Customers

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

Editor's picks

Energy retailers have an additional six months under the current smart meter rollout obligations before the new framework will be implemented, the government has announced. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has taken the decision to extend the current ‘all reasonable steps’ obligation by six months from 1 July due to the impact of the pandemic. This is the second six month extension due to Covid and will see the rollout deadline moved to 31 December 2025.
News
Following the Financial Conduct Authority's announcement of remedies to tackle the loyalty penalty in the motor and home insurance sectors, Utility Week speaks to a number of energy industry experts to ask for their thoughts on what a similar decision could mean for this sector. One company director believes such a move in energy retail could complement the existing price cap.
News
Making the switch to low-carbon heating attractive and accessible to consumers will be a crucial part of achieving net zero. As part of our Countdown to COP series, Utility Week speaks to Eon boss Michael Lewis, who explains that a combination of the right financial incentives and consumer education will be key to the transition.
News

Featured

The debate over decarbonisation of heat is marked by polarised views from the passionate advocates of electrification and green gas - each with a statistic at the ready to prove their case. As part of Utility Week’s Countdown to COP series, David Blackman unpicks the arguments and examines the key question for policymakers - what role hydrogen will have in warming the homes of the future?
Analysis
Debt and collections leaders in utilities remain braced for the wave of debt and affordability woes they know will come with the end of government’s coronavirus support measures. Are they armed with the right products, resources and data to service the new scale and profile of customers in arrears?
Downloads
New research commissioned by Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has shown that just one in five Brits believe that we can meet the UK’s net carbon zero target by 2050, but that there is also a strong public appetite for a greener future. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, chief executive Mark Horsley shares his views on how the gas sector must win hearts and minds as 2050 draws nearer.
Opinion

Latest in Customers

Overall satisfaction with customer service has dipped to an all-time low for the energy sector, research from Ofgem has revealed. The regulator’s quarterly consumer perception of the energy market survey has polled thousands of customers each quarter since Q4 2018.
News
As the second anniversary of the vote to implement a net zero emissions by 2050 target fast approaches, Data Communications Company chief executive Angus Flett talks about the crucial need for a smart EV network. Specifically, how a new trial taking place at the DCC’s Manchester testing facility can provide solutions to augment the current approach to EV charging.
Opinion
Switches between electricity suppliers hit an “unusual low” last month, the latest figures from Electralink have revealed. May saw the lowest monthly switches completed outside of the annual January dip since July 2017. Electralink has also predicted that the market share of the large legacy suppliers could fall below 50 per cent as soon as next year.
News
People struggling with utility bills are three times more likely to pay by credit card than ask for help, research commissioned by Ofwat has shown. The report into financial support suggests many households are unaware of assistance offered by water companies.
News
With bad debt risk spiralling for energy providers, and growing economic uncertainty for customers, both groups are seeking new ways to settle their energy bills. In a new technical white paper, Siemens make the case for leveraging two innovative technologies, Managed Credit and Open Banking, to realise a compelling fourth payment option, which strikes a unique balance between credit risk and operational costs.
Opinion
Introducing carbon MOTs for customers’ homes could help with the lack of understanding around the impact domestic heating has on net zero, a new report has suggested. The report, Getting to net zero, by Energy Systems Catapult on behalf of Shell Energy Retail includes new polling which shows just nine per cent of customers plan to switch to low-carbon heating when they replace their current boiler.
News
A study of 223 energy tariffs has shown just one in six (37) were available to customers who have had a smart meter installed. The research also shows customers with a smart meter pay £18 more than those without.
News
As the UK ramps up its efforts to achieve its decarbonisation aims, the energy and utilities sector is at the forefront of the fight against climate change. Carl Haigney, global vice president and head of retail utilities subsector at Capgemini, outlines several challenges both the sector and the government must overcome in order to set the nation on the right track towards decarbonisation. For Haigney, cutting red tape and providing the right incentives will be key.
Opinion
With water retailers facing a mounting volume of deferred or unpaid bills from business customers, a focus on improving payment allocation can help them keep their cashflow healthy, argues Parseq’s Craig Naylor-Smith
Opinion
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