Customers

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

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An initiative has been launched to deliver hourly certificates to verify exactly where consumers’ energy comes from, helping them to understand their carbon emissions in real time. EnergyTag is made up of more than 60 companies including Ovo Energy, Microsoft and Google. Its council and advisory board are working together to define a set of guidelines that will form the basis of a market for energy certificates with a timestamp of one hour or less.
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Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action has raised concerns following Ofgem’s decision to defer the introduction of new questions and categories regarding social obligations reporting by a year. Licence conditions stipulate that suppliers must submit data to the regulator quarterly and annually on a variety of areas, including debt levels, disconnection rates, prepayment meters, smart meters, payment methods used by customers and help for vulnerable customers.
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Engagement with stakeholders and customers has never been more important across utility companies. Business activities and strategies are shaped and impacted by the needs and views of these audiences. But how should water and energy companies be approaching engagement to help deliver their social responsibilities and business plans in a post-Covid environment?
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Energy switching rates reached an all-time high in 2019, with 25% of households making the switch. While this level of engagement is promising, concerns remain over the reliability and speed of switching. The energy companies are already paying out hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation costs for erroneous transfers and non-compliance to the time frame, so how can they stop these from escalating in the wake of next-working-day switching in 2021?
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There has been considerable talk within the financial service industry around what the new normal will be for payments post-pandemic. Factors include the reduction in the use of cash and cheques, the rise in contactless payments and the move to digital solutions. However, in a world of ever-changing, uncertain incomes, another change we’ll soon see is greater flexibility over bill payments, including within utilities.
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Latest in Customers

Consumer watchdogs have welcomed a five per cent price cut from independent energy firm Ovo. Consumer Focus said major suppliers will feel the heat from customers if they do not also pass on falls in wholesale prices.
The bitterly cold winter of 2010/11 resulted in widespread pipe bursts and call centre chaos - and the first snows of this winter have arrived. So how prepared is the water sector for a big freeze? Megan Darby investigates
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Businesses know energy is expensive, but are reluctant to invest in efficiency measures. As cold weather starts to kick in for the first time this year, Richard Postance tells the government to educate and reassure.
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