Open market: Stephen Fitzpatrick

“We all have our role to play in rebuilding trust”

Energy companies must put the customer at the heart of their business. When we launched Ovo in 2009, we had a combined energy industry experience of three years. All we had to go on was our personal dealings as dissatisfied customers. To us, it was obvious what we wanted to build – an offer that was simple, fair and transparent.

We thought that if we could make energy easier to understand, remove the complexities and be totally honest, we could bring the customers’ trust back to the industry.

However, customers are still confused and it’s not surprising why! They are getting one message from government, another from the media, another from the regulator and yet another from us, the energy company.

When the going gets tough, energy companies, regulators and the government are all quick to blame each other. The truth is that we are all responsible for fixing the market and all have our role to play in rebuilding trust in this vital industry.

Energy is a very complex business. But it need not be. If everybody focused on delivering what customers want ­(reliable energy and good value for money), the whole market could be made much simpler.

The only way we will regain trust and build a fairer, more transparent open market, is to all start looking at things from the customers’ point of view; after all, they are the ones footing the bill.

It’s time for regulators and politicians to make our industry simple and transparent.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder, Ovo Energy