outdated and confusing to customers, leaving them unsure over suppliers’ claims.
News
A move by British Gas to offer its standard variable tariff (SVT) customers a price freeze over winter could lead to affordability issues surfacing at a later period, an industry expert has warned. Rik Smith was speaking to Utility Week following the announcement that the supplier’s SVT customers would be given the option to freeze their direct debits at the current rate, despite the forthcoming price cap increase.
News
So Energy’s new chief executive has said she believes the vertically integrated model for energy retail is vital in the transition to net zero, adding that key players need “fingers in all pies”. Monica Collings was speaking to Utility Week following the announcement that Irish utility ESB had acquired a more than 75 per cent stake in the UK disruptor brand, merging it with ESB’s GB energy retail arm.
News
Irish power supplier ESB has acquired a more than 75 per cent stake in disruptor brand So Energy, bringing the two companies together. So Energy co-founder Simon Oscroft said his company now has the backing and resources to become the "next big green energy supplier" in the UK.
News
The number of energy efficiency measures installed under the industry-funded Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme has hit its highest quarterly level since 2015, according to new government statistics.
News
A fully renewable grid, purely reliant on wind and solar generation, could require hundreds of terrawatt hours of storage capacity to correct seasonal and multi-year imbalances between the supply and demand of electricity, according to research by Birmingham University and Dr Keith MacLean. Utility Week spoke to MacLean to find out more.
News
Almost 4.6 million smart and advanced meters in Great Britain, representing just under 18 per cent of those installed, do not have smart functionality. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published the latest quarterly statistics showing the number of installations made by the 14 largest energy suppliers. In total 46 per cent of all meters in Britain were smart or advanced meters at the end of Q2, an increase of two percentage points from the last quarter.
News
Can utilities marry a drive for innovation in customer service with the need for ruthless efficiency in the way it is delivered? Customer operations and strategy leaders from across the sector shared their views with Utility Week.
Analysis
The utilities sector continues to under-value data as an asset in its own right, according to senior executives, who also told Utility Week that greater collaboration was needed to unlock the potential of data in delivering on common goals, most notably decarbonisation.
Analysis
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