Customers, Strategy & management

Two energy suppliers have joined forces to address fuel poverty with a not-fot-profit prepay tariff.

Ebico and Robin Hood Energy – both independent and not-for-profit energy suppliers – have announced a new partnership which will provide a flexible, exit fee-free tariff option for customers with prepay meters. 

Prepay customers include a large proportion of the UK’s most vulnerable energy customers and the supplier duo say their new tariff will offer unrivalled affordability. It is 8.5 per cent lower than Ebico’s own existing prepay tariff.

Profits made by the two companies from their jointly offered tariff, which will be called Ebico Prepay, will be re-invested in fuel poverty projects around Britain.

The partnership between Ebico and Robin Hood Energy has been welcomed by MPs across the political spectrum as a demonstration of good practice and ethical behaviour in the energy industry.

Labour’s Alan Whitehead, shadow energy minister, described the partnership as a “match made in heaven”. He added that the approach was a “challenge” to traditional energy retailers. “Ebico and Robin Hood Energy are now making the weather on energy retailing – what are you going to do to catch up?” he asked.

Meanwhile, the SNP’s Callum McCaig said: “No consumer should be paying more than they have to for energy costs, and whilst work has been done to regulate cheaper tariffs for direct-debit customers, there has definitely been a gap left for those on costly pre-payment meters.”

He added that the efforts of Ebico and Robin Hood Energy are “encouraging”.

“Hopefully this may be the start of working toward a future where those individuals who are not able to secure a direct-debit agreement are not then penalised and discriminated against with higher charges.”

Conservative MP Robert Courts, who represents Witney and West Oxfordshire, where Ebico is based, also welcomed the firm’s “innovative solution to a national problem”.

“This partnership is a welcome display of innovative thinking that puts customers first,” he said. “I am proud that Ebico are based in West Oxfordshire and wish them well with their work.”