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.
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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.
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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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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.
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“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

The Energy and Climate Change Committee has been taking evidence from the industry about the acute need to help fuel-poor households, especially those without a mains gas connection. Brendan Coyne heard what they had to say
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David Porter, chief executive of the AEP and Utility Week's newly crowned Industry Champion of 2011, is on the brink of uniting the AEP, ERA and UKBCSE into a single organisation. He talks to Janet Wood.
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The gas industry has warned Ofgem that its proposals for the immediate reform of the gas cash-out regime in an emergency could backfire and cost consumers more.
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43 per cent of people are worries they can't afford their next fuel bill, according to a survey of 2,000 people by Citizens Advice. The charity is now handling 500 fuel-related problems each day and has urged consumers to check they are getting support they are entitled to from energy suppliers and government.
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Large energy retailers look set to follow smaller suppliers in passing on falls in wholesale costs after EDF Energy said it would cut gas prices by 5 per cent from 7 February.
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