Customers

Examining how utilities are tackling the key issues of vulnerability and affordability

Editor's picks

The debate over the imbalance of policy costs and taxation between electricity and gas bills is ramping up as the Treasury investigates how net zero should be paid for. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, David Blackman looks at the arguments for change alongside concerns that targeting gas bills would hit the fuel poor hardest.
Analysis
Yorkshire Water's CEO Liz Barber delivered a keynote speech at Utility Week's Customer Summit in which she shared the business' vision for the future and how it plans to get there.
News

Featured

The principle of no customer being left behind in the shift to a smarter, more flexible energy system is hard to argue with. However, some experts believe that in the short-term a just transition is just impossible. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, James Wallin examines different pathways to fairness – from ensuring the most vulnerable benefit first to the introduction of non-participant tariffs.
Analysis
A new Utility Week report explores the potential for AI and machine learning to help utilities navigate a swelling crisis in consumer debt. We present an overview of what’s covered.
Analysis
While energy retailers collectively lost £1 billion in 2020, ongoing intense competition as well as new cashflow challenges and the pandemic will make that loss seem mild, Ben Bugg of BFY Group says. Writing for Utility Week Bugg outlines why he expects 2021 to be a year of increased M&A activity in the retail market.
Opinion

Latest in Customers

Octopus Energy has revealed it has started offering customers working from home the use of a battery to power their wifi during smart meter installations. The large retailer, which recently surpassed 2 million customers, said it has seen a number of customers cancel their installation appointments as they did not want their wifi to be switched off during the process.
News
To address some of the problematic elements of decarbonisation in the water sector, this virtual innovation festival jointly hosted by Anglian, Yorkshire and Essex & Suffolk will look towards COP26
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Ovo Energy, Shell Energy Retail and Scottish Power are among 18 suppliers which failed to correctly protect customers’ tariff prices when they decided to switch, Ofgem has announced. After several suppliers self-reported the issue every provider on the market was requested to self-assess their practices, revealing that 18 suppliers were not compliant between 2013-2020.
News
The energy sector must learn lessons from the smart meter rollout when implementing technical standards for future smart home energy technologies, industry observers have warned. A recent roundtable hosted by DevicePilot, a service monitoring platform for connected devices, discussed the future of the home energy market, which innovations are set to have the biggest impact and what effect this will have on the UK’s net zero goals. Several attendees reflected on how the smart meter rollout has panned out and offered their thoughts on what can be learned as homes adopt smart technologies.
News
Octopus Energy has awarded a year’s supply of free energy to its 2 millionth customer. Chief executive Greg Jackson talks to Utility Week about the milestone and how he took inspiration from the comic Whizzer & Chips to celebrate it.
News
Npower has confirmed it shut down its customer app following an attack which left customers’ details exposed to cyber criminals. During the breach personal data and contact preferences were accessed. For some accounts the sort code and the last four digits of their bank account number, but not the full number, was accessed.
News
Centrica’s aim to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2045 show the “tide is turning” for energy businesses, an industry observer has said. Alongside the company's latest financial update were plans for the business to achieve net zero emissions five years ahead of the UK’s national target.
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Eon UK chief executive Michael Lewis outlines his thoughts on the progress of the Green Homes Grant scheme. Lewis believes more funding for the scheme's Local Authority Delivery (LAD) element could help with delivering further demand. Elsewhere Lewis discusses Eon's own response to the scheme, revealing that the company is creating more jobs to manage the thousands of LAD projects it has secured.
Opinion
Centrica aims to be net zero five years ahead of the national target and says its restructure is “on track”, as its latest results showed a £360 million operating loss last year. Speaking to reporters this morning, chief executive Chris O'Shea said the company's "journey to transform has only just started".
News
A charity has revealed the extent of the impact the pandemic has had on people with disabilities, with some forgoing meals in order to save energy. Scope, a disability equality charity, conducted an Opinium survey of more than 1,000 disabled people and has released the results in a report titled Covid-19, energy suppliers and their disabled customers.
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