Customers

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

Editor's picks

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.
News

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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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Latest in Customers

If there's one thing we know about customers, it's that they are hard to read - and harder still to predict. Even hard facts can be misleading. Take switching, for instance. Recently energy switching has fallen, but does this really indicate rising satisfaction with energy suppliers? That's doubtful.
Comment
Rumoured cuts of 25 per cent in subsidies paid to wind power are off the mark, secretary of state Ed Davey told the cross-party Energy and Climate Change Select Committe today. He promised that revised subsidy levels in the Renewables Obligation - delayed several times and most recently due for publication today - would be published by 30 September.
News
In early June, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) published the results of smart meter field trials, concluding that "in some cases there was little effect on home comfort, as actions focused on unnecessary consumption, while in others the effect was noticeable - for example, a colder and darker home".
Comment
Independent energy supplier Ovo has cut its two fixed tariffs by 4.5 per cent. The firm said wholesale energy price falls had enabled it to pass on the savings to customers. First Utility though, has increased prices by over £100 a year.
News
The collective switching movement will be short-lived, our panel of senior industry figures predicts. Karma Ockenden reports.
The Competition Commission's unconditional clearance of the South Staffs/Cambridge Water merger should give water investors confidence to consider consolidating acquisitions, say David Aitman, James Aitken and Satyen Dhana.
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