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

A grant of £3 million is being awarded by the Cadent Foundation to fund ‘green doctors’, energy efficiency experts who will support fuel poor customers. The grant will support the expansion of community action charity Groundwork's green doctors programme, part of a new three-year strategic partnership with the foundation which is funded by the gas network operator. 
News
Almost 70 per cent of people are in support of a carbon tax that protects lower income households from price increases, research from the Zero Carbon Campaign has found. Alongside the results of an Opinium survey of 2,000 UK adults, the campaign is launching a petition calling on the government to introduce charges on carbon emissions.
News
Research by the The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has identified 27.7 million UK adults as having characteristics of vulnerability such as poor health, experiencing negative life events, low financial resilience or low capability. It has set out its view of best practice for firms in dealing with vulnerable customers, which have been supported by trade bodies representing utilities.
News
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
The first official statistics on the rollout of the Green Homes Grant have laid bare the sluggish pace, with just 2,777 measures installed over the past five months – only 12 per cent of which were low-carbon heat.
News
Trade associations representing installers of eligible technologies under the GHG have suggested improvements to the scheme following a survey that showed how damaging the voucher scheme's rollout has been to businesses it was designed to help
News
A report by a coalition of industry experts has recommended the creation of a new protocol for measuring energy savings in retrofitted homes in real-time. The Green Finance Institute’s Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings says a national, standardised way to measure the energy saved by retrofit works is “vital” to unlocking up to £65 billion of investment needed to decarbonise the existing building stock.
News
Electricity switching got off to a “slow start” in 2021 as January saw the fewest amount of switches for that month in three years, Electralink has revealed. The latest figures from the company’s Energy Market Data Hub (EMDH) recorded a total of 377,000 customers who changed their supplier in January, 23 per cent less than the previous month and 16 per cent less than January 2020.
News
British Gas has confirmed it is raising prices on its standard variable tariff (SVT) by almost £100 to bring it in line with the price cap, the first supplier to do so. The news comes following Ofgem's plans to raise the cap following a rise in wholesale prices, with other major suppliers likely to follow suit.
News
A long-awaited report outlining recommendations designed to strengthen the UK’s competition regime has been cautiously welcomed by industry observers but described as lacking in detail. The Power to the People report by Conservative MP John Penrose has a heavy focus on streamlining regulatory processes and creating further competition where possible. It also calls for measures introduced in insurance to tackle 'loyalty penalties' to be extended to energy.
News
Anglian Water has set out plans to expand its Shop Window, the company's Newmarket test bed for innovation, to trial its projects with one million customers before company-wide adoption.
News
Octopus Energy and NatWest Group have launched an electric vehicle (EV) charging bundle which will allow the bank’s customers to purchase chargers at discounted rates. The joint offering, which the companies claim is the first of its kind, includes the entire stack of infrastructure, technology and software needed to switch to EVs as well as a comprehensive assessment of each customer’s needs.
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