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UK Energy Industry News



Modified: 2017-01-19T09:29:51Z

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Npower Launch Protect and Fix November 2018

2017-01-19T09:29:51Z

Npower have launched a new fixed term tariff -protect and Fix November 2018. With Protect and Fix November 2018 customers can fix your gas and electricity prices until the 30th November 2018 plus this tariff comes with 2 battery operated Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

(image) Npower have launched a new fixed term tariff -protect and Fix November 2018.

With Protect and Fix November 2018 customers can fix your gas and electricity prices until the 30th November 2018 plus this tariff comes with 2 battery operated Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Key Facts

• Prices are fixed at the rates you sign up to until 30th November 2018 when customers will revert to Npower's cheapest Standard variable tariff applicable to them.
• £1,141 * is the average annual cost for electricity & gas. Annual cost for individual customers will vary and maybe higher than our standard charges.
• This tariff comes with 2 battery operated Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
• Customers will need to be a dual fuel customer with both fuels on this tariff and pay by monthly or quarterly variable Direct Debit to be eligible.
• As with all npower tariffs a standing charge applies.

With Protect and Fix November 2018, customers will get a continuous discount in a lower daily standing charge when they pay by Direct Debit. The discount is worth £90 over each year if they pay for both electricity and gas by Direct Debit and comprises a discount of £40 on electricity charges and £50 on gas charges.

Customers need to manage their account online and receive bills and key communications via email.

An early exit fee of £50 per fuel may apply if a customer changes their tariff or supplier before 13th October 2018.

To find out more about this tariff visit our free and easy-to-use energy comparison website or call one of our advisors on 01259 220000. Terms and conditions apply.




2016: A Record Year for Households Switching Energy Supplier

2017-01-13T13:06:17Z

Last year's switching numbers are in... nearly a million more households switched their energy supplier in 2016, compared to 2015. The latest Energy UK electricity switching data, published today, reveals the overall number of electricity switches in 2016 reached 4.8 million. This is a record high since 2013 when Energy UK started publishing data, and up by a quarter (26%) on 2015. This continues the trend of increasing overall switching figures for the past two years. The average number of monthly switches was over 400,000 in 2016. In December, the number of switches reached 449,921, up by a third (33%) compared to December 2015. One in five (22% of those electricity switches in December were to a smaller supplier.

(image) Last year's switching numbers are in... nearly a million more households switched their energy supplier in 2016, compared to 2015.

The latest Energy UK electricity switching data, published today, reveals the overall number of electricity switches in 2016 reached 4.8 million. This is a record high since 2013 when Energy UK started publishing data, and up by a quarter (26%) on 2015.

This continues the trend of increasing overall switching figures for the past two years. The average number of monthly switches was over 400,000 in 2016.

In December, the number of switches reached 449,921, up by a third (33%) compared to December 2015. One in five (22% of those electricity switches in December were to a smaller supplier.

The introduction of the Energy Switch Guarantee last year also helped make switching easier and provided greater confidence for customers when switching supplier. New research for the Guarantee also reveals nine in ten (89%) people were satisfied with the overall switching process.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said:

"It is fantastic that switching levels are continuing to soar with almost five million households changing supplier last year.

Across the industry, energy companies are doing more to engage with all of their customers, making it easier for people to be on the right tariff whether that's with their current supplier or by switching to one of the 40 plus suppliers active in the market.

The Energy Switch Guarantee also means it is simple, speedy and safe to switch so people should check to see if they are on the best deal for them and if not - switch."

The publicity around the CMA's report in to the energy industry would of also encouraged consumers to switch... let's hope the trend continues. Energylinx offer a free and impartial online energy comparison service. If you would rather discuss your options, you can call one of our knowledgeable energy advisors on 01259 220000.




Energy Prices are a Major Concern for UK Consumers

2017-01-04T14:36:40Z

It's winter and whilst (so far) it's been a relatively mild one, a recent survey for Which? Consumer Insights Tracker found that 64% of the 2000 people said they were worried about energy prices - a rise of 8% since September. Bad news for energy suppliers as they were voted more distrusted than banks and mobile networks as distrust in them rose from 6% to 35% over 4 months. Only car dealers fared worse at 55%. Trust in the energy sector dropped by 3% to 32%. Out of the 13 sectors examined by the survey just three scored lower - train companies, car dealers and long-term financial products.

It's winter and whilst (so far) it's been a relatively mild one, a recent survey for Which? Consumer Insights Tracker found that 64% of the 2000 people said they were worried about energy prices - a rise of 8% since September.

Bad news for energy suppliers as they were voted more distrusted than banks and mobile networks as distrust in them rose from 6% to 35% over 4 months. Only car dealers fared worse at 55%.

Trust in the energy sector dropped by 3% to 32%. Out of the 13 sectors examined by the survey just three scored lower - train companies, car dealers and long-term financial products.

Towards the end of last year British Gas, EDF, SSE, Good Energy and Utilitia all announced price freezes for the 2016/17 winter season.

Which? managing director for home and legal services Alex Neill said:

"With price hikes due later this year, temporary fixes from suppliers are just not enough to help people stuck on the most expensive deals. Energy companies will have no one else to blame but themselves if the government and the regulator have to step in and intervene."

As part of Which? Fair Energy Prices campaign, the consumer group has invited suppliers to submit plans on how they could help their customers to switch from expensive standard variable tariffs to cheaper offers. There is now less than a month to go until the deadline but not a single supplier has published a plan yet.

"The clock is ticking for energy companies," added Neill. "With... trust in the industry falling, more needs to be done to move people onto better deals."

Why not use our energy bill calculator and see if you could save money on your energy bills? Energylinx offer a free and impartial service online or by calling one of our advisors on 01259 220000.




Four million households have switched energy supplier in 2016

2017-01-02T09:47:25Z

There has been over four million customers switching electricity supplier in 2016, eclipsing the past three years of switching data produced by Energy UK. November saw switching stay above 400,000 with more consumers looking to take advantage of the variety of deals available. This similarly is the highest figure seen since November 2013.

(image) There has been over four million customers switching electricity supplier in 2016, eclipsing the past three years of switching data produced by Energy UK.

November saw switching stay above 400,000 with more consumers looking to take advantage of the variety of deals available. This similarly is the highest figure seen since November 2013.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said:

"A record number of people have switched electricity supplier in 2016. This is fantastic progress, but more needs to be done.

"Over forty companies across the industry, big and small, are working hard to win customers. With the Energy Switch Guarantee now in place, customers can be more confident to switch supplier. I'd encourage everyone to look at the best deal for them, whether that is one that offers a lower price or better customer service, there are choices for everyone.

"Let's make 2017 even better and make sure every family is benefitting from the best possible deal."

Energylinx make switching energy suppliers easy. Find out what you could save here or call one of our advisors on 01259 220000.




Park home residents set to receive £700,000 in Warm Home Discount rebates

2016-12-09T12:08:10Z

More than 5,000 residents of park homes are set to benefit from £700,000 worth of energy bill rebates following a successful Warm Home Discount (WHD) pilot initiative. The WHD is a government scheme, administered by Ofgem E-Serve, which may provide... More than 5,000 residents of park homes are set to benefit from £700,000 worth of energy bill rebates following a successful Warm Home Discount (WHD) pilot initiative. The WHD is a government scheme, administered by Ofgem E-Serve, which may provide a £140 annual rebate on energy bills to those in or at risk of fuel poverty in Great Britain. Up until now most people living in park homes did not qualify for WHD rebates because their energy suppliers' contract is often with the site owner, not the individual residents. This has now changed following a successful pilot scheme in 2015-16, developed by Ofgem E-Serve, energy suppliers and Charis Grants, which provided a total of £233,520 in rebates to 1,668 residents. This was an increase in the initial target as more energy suppliers joined the scheme recognising it as an effective way to support vulnerable consumers. This year more than 5,000 rebates, worth over £700,000, are expected to be paid out to eligible consumers who will also benefit from advice on making their homes more energy efficient. Chris Poulton, Managing Director of Ofgem E-Serve, said: "We're pleased that more than 5,000 park home residents are able to benefit from £700,000 of extra support to help stay warm this winter. This is an important contribution to helping tackle fuel poverty for those vulnerable consumers in park homes. "We thank the obligated suppliers and Charis Grants for working with us to develop the scheme, and hope to continue to pursue innovative ways to ensure that the WHD helps those who need it most." Minister for Energy and Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: "It's great news that this scheme is now accessible to a broader range of people, which is an important part of our work to support low income and vulnerable households. The government's Warm Home Discount scheme is worth £320m per year and will ensure that over 2 million households receive £140 off their energy bills this winter. "Ofgem's extension of the scheme to park homes shows government and industry working together to solve problems for hard pressed consumers." Protecting and empowering consumers in vulnerable situations is a priority for Ofgem. Next year, in a separate initiative, for the first time Ofgem will set a cap on prices for households with prepayment meters, which is estimated will save customers £75 a year on average. Eligibility As the WHD is designed to support vulnerable consumers, recipients must meet one of the eligibility criteria set out below. To qualify for a payment, park home residents are required to meet one of the following criteria, in addition to paying council tax at the property: ♦ They or their partner is in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee & Savings or Pension Credit Savings ♦ They are in receipt of one of a number of means tested eligible benefits* ♦ They have a gross annual household income of less than £16,190 and the account holder is living with mental or physical disability or illness, or there is vulnerability within the home (children living in the house aged 5 or under or those of pensionable age) ♦ They have a gross annual household income of less than £16,190 and spend 10% or more of household income on energy bills to heat the property. How to apply for the rebate Park home residents can apply for the rebate at http://www.charisgrants.com/park-homes-warm-home-discount-scheme/ or by calling the Charis Park Homes hotline on 0330 380 1040. Successful applicants will then be sent a cheque totalling £140 to help with energy costs. [...]



Co-operative Energy takes over from GB Energy

2016-11-29T23:39:00Z

The Co-operative Energy has today written out to all customers of GB Enegy to advise them that with effect from the 30th November that reached an agreement with GB Energy and Ofgem to take over responsibility for customer's energy accounts, and are reassuring customers that they will have continuity of supply They have confirmed that they will honour current contracts and price until it is due to expire.

The Co-operative Energy has today written out to all customers of GB Enegy to advise them that with effect from the 30th November that reached an agreement with GB Energy and Ofgem to take over responsibility for customer's energy accounts, and are reassuring customers that they will have continuity of supply

They have confirmed that they will honour current contracts and price until it is due to expire.

They have promised to contact customers before their tariff expires advising them what they need to do at that point.

Customer services will continue to be provided by the same GB Energy teams who will be using the same systems. This should hep reduce any disruption to the level of service that they wish to offer. To that end they are increasing the number of customer services advisors.

And, finally they have stated We are developing more detailed plans, working closely with Ofgem, and we will contact you again before 15th December 2016 with an update on our progress.

Energylinx will be providng regular updates as we know more.

In the meantime if you wish to see how good Co-operative Energy tariffs are compared with GB Energy please use our 100% impartial energy price comparison. Remembering though that Co-Operative Energy have confirmed that existing deals will be honoured until they are due to expire




GB Energy ceases trading

2016-11-26T22:54:16Z

On the 26th November GB Energy have announced that they have ceased trading. Their statement reads: "Due to swift and significant increases in energy prices over recent months and, as a small supplier our inability to forward buy energy to...

On the 26th November GB Energy have announced that they have ceased trading.

Their statement reads: "Due to swift and significant increases in energy prices over recent months and, as a small supplier our inability to forward buy energy to allow us to access the best possible wholesale prices, means that the position of the business has become untenable and as such we will now be entering a process overseen by Ofgem to move you to a new supplier."

What does this mean for any customer of GB Energy?
Firstly do not panic as your gas and electricity will not be cut off. This will continue as normal and Ofgem, the industry regulator, will appoint a new supplier to take over your supplies.

What you should do?
Await to hear from Ofgem or use Energylinx to search for a new energy contract to replace the one you have with GB Energy.

Click this link if you wish to see how competitive GB Energy is for current energy deal compared with the rest of the market.




Half a Million Customers Switched Energy Supplier in October

2016-11-15T15:10:26Z

According to Energy UK's recent switching data, there was a three-year record high for switching in October. 577,810 customers switched energy supplier last month, 53% more than in September 2016. Energy UK's latest figures show that 92,632 customers switched to a small supplier, which is 9%t of all switches in October.

(image) According to Energy UK's recent switching data, there was a three-year record high for switching in October. 577,810 customers switched energy supplier last month, 53% more than in September 2016.

Energy UK's latest figures show that 92,632 customers switched to a small supplier, which is 9%t of all switches in October.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said:

"With the Energy Switch Guarantee - launched by the industry in June - customers are clearly feeling more confident to switch. That's why last month, over half a million people took control of their energy bills. Join them and save hundreds of pounds a year.

It only takes a few minutes to find the right deal. More than 40 suppliers are offering many deals under £1,000, so take advantage."

What are you waiting for? Energylinx is an Ofgem accredited comparison website. We offer a free and impartial energy switching service. See what you could save today!




Which? Announce "Fair Energy Prices" Campaign

2016-11-08T14:32:30Z

Four months on from the market investigation that found consumers are collectively overpaying by £1.4 billion for their energy, Which? is challenging energy companies to show how they are engaging with their customers stuck on the worst deals. Around 16 million people - over half (58%) of energy customers - are stuck on standard variable tariffs (SVT) with a 'Big Six' provider, the default and usually most expensive tariff. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that more must be done to get energy companies to engage with these customers. Yet, new Which? research has found that three-quarters (74%) of people said they have not been contacted by their supplier about changing their tariff in the four months since the inquiry was completed. Four months on from the market investigation that found consumers are collectively overpaying by £1.4 billion for their energy, Which? is challenging energy companies to show how they are engaging with their customers stuck on the worst deals. Around 16 million people - over half (58%) of energy customers - are stuck on standard variable tariffs (SVT) with a 'Big Six' provider, the default and usually most expensive tariff. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that more must be done to get energy companies to engage with these customers. Yet, new Which? research has found that three-quarters (74%) of people said they have not been contacted by their supplier about changing their tariff in the four months since the inquiry was completed. Which? also found that nearly nine in ten (86%) people said they think it is the energy companies responsibility to help customers better understand their energy usage and nine in ten (89%) say it is the energy companies responsibility to make sure they adequately understand their bill. Which? is calling on all energy companies to find new ways of getting customers stuck on poor value deals to move. Our 'Fair Energy Prices' campaign is challenging the energy companies to publish plans by 31st January 2017 detailing how they will engage standard tariff customers and take immediate action this winter to deliver against this plan. Which? will be publishing a scorecard to track the responses from the energy companies. The Government and the regulator must be ready to act if companies fail to deliver for their customers. Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said of the campaign announcement "Over recent weeks' Which? and others have challenged energy companies to set out what they will do for consumers 'stuck' on standard variable tariffs. "While we would question whether people are really 'stuck' on standard tariffs, the industry is committed to help people benefit from the greatest intensity of competition there has ever been in the energy market. "It is important that trusted voices help people realise the benefits of competition and the ease of switching. If people are told continually that they are stuck, we shouldn't be surprised if they act as if they are stuck. In fact, it has never been easier to switch to a good deal - which in some cases could save households £300 per year." As a result of the CMA's report in to the energy industry, OFGEM, the industry regulator, are introducing a number of major reforms to make it easier for people to get the benefits of a competitive market. Energy companies are working with Ofgem and others to implement CMA remedies over the coming months. Individual companies will of course do more and we welcome the fact that Which? will highlight what companies are doing and what more could be done. [...]



Energy Saving Week 2016

2016-10-31T16:11:13Z

Energy Saving Week launched on Monday 31st October. It is a national campaign to help people cut their fuel bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to. The week focuses on raising public awareness of how to switch energy supplier or tariff to get the best deal and make homes energy efficient. This is the sixth Big Energy Saving Week and is a partnership between Citizens Advice, the Energy Saving Trust and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with the support of numerous organisations, charities and companies.

(image) Energy Saving Week launched on Monday 31st October. It is a national campaign to help people cut their fuel bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to.

The week focuses on raising public awareness of how to switch energy supplier or tariff to get the best deal and make homes energy efficient. This is the sixth Big Energy Saving Week and is a partnership between Citizens Advice, the Energy Saving Trust and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with the support of numerous organisations, charities and companies.

There are events throughout the country, click here to see where the closest event to you is.

Energylinx provide a free and impartial comparison and switching service. To see what you could save on your energy bills click here or call 01259 220000.




ScottishPower Launch New Fixed Price Tariff

2016-10-27T11:18:43Z

ScottishPower has launched a new fixed price energy tariff, Help Beat Cancer Fixed Price Energy January 2019, in partnership with Cancer Research UK. The partnership between ScottishPower and Cancer Research UK began in 2012 and was renewed for another 3 years in 2015. So far, ScottishPower has raised more than £9million for cancer research.

(image)

ScottishPower has launched a new fixed price energy tariff, Help Beat Cancer Fixed Price Energy January 2019, in partnership with Cancer Research UK.

The partnership between ScottishPower and Cancer Research UK began in 2012 and was renewed for another 3 years in 2015. So far, ScottishPower has raised more than £9million for cancer research.

Key Features of Help Beat Cancer Fixed Price Energy January 2019:

• Fixed energy prices until the end of January 2019

• At an average dual fuel bill value of just £942*

• No exit fees

A dual fuel customer that signs up to this new tariff is just £4 per month more versus ScottishPower's current Online Fixed Saver November 2017 v2* tariff (which has exit fees of £30 per fuel), whilst providing over a year's longer price protection.

What's more, ScottishPower will make a donation to Cancer Research UK for every month a customer is on the tariff, up to a maximum of £5 per fuel per annum, until the end of the tariff term

Energylinx can compare every energy tariff on the market and find out if Help Beat Cancer Fixed Price Energy January 2019 can save you money.

*Based on a GB average dual fuel domestic customer using Ofgem typical annual consumption of 3,100kWh of Standard Rate electricity and 12,500kWh of gas each year and paying by monthly Direct Debit for the period ending 31 November 2017.




Over 3 million households have switched energy supplier in 2016

2016-10-21T13:50:51Z

Nearly 400,000 (376,511) households switched electricity supplier in September 2016. This is a 21% increase compared to September 2015; and brings the total number of switches to over three million (3,377,317) so far this year. Energy UK's latest electricity switching data also shows that over 70,000 customers switched to a smaller supplier last month. This is 19% of all switches. Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said:

(image) Nearly 400,000 (376,511) households switched electricity supplier in September 2016. This is a 21% increase compared to September 2015; and brings the total number of switches to over three million (3,377,317) so far this year.

Energy UK's latest electricity switching data also shows that over 70,000 customers switched to a smaller supplier last month. This is 19% of all switches.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said:

"I urge everyone to spend a few minutes to make sure they are on the best deal before winter hits. Join millions of people that have already saved hundreds of pounds so far in 2016. Deals are coming to an end every month so don't miss out on over 100 deals under £1,000.

The energy market is more competitive than it has ever been. With over 40 suppliers in the market and with the Energy Switch Guarantee in place customers should reap the benefits."

If you're on one of the following tariffs then it will end on the 31st of October:

• Co-operative Energy Fair & Square October 2016 - Paperless
• First Utility Energylinx Collective Switch October 2016 - Paperless
• First Utility iSave Fixed October 2016 (v28) - Paperless
• First Utility iSave Fixed October 2016 - Paperless
• First Utility iSave Fixed October 2016 v2 - Paperless
• First Utility The Big Deal October 2016 - Paperless
• Flow Energy Connect 2 - Paperless
• Flow Energy Connect 3 - Paperless
• npower Fixed Energy Online October 2016 - Paperless
• npower Online Price Fix October 2016 - Paperless
• Sainsbury's Energy Fixed Price October 2016 - Paper and Paperless
• Sainsbury's Energy Price Freeze October 2016 - Paper and Paperless
• Sainsbury's Energy Price Promise October 2016 - Paper and Paperless
• ScottishPower Online Fixed Price Energy October 2016 - Paperless

To avoid paying too much for your energy, Compare and switch with Energylinx today.




Energy Round-Up

2016-10-06T14:16:59Z

A brief recap of what's been happening in the energy industry over the last 7 days. Loyal Energy Customers Left out from Cheapest Tariffs (Saturday 1st October) Four of the "Big Six" energy suppliers won't put existing customers on their cheapest tariffs. With the lowest priced deals only being available to new customers. In some cases the deals for existing customers are hundreds of pounds more a year. The four companies, E.ON, EDF, SSE and British Gas said they were simply responding to changes in the market. While the British Gas tariff has now been withdrawn, other suppliers are still restricting their offers to new customers only. Such deals were originally banned by the regulator Ofgem in April 2014. Following a recommendation from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in April this year, Ofgem let it be known it would no longer enforce these rules. Ken Geddes, the chief executive of Energylinx, the largest energy price comparison business in the UK was "gob-smacked" on finding out how large the difference in cost new customers pay in comparison to existing customers. Mr Geddes tested a new-customer-only tariff from E.ON, launched in mid-September. He first applied as an E.ON customer and then as a customer of another company. The difference in the two prices he got from E.ON was £260. "Having spent over a decade doing this job, I don't think I've ever seen that differential", Mr Geddes told the BBC. "I'm just gob-smacked as to the difference in price". Not all major energy suppliers plan to offer such tariffs. A brief recap of what's been happening in the energy industry over the last 7 days. Loyal Energy Customers Left out from Cheapest Tariffs (Saturday 1st October) Four of the "Big Six" energy suppliers won't put existing customers on their cheapest tariffs. With the lowest priced deals only being available to new customers. In some cases the deals for existing customers are hundreds of pounds more a year. The four companies, E.ON, EDF, SSE and British Gas said they were simply responding to changes in the market. While the British Gas tariff has now been withdrawn, other suppliers are still restricting their offers to new customers only. Such deals were originally banned by the regulator Ofgem in April 2014. Following a recommendation from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in April this year, Ofgem let it be known it would no longer enforce these rules. Ken Geddes, the chief executive of Energylinx, the largest energy price comparison business in the UK was "gob-smacked" on finding out how large the difference in cost new customers pay in comparison to existing customers. Mr Geddes tested a new-customer-only tariff from E.ON, launched in mid-September. He first applied as an E.ON customer and then as a customer of another company. The difference in the two prices he got from E.ON was £260. "Having spent over a decade doing this job, I don't think I've ever seen that differential", Mr Geddes told the BBC. "I'm just gob-smacked as to the difference in price". Not all major energy suppliers plan to offer such tariffs. Scottish Power's Colin McNeil, Commercial Director: "These tariffs must stop. We must recognise that we are still not a trusted industry, and perceived sharp practices do the industry no favours." "Any of our customers can switch freely to any of our tariffs at any time." The four energy companies which have offered the new-customer only tariffs, E.ON, EDF, SSE and British Gas, all say that they are responding to changes in the energy market and that their new tariffs are part of a strategy to serve a wide range of customers. Ofgem's chief executive Dermot Nolan said that Ofgem had acted on the CMA's recommendation "to make ener[...]



ScottishPower is changing the way we buy energy

2016-09-23T12:50:10Z

In a response to customer feedback calling for more transparency, simpler billing and greater convenience, ScottishPower are using new technology to put customers in control of their energy spend. Simplifying the way customers purchase gas and electricity, the energy supplier will be launching 'PowerUp'. Using a model similar to how people fill up their cars at the petrol station, for the first-time ever, consumers will be able to purchase 'days' of gas and electricity, with an app that allows them to keep an eye on their gauge, to manage their usage. PowerUp allows customers to buy fuel in packages from one day to a month, up to 180 days, upfront at a set price. Customers will track their usage via a new app, allowing them to easily understand their total spend in relation to what they use and how much they pay on a daily basis. There will be no 'standing charges' for customers paying via PowerUp, so if no energy is used on a given day, no charges will be applied. PowerUp will initially be exclusively available to ScottishPower customers, from early October 2016. In a response to customer feedback calling for more transparency, simpler billing and greater convenience, ScottishPower are using new technology to put customers in control of their energy spend. Simplifying the way customers purchase gas and electricity, the energy supplier will be launching 'PowerUp'. Using a model similar to how people fill up their cars at the petrol station, for the first-time ever, consumers will be able to purchase 'days' of gas and electricity, with an app that allows them to keep an eye on their gauge, to manage their usage. PowerUp allows customers to buy fuel in packages from one day to a month, up to 180 days, upfront at a set price. Customers will track their usage via a new app, allowing them to easily understand their total spend in relation to what they use and how much they pay on a daily basis. There will be no 'standing charges' for customers paying via PowerUp, so if no energy is used on a given day, no charges will be applied. PowerUp will initially be exclusively available to ScottishPower customers, from early October 2016. Neil Clitheroe, Global Retail Director said: "Energy bills can be complicated, with customer research showing that 6 in 10 people don't fully understand how their bill is calculated. Kilowatt hours, therms and calorific values are not terms that are easy to understand. Energy bills have consistently been voted the most confusing bills that consumers receive. Currently most people either pay a flat amount each month by direct debit or receive a quarterly bill in arrears. Either way there is very little connection between actual energy usage and how much a customer pays. Both of these factors have helped contribute to many customers feeling disengaged from their energy usage and indeed their energy supplier. But filling up a car at the petrol station is different. When we top up, we don't tend to think about the 40 litres of unleaded in the tank - instead we think about the £50 that it has cost and how long it will last. Yet we all know that if we travel a bit further or faster than usual, that it will last a bit less than usual. Our fuel gauge then keeps us right in terms of when we next need to top up. Customers are far more engaged with efficiently managing their petrol consumption, and we think that will work for gas and electricity at home. PowerUp is the start of the age of personalised tariffs, and will use real consumption data to calculate a personal daily price. We believe it will encourage customers to be more conscious of their energy usage, because they will want to make their days last longer." The launch of PowerUp [...]



Prepayment Meter Installation Charges Should be Capped

2016-09-14T15:20:05Z

When a customer falls in to debt with their energy supplier, the supplier can force them on to a pre-payment meter and then charge them up to £900 for the installation. Energy regulator, OFGEM, has now said that UK consumers that are forced to install pre-payment energy meters should be charged a maximum fee of £150. A proposal that has been welcomed by consumer charity, Citizens Advice.

(image) When a customer falls in to debt with their energy supplier, the supplier can force them on to a pre-payment meter and then charge them up to £900 for the installation.

Energy regulator, OFGEM, has now said that customers who are forced to install prepayment energy meters should be charged a maximum fee of £150. A proposal that has been welcomed by consumer charity, Citizens Advice.

Who does this apply to

As many as 4.5 million people use prepayment meters for electricity, while 3.5 million use them for gas.
Prepayment customers also face higher energy bills. Earlier this year the Competition and Markets Authority recommended that customers on prepayment meters should have their energy prices capped. This will come in to effect in April 2017 and households are expected to save £75 a year as a result.

At the moment, energy suppliers must come to an agreement with a customers that fall into debt. If no arrangement is sorted, then the energy supplier can apply to a magistrate's court for a warrant to install a prepayment meter. If given permission to install the meter then, by law, they can charge for the cost of putting it in. Some suppliers don't charge anything but others can charge as much as £900 when the court costs are included.

The New OFGEM Proposal

OFGEM have suggested that customers who've had a repayment meter forced upon them, should only pay between £100 and £150. The most vulnerable customers, many of whom this applies to, should not pay anything.

Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice said of the announcement
"Capping the warrant charges and ending them altogether for vulnerable customers will help to stop people being pushed further into debt when they are already struggling to manage their costs"

Rachel Fletcher, OFGEM's senior partner for consumers and competition comments:

"It's deeply unfair that struggling customers get hit with high warrant costs when they're already grappling with debt, doubly penalising them. Ofgem's role is to protect every consumer, including the most vulnerable. Suppliers need to help customers manage their debts.

Suppliers need to ensure that PPMs are only installed under warrant as an absolute last resort. Where they are needed, our proposals will protect customers by limiting PPM warrant charges for all customers and removing them for the most vulnerable."

You should be aware that if you're in debt with your current supplier then you can still switch energy suppliers, as long as the debt in less than £500. To find out more about your options call one of our advisers on: 01259 220000. You can also arrange a switch online. Energylinx offer a free and impartial comparison and switching service.