Customers

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

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After a bruising week for the energy retail market, in which wholesale power prices hit dramatic new heights, more than 500,000 customers saw their supplier exit the market and a major price comparison website was forced to suspend its energy services, the real fear is that we have yet to see the worst. Adam John looks at where the energy retail sector goes from here.
Analysis
One of the major price comparison services has halted energy comparisons after soaring wholesale costs resulted in suppliers restricted the number of tariffs available. Elsewhere other comparison services are offering a severely limited number of deals, with only a handful of suppliers listed on their sites.
News
A customer service expert has warned utilities they cannot get away with blaming poor performance on Covid or Brexit. Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, pointed to evidence that after an initial wave of high satisfaction across sectors, consumers were now becoming more demanding and less likely to be pacified when they encounter problems.
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Download Utility Week’s report to discover the factors driving industry pilots of open banking technology to improve debt and payment management in the post-pandemic world.
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Co-op Energy has won the first Which? attempt at collective switching. The firm won the reverse auction by bidding its normal variable price tariff but created a new fixed rate tariff that it will now offer to its existing 25,000 customers, but not the general public.
News
Even if all a water company's business customers left it for a rival supplier, its RCV would barely be dented. Analysis by Sam Williams.
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As a customer, I am not sure what predatory pricing is - but it sounds like a great way to get really low prices.
Comment
An independent Scotland would jeopardise utility investment and renewables subsidies, predicts Nigel Hawkins.
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