The French energy giant Engie has entered the British home energy business with a commitment to put all customers onto their cheapest tariff whenever their fixed-term contracts end.
Speaking to Utility Week, the divisional chief executive of energy solutions at Engie UK, Paul Rawson, said at the end of fixed deals, instead of automatically defaulting to the standard variable tariff, the supplier “will find the lowest unit” and “you will automatically go on that tariff”.
“I think it’s a great innovation and a great consumer solution,” said Rawson. “It saves the effort and the frustration of having to continually switch supplier to get the best deal. It rewards loyalty and it’s the right thing to do.
“We also won’t have any exit fees on the rollover tariff. People are free to go onto another energy tariff, or alternatively, switch to another supplier.”
The launch of Engie’s home energy business comes at a time when energy suppliers are under pressure from politicians about price rises.
Rawson told Utility Week the company is also planning to launch another product this summer, called the Engie Tracker, which will be based on wholesale prices.
“We publish the baseline tariff,” he promised. “We will also publish the assumption and then as the market evolves, we will adjust that price accordingly. We will get independent verification we are doing that in the correct.
“Effectively, we will pass on decreases on the wholesale market. This is a tariff that is aimed at people who want price transparency, visibility of the market and trust the price is moving in the right way.”
All of Engie’s domestic tariffs will also offer 100 per cent renewable electricity at no extra cost, although there will also be a separate green tariff. which will offer green gas and electricity.
The company will also be offering UK customers a smart heating control system, Engie Control, with a three-year fixed price deal.
The move into the UK domestic market has been mooted for a number of years and was officially acknowledged in early 2016.
The most recent step towards launching the new city energy services portfolio was Engie’s acquisition of Doncaster-based Keepmoat – a specialist in urban regeneration services – for £330m in March this year.
“Engie is a well-established business and we believe that our experience and scale, combined with the fresh approach we are taking to customer engagement as a new entrant to the market, means that we can provide something new to energy customers in the UK,” said UK and Ireland chief executive, Wilfrid Petrie.
“For individuals, families and whole communities, Engie’s energy and services capabilities will play a leading role in the UK’s transition to a more secure and sustainable future.”