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Energylinx News



UK Energy Industry News



Modified: 2017-12-15T12:55:09Z

Copyright: Copyright (c) 2017, energylinx
 



The winner is...

2017-12-15T12:55:09Z

Throughout November Energylinx ran a competition which guaranteed one lucky switcher a brand new Suzuki Celerio. The elated winner was Laura Stansfield from Bradford. Laura had just moved into a new property and needed to find a new energy supplier. After a quick Google search, she found Energylinx. Laura choose Energylinx to switch because it was clear and simple for her to use and it let her filter the results. After selecting a new energy supplier she was happy to let Energylinx organise the switch which made the new house move a little bit easier

(image) Throughout November, Energylinx ran a promotion guaranteeing one lucky switcher a brand new Suzuki Celerio. The elated winner was Laura Stansfield from Bradford.

Laura had moved into a new property and wanted to compare energy suppliers to get the best deal for her new home. After a quick Google search, she found Energylinx.

Laura choose Energylinx to switch through because the website was clear, simple to use and let her filter the results. After selecting a new energy supplier she was happy for Energylinx to organise the switch which made the new house move a little bit easier!

We asked Laura how she found our switching experience:

"Great - really simple, it took only some key data from me and it gave lots of clear results and I could categorise them as I needed. I also liked the fact that when I had selected the switch it sent me all of the information in an email with some PDF attachments - all the information in one place."

Asked if she had any advice for someone considering switching their energy supply that might not have done it before:

"Do it! Put 10/15 minutes aside and really try to understand what you're doing and the results. Do a little bit of research on the suppliers that give good results - cheapest isn't always best! That's why I liked the Energylinx platform, it allowed me to filter by what I was looking for."

Congratulations, Laura... Enjoy driving your new car!

Energylinx will be running similar promotions in 2018, so keep an eye on our website and social media. If you are thinking about switching energy suppliers now, Energylinx offer a free and impartial switching service online or if you would rather discuss your options with one of our advisors, call 01259 220000.

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Energylinx is looking for an Outbound Energy Advisor

2017-12-14T12:01:30Z

Energylinx has an Outbound Energy Advisor vacancy open. Working as an Energy Advisor for an innovative online energy comparison company, you will be instrumental in assisting customers to switch energy supplier. Our new Outbound Energy Advisor will be entitled to 28 days holiday, a workplace pension and access to Perbox as employee benefits scheme. Perkbox offers a range of rewards such as; free mobile insurance, cheap cinema tickets and money off hotels.

Energylinx has an Outbound Energy Advisor vacancy open.

Working as an Energy Advisor for an innovative online energy comparison company, you will be instrumental in assisting customers to switch energy supplier.

Our new Outbound Energy Advisor will be entitled to 28 days holiday, a workplace pension and access to Perbox as employee benefits scheme. Perkbox offers a range of rewards such as; free mobile insurance, cheap cinema tickets and money off hotels.

Main Duties will include:

Calling Hot Lead customers who have made online inquiries both B2C and B2B
Calling existing customers with renewal quotes.
Producing documents/reports using Microsoft software.
Liaising internally with other energy advisors and customer services staff
All other such tasks as may be reasonably expected as instructed by the management team or Call Centre Manager.
Requirements of Position: Good knowledge level of Microsoft Office products - particularly Microsoft Excel
Working hours will be 37.5 hours each week, 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
Excellent interpersonal, organisational and communication skills

Personal Qualities

An organised individual able to work to deadlines
Proactive with the ability to work on own initiative
Team Player
Attention to detail
Logical approach to work
Tact and diplomacy
Professional and calm manner

Closing Date
Friday 29th December 2017




Gas prices rise after double blow exposes ageing infrastructure

2017-12-12T16:51:32Z

Homes and businesses throughout the UK could be looking at a potential gas crisis this winter after a series of surprise outages sent gas prices surging - just as demand for heat reaches a high not seen in almost five years. The last week has seen temperatures plummet and snow cover parts of the country. As the nation has had to turn the heating up, the announcement of the shutdown of the North Sea's most important gas pipeline system after a hairline crack was found, followed by an explosion at a major gas processing facility in Austria has caused chaos and disruption to gas supply across Europe.

Homes and businesses throughout the UK could be looking at a potential gas crisis this winter after a series of surprise outages sent gas prices surging - just as demand for heat reaches a high not seen in almost five years.

The last week has seen temperatures plummet and snow cover parts of the country. As the nation has had to turn the heating up, the announcement of the shutdown of the North Sea's most important gas pipeline system after a hairline crack was found, followed by an explosion at a major gas processing facility in Austria has caused chaos and disruption to gas supply across Europe.

Baumgarten Natural Gas Station Blast

An explosion and fire that ripped through Austria's main gas pipeline hub on Tuesday killed one person and injured at least 18 others.

News of the blast sent gas prices in Europe soaring on fears it would restrict supply as winter sets in.
Gas Connect Austria, which operates site, said the hub had been shut down but the blaze had been brought under control. The cause appeared to be a technical fault, it said.

"An explosion occurred this morning before 9:00 a.m. (0800 GMT) on the grounds of the Baumgarten Natural Gas Station," the company said. "The explosion caused a serious fire that has been contained to several small fires."

Oil prices climb as major pipeline shuts for repair to crack

The news of the explosion came hours after oil prices climbed to a new two-and-a-half year high after a major North Sea pipeline was closed for repairs.

Brent crude - which had already been trading around its strongest levels since summer 2015 - surged by 2% to just under $65 a barrel.

Forties pipeline, which carries 40% of North Sea oil and gas, is to be shut down for a couple of weeks while workers repair a crack.

In Britain, Europe's biggest gas market, gas for immediate delivery soared 40% to 95 pence per therm, a level not seen since 2013.

The supply fears lay bare the vulnerability of the UK's ageing energy infrastructure. However, a UK National Grid spokesman said there was sufficient gas supply to meet demand amid multiple outages. We'll be updating this story over the next few days.




Energylinx is looking for an Accounts Assistant

2017-12-12T11:53:11Z

Energylinx is currently looking for an Accounts Assistant. The role is based at our head office in Alloa, Clackmannanshire and offers a competitive salary. Applications close on December 22nd. The Company Established in 2002, Energylinx Limited is one of the UK's largest energy comparison websites. Passionate about saving our customers money on their energy bills, we've have made it our mission to make the process of comparing and switching energy suppliers as straightforward as possible. We run an affiliate partnership programme and have over 5000 partners. We also power the energy platforms for some of the biggest companies in the UK. Our new account assistant will be entitled to 28 days holiday, a workplace pension and access to Perbox as employee benefits scheme. Perkbox offers a range of rewards such as; free mobile insurance, cheap cinema tickets and money off hotels. Energylinx is currently looking for an Accounts Assistant. The role is based at our head office in Alloa, Clackmannanshire and offers a competitive salary. To apply send your CV and covering letter to vacancies@energylinx.com before the December 22nd deadline. The Company Established in 2002, Energylinx Limited is one of the UK's largest energy comparison websites. Passionate about saving our customers money on their energy bills, we've have made it our mission to make the process of comparing and switching energy suppliers as straightforward as possible. We run an affiliate partnership programme and have over 5000 partners. We also power the energy platforms for some of the biggest companies in the UK. Our new account assistant will be entitled to 28 days holiday, a workplace pension and access to Perbox as employee benefits scheme. Perkbox offers a range of rewards such as; free mobile insurance, cheap cinema tickets and money off hotels. The Role This new position of Accounts Assistant has been created to provide the Finance Director with support all aspects of financial and management accounting. The role encompasses transactional processing for both purchases and salesof the business, maintenance of the respective ledgersand improving existing processes, procedures and controls. The role would ideally suit an individual who has experience of working within a small company environment who possesses a broad range of skills and is capable of working under their own initiative. Responsibilities will include: • Preparation and processing of sales invoices. • Credit control including customer credit checks and collections. • Processing supplier invoices to the purchase ledger. • Ensuring the sales and purchase Ledgers are up to date and reconciled monthly. • Ensuring that all payment runs are processed in a timely & efficient manner • Monthly bank reconciliations • Statutory returns to a draft status - National statistics, VAT • Answering any financial queries both internally and externally • Making sure all DD, SO and credit card payments are processed • General ad-hoc duties Skills, Competencies & Qualifications: •Knowledge of Microsoft Office - Intermediate user of Excel and Word •Exposure to Microsoft Dynamics preferred but not essential •Excellent interpersonal, organisational and administrative skills •Ability to engage with senior stakeholders in the business •Excellent verbal and written communication skills Personal Qualities • Good organisational and problem-solving skills • Proactive and ability to work on own initiative • Team Player • Attention to detail • Organised - logical approach to work [...]



'Tis the Season...

2017-12-11T17:14:58Z

Secret Santa is an annual event in the Energylinx office, but this year we decided to do something a little bit different. When one of our energy advisors, Holly, proposed donating gifts to Forth Valley Children's Ward, the team, unanimously, agreed. Everyone put the money that they'd normally spend on one of their colleagues into a donation pot. Once the money had been collected, Energylinx's doubled the amount that we had to spend on gifts. Christmas can be a particularly low-spirited time for poorly children undergoing any treatment in a hospital and we wanted to do something for the local families that will be spending the holidays apart.

(image) Secret Santa is an annual event in the Energylinx office, but this year we decided to do something a little bit different.

When one of our energy advisors, Holly, proposed donating gifts to Forth Valley Children's Ward, the team jumped at the idea. We all put the money that they'd normally spend on one of their colleagues into a donation pot. Once the money had been collected, Energylinx's doubled the amount that we had to spend on gifts.

Christmas can be a particularly low-spirited time for children undergoing any treatment in a hospital and we wanted to do something for the local families that will be spending the holidays apart.

We spoke with the Forth Valley Children's Ward and found out that they didn't have many gifts for teenagers and new-borns. We spent a few hours shopping in Falkirk (Best work day, ever) and then spent a few more hours wrapping everything.

4 members of the Energylinx team went along to the Children's ward; Diane, Deborah Hollie, and Kirstin. The presents will be handed out to any children that spend time on the ward the week of Christmas.

We would like to thank Smyths Toy Store in Falkirk, they were very generous and offered a discount when they found out where the presents were going this meant our money went even further!

Without a doubt, it has been a rewarding experience and looks set to become a new tradition going forward.




Looking for a new job?

2017-12-06T12:37:29Z

Job description Outbound Energy Advisor Energylinx Limited - Alloa, Clackmannanshire - £7.80 per hour, uncapped individual commissions Working as an Energy Advisor for an innovative online energy comparison company, you will be instrumental in assisting customers to switch energy supplier, Main Duties will include: Calling Hot Lead customers who have made online enquiries both B2C and B2B Calling existing customers with renewal quotes. Producing documents/reports using Microsoft software. Liaising internally with other energy advisors and customer services staff All other such tasks as may be reasonably expected as instructed by the management team orCall Centre Manager.

Energylinx is looking to employ a new member of our call centre team at the beginning of 2018.

Job Title: Outbound Energy Advisor

Energylinx Limited - Alloa, Clackmannanshire - £7.80 per hour, uncapped individual commissions

Working as an Energy Advisor for an innovative online energy comparison company, you will be instrumental in assisting customers to switch energy supplier.

Main Duties will include:

Calling Hot Lead customers who have made online enquiries both B2C and B2B
Calling existing customers with renewal quotes.
Producing documents/reports using Microsoft software.
Liaising internally with other energy advisors and customer services staff
All other such tasks as may be reasonably expected as instructed by the management team or Call Centre Manager.

Requirements of Position:
Good knowledge level of Microsoft Office products - particularly Microsoft Excel
Working hours will be 37.5 hours each week, 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
Excellent interpersonal, organisational and communication skills

Personal Qualities

An organised individual able to work to deadlines
Proactive with the ability to work on own initiative
Team Player
Attention to detail
Logical approach to work
Tact and diplomacy
Professional and calm manner

Applications to:

Energylinx Limited
The E Centre
Cooperage Way Business Village
Alloa
FK10 3LP

Or email diane.smith@energylinx.com with the subject line "Outbound Energy Advisor"

Closing Date
Friday 29th December 2017




British Gas lose customers after energy price hike

2017-11-24T13:44:20Z

On Thursday British Gas announced that more than 800,000 customers have left them since June, putting shares on tracks for what analyst predict will be the UK's biggest energy supplier's worst day in history. In a trading statement released, British Gas parent company Centrica said it had lost 823,000 customers between June and October. It's thought the customer exodus could be down to an increase of 12.5% for loyal customers in September. The mass departure leaves British Gas with 13.1m accounts, meaning it will still be the market leader even after its rival Big Six supplier's nPower and SSE merge to create a company with 11.5m accounts.

(image) On Thursday British Gas announced that more than 800,000 customers have left them since June, putting shares on tracks for what analyst predict will be the UK's biggest energy supplier's worst day in history.

In a trading statement released, British Gas parent company Centrica said it had lost 823,000 customers between June and October. It's thought the customer exodus could be down to an increase of 12.5% for loyal customers in September.

The mass departure leaves British Gas with 13.1m accounts, meaning it will still be the market leader even after its rival Big Six supplier's nPower and SSE merge to create a company with 11.5m accounts.

After the announcement, Centrica shares dropped 15.5% making it the company's biggest ever one-day fall. Despite a bad second half of 2017, the Big Six supplier expects its full-year adjusted operating profit for 2017 to be broadly in line with the previous year following a £750m "cost efficiency programme".

The company is expected to report an adjusted operating profit of around £80m, down from £221m last year.

Iain Conn, Centrica chief executive, said:

"Although some aspects of our delivery in the second half of 2017 have been disappointing, I remain encouraged by our progress in implementing our strategy.

"The balance sheet has been materially strengthened, and we continue to focus on improving our underlying performance. We have also provided a broad and definitive set of proposals this week to improve the UK energy market for customers and look forward to engaging with the Government and regulator in the coming weeks."

Could you get a better deal for your energy by switching? Energylinx offer a free comparison and switching service. You can arrange an energy switch on our website or by calling one of our advisory on 01259 220000.




Ofgem Updates Standards of Conduct for Energy Suppliers

2017-11-22T15:08:22Z

Last week Ofgem made important changes to standards of conduct for energy suppliers. These are the rules each supplier has to follow to ensure that customers are treated fairly. The news rules clarify the responsibility energy suppliers have to vulnerable customers and the importance of suppliers ensuring all households have the information they need to engage with the market. The new standards put the responsibility on to the suppliers to decide the best way for them to do it and reinforce Ofgem's expectation that customers should be at the heart of the business. Energy suppliers will be responsible for monitoring their customers' experience and must apply a range of methods to make sure they are aware of what their customers need.

Last week Ofgem made important changes to standards of conduct for energy suppliers. These are the rules each supplier has to follow to ensure that customers are treated fairly.

The news rules clarify the responsibility energy suppliers have to vulnerable customers and the importance of suppliers ensuring all households have the information they need to engage with the market. The new standards put the responsibility on to the suppliers to decide the best way for them to do it and reinforce Ofgem's expectation that customers should be at the heart of the business.

Energy suppliers will be responsible for monitoring their customers' experience and must apply a range of methods to make sure they are aware of what their customers need.

Focus on Vulnerable Customers

There is a need to be able to identify signs of vulnerability and then steps need to be taken to give those customers extra support and recognise their specific circumstances.

Ofgem has set a new rule that energy suppliers have a special responsibility for vulnerable customers. Ofgem noted that there had been some improvements in supplier conduct towards vulnerable consumers, but they don't believe it is going fast or far enough.

Many suppliers run extra schemes to help vulnerable customers and this is something that Ofgem wants to see more of.

Helping Customers Make Informed Choices

Different consumers have different needs and need information presented to them in different ways. It is the job of the energy supplier to make sure all consumers can quickly and easily find and understand the information that they are after.

Ofgem believes the energy industry currently isn't as good as others at communicating with customers and suppliers need to seriously consider the purpose, channel, content, presentation, volume and frequency of the information that they provide.

Some of Ofgem's toughest enforcement penalties have been a result of supplier failure to meet these Standards, which have been in place since 2013, and the rules now play a larger role in how they regulate supplier conduct.

Ofgem will be watching closely to ensure that suppliers are teaching customers fairly and stand ready to act if they don't.




British Gas to end its Standard Variable Tariff

2017-11-20T12:11:42Z

The UK's biggest energy supplier has announced plans to scrap its standard variable tariff (SVT) before April 2018 for all new customers. British Gas has taken this decision after energy regulator, Ofgem, announced draft legislation designed to lower the cost of energy bills. E.On has already said SVTs will no longer be the default option for customers coming to the end of their existing tariffs. SVTs tend to be the most expensive energy tariffs. British Gas say that 67% of their customers are currently on their SVT, which is about 5 million households.

The UK's biggest energy supplier has announced plans to scrap its standard variable tariff (SVT) before April 2018 for all new customers.

SVTs tend to be the most expensive energy tariffs. British Gas say that 67% of their customers are currently on their SVT, which is about 5 million households.

British Gas has taken this decision after energy regulator, Ofgem, announced draft legislation designed to lower the cost of energy bills. E.On has already said SVTs will no longer be the default option for customers coming to the end of their existing tariffs.

Announcing the change, Iain Conn, chief executive of British Gas parent firm Centrica, said:

"We have long advocated that the end of the Standard Variable Tariff is the best way to encourage customers to shop around for the best energy deal."

"We will contact all of our customers at least twice a year to encourage them to move away from the SVT."

British Gas contacted all its SVT customers in the first half of 2017, and it says that 10% switched away from the tariff.

The company has also said it will:

• Provide new offers "to respond to customers' changing needs"
• Proactively offer customers a choice of fixed-term tariffs at the end of their contract
• Introduce a new fixed-term default tariff
• Contact customers on legacy Standard Variable Tariffs and offer them better deals
• Introduce simpler bills for all customers
• Improve customer service

Are you currently on a standard variable tariff? Chances are you are paying too much for your energy. See what you could save by using our simple, online comparison and switching service. If you would like to speak to someone about your options you can call 01259 220 000. Any customers that switch with Energylinx throughout November will be entered into a prize draw to win a brand new Suzuki Celerio.




Energy switching numbers continue to go up

2017-11-16T12:31:14Z

The amount of UK consumers switching energy supplier continues to grow, as more than 600,000 household's switched electricity supplier in October. This marks only the second time switching numbers have reached more than 600,000 in a single month and it brings the number of people that have changed energy suppliers in 2017 to over 4.5 million. 2016 was a record year for people changing energy supplier, with a total of 4.8 million switching last year. 2017 looks like it is set to smash that amount.

The amount of UK consumers switching energy supplier continues to rise, as more than 600,000 household's switched electricity supplier in October.

This marks only the second time switching numbers have reached more than 600,000 in a single month and it brings the number of people that have changed energy suppliers in 2017 to over 4.5 million.

2016 was a record year for people switching energy supplier, with a total of 4.8 million moving last year. 2017 looks like it is set to smash that amount.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said:

"Switching continues to surge with over 600,000 customers changing supplier to find a better deal last month. Many more will have made savings by checking they are on the best deal with their current supplier. It only takes a few minutes to do this and with over 55 suppliers across the market, there's never been more competition or choice."

A third (32%) of those switching energy provider last month moved to small and mid-tier suppliers.

It is thought the Energy Switch Guarantee is having a positive effect on the market and is encouraging consumers to switch energy suppliers. The Energy Switch Guarantee is a promise made by participating energy suppliers that a customer's switch will be speedy, safe and secure.

You can find out how much you could save on your energy bills by using Energylinx's online comparison and switching service. On average our customers save £394.46*. If you would rather speak to one of our advisors then you can call 0800 849 7077.

*20% of all users over the last 60 days (17 Sep - 15 Nov) achieved a saving of at least £394.46.




New Car... Anyone?

2017-11-14T19:00:37Z

Energylinx is running an amazing promotion for the month of November and it'll guarantee an early Christmas for one lucky customer. Any customer that switches their energy supplier through Energylinx in November, will be entered in to a prize draw to win a cracker of a car. Not only might you save money on your energy bill but you might bag yourself a car! Voted the best small car of 2017, Energylinx is giving away a Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2 to one customer picked at random. Any customers that arrange a switch through our website or by phoning our call centre have the opportunity to win a Suzuki Celerio.

Energylinx is running an amazing promotion for the month of November and it'll guarantee an early Christmas for one lucky customer.

Any customer that switches their energy supplier through Energylinx in November, will be entered in to a prize draw to win a cracker of a car. Not only might you save money on your energy bill but you might bag yourself a car!

Voted the best small car of 2017, Energylinx is giving away a Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2 to one customer picked at random. Any customers that arrange a switch through our website or by phoning our call centre have the opportunity to win a Suzuki Celerio.

So, visit our website and get phoning to see what you could save today. The winners will be announced in December. Good luck and happy saving!

You can call the following numbers to arrange your switch:

01259 220000
0800 8497077
0845 2252840

Terms and Conditions apply.




Data Processor Wanted

2017-11-16T15:20:29Z

Energylinx is looking for a Data Processor. Interested? find out more about the role and how to apply below. Energylinx Limited - Alloa, Clackmannanshire - £18,000 - £24,000 Working as Data Processor for an innovative online energy comparison company, you will be instrumental in assisting in the day to day supplier pricing operations of the business, helping the pricing team to upload pricing information into a central database as well as providing pricing support to staff, customers and partnering organisations.

This advert is now closed.

Energylinx is looking for a Data Processor. Interested? find out more about the role and how to apply below.

Energylinx Limited - Alloa, Clackmannanshire - £18,000 - £24,000

Working as Data Processor for an innovative online energy comparison company, you will be instrumental in assisting in the day to day supplier pricing operations of the business, helping the pricing team to upload pricing information into a central database as well as providing pricing support to staff, customers and partnering organisations.

Main Duties will include:

 Receiving, converting and uploading energy supplier prices into a central database.
 Providing day to day assistance to the pricing team as directed by the Pricing Team Manager.
 Responding directly and promptly to supplier correspondence received in respect of submitted price matrix queries.
 Answering the telephone promptly, dealing with routine enquiries and taking appropriate messages
 Typing documents/reports, filing, developing and maintaining supplier records using Excel and Access software.
 Co-working with other pricing support and customer services staff
 General administrative assistance to the team
 All other such tasks as may be reasonably expected as instructed by the management team or Pricing Team Manager.

Requirements of Position:

 Good knowledge level of Microsoft Office products - particularly Microsoft Excel
 Normal hours of work 9 am until 5:00 pm Monday to Friday. However, there is requisite to be able to work hours as required between the core hours of 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday. Also you will be required to be part of an out of hours rota.
 Excellent interpersonal, organisational and communication skills

Personal Qualities

 An organised individual able to work to deadlines
 Proactive and ability to work on own initiative
 Team Player
 Attention to detail
 Organised - logical approach to work
 Tact and diplomacy
 Professional manner

Applications by email to marie.farmer@energylinx.com with the subject line: Data Processor Application

Or you can send them by post to:

Energylinx Limited
The E Centre
Cooperage Way
Alloa
FK10 3LP




Switch Energy Suppliers to Win

2017-11-07T15:14:47Z

One lucky customer will be getting an early Christmas present this year. Switch your energy with Energylinx and you could win a brand new Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2. The team at Energylinx is excited to announce that we are running a prize draw for our customers. Every customer that switches either through our contact centre or via our website will be entered in to a prize draw to win a Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2.

(image) One lucky customer will be getting an early Christmas present this year. Switch your energy with Energylinx and you could win a brand new Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2.

The team at Energylinx is excited to announce that we are running a prize draw for our customers. Every customer that switches either through our contact centre or via our website will be entered in to a prize draw to win a Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2.

There are two simple ways to enter.

Through our Call Centre

You can call one of our lovely energy advisors on 01259 220000. They will find out if they can save you any money on your energy bills and if you decide to switch your energy supply with us then you will be entered in to our prize draw for the month.

Online

You can switch through the Energylinx website by clicking this link. Organising a switching online is easy and stress free. You need to know your current energy supplier, your postcode and your annual energy consumption.

Energylinx is impartial and totally independent from all of the energy suppliers that are represented on our platform. We promise to find the best deal available for your household in less than 5 minutes. Why pay more? Beat the energy price hike and see what we could save you today. You might even bag yourself a prize in process!

Winners will be announced in December, so keep an eye out. Good luck!

Terms and Conditions apply.




State of the Energy Market: 2017

2017-11-02T11:10:39Z

Energy market regulator, Ofgem, has released a report on the State of the Energy Market. The report highlights three concerns Ofgem has: 1. The market works well for engaged customers that actively search for cheaper deals but too many are missing out. 2. Consumers paying the highest prices are often those least able to afford it. 3. The progress to ensure clean and secure electricity suppliers has come at a higher cost than necessary. Engagement Competition continues to benefit consumers who are able and willing to shop around, meaning they can usually get a good deal. As of June 2017, there were 60 suppliers offering electricity and or gas, 16 more than a year earlier. Since 2012, new suppliers have increased competition, reducing the six largest energy suppliers' share of the market from nearly all consumers to just over 80% of them. Switching and engagement are increasing and annual household switching rates reached almost 17% in June 2017, the highest since August 2011. Energy market regulator, Ofgem, has released a report on the State of the Energy Market. The report highlights three concerns Ofgem has: 1. The market works well for engaged customers that actively search for cheaper deals but too many are missing out. 2. Consumers paying the highest prices are often those least able to afford it. 3. The progress to ensure clean and secure electricity suppliers has come at a higher cost than necessary. Engagement Competition continues to benefit consumers who are able and willing to shop around, meaning they can usually get a good deal. As of June 2017, there were 60 suppliers offering electricity and or gas, 16 more than a year earlier. Since 2012, new suppliers have increased competition, reducing the six largest energy suppliers' share of the market from nearly all consumers to just over 80% of them. Switching and engagement are increasing and annual household switching rates reached almost 17% in June 2017, the highest since August 2011. This is all positive but Ofgem is concerned with the consumers that aren't switching. The ones who remain on defaults tariffs and pay much higher prices. Ofgem found 58% have never switched supplier or have switched only once. For a typical household, a standard variable tariff costs about £300 more each year than the cheapest tariff available and Ofgem has found that 60% of all consumers are on a default variable tariff. Ofgem is working to make the current switching process quicker and easier so that the retail markets work better for everyone. They are looking at the case for more use of collective switching with the hope it will enable less engaged consumers reap the benefits of competition. Vulnerable Customers In the energy market consumers with low incomes are much less likely to switch to a cheaper energy supplier. There are a number of support schemes like the Warm Home Discount that help some vulnerable consumers, particularly pensioners but Ofgem's report highlights that identification of and support of other vulnerable groups are not yet good enough. The challenge is to protect vulnerable customers but also engage them in the market more effectively. Ofgem is currently consulting on extending their safeguard tariff to a further 1 million vulnerable consumers this winter. Innovation On average, consumers currently pay about £90 each year towards environmental policies. This will rise as low-carbon generation increases. Rapid falls in the costs of wind and solar generation show the scope for competition and innovation to limit future cost increases. But in the future, consumers will lose out if there isn't effective competition for low-carbon support schemes and for measures to help the ene[...]



Ofgem wants energy suppliers to step in sooner to help customers manage debt

2017-10-20T10:39:50Z

The energy regulator Ofgem has urged suppliers to help customers before they get themselves into unmanageable levels of debt. New figures show customers struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills build up an average of £600 in debt before providers agree to set up a payment plan. Some energy suppliers let customers run up to £1000 debt before they intervene. Ofgem wants energy suppliers to step in sooner to help customers manage debt. Under new rules, energy suppliers must make extra efforts to treat vulnerable customers fairly. Rachel Fletcher, Ofgem's senior partner for Consumers and Competition:

The energy regulator Ofgem has urged suppliers to help customers before they get themselves into unmanageable levels of debt.

New figures show customers struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills build up an average of £600 in debt before providers agree to set up a payment plan. Some energy suppliers let customers run up to £1000 debt before they intervene.

Ofgem wants energy suppliers to step in sooner to help customers manage debt. Under new rules, energy suppliers must make extra efforts to treat vulnerable customers fairly.

Rachel Fletcher, Ofgem's senior partner for Consumers and Competition:

"Paying off energy bills is a major concern for many customers in vulnerable situations"

"When suppliers let big debts accrue, it's a sign that they're not spotting debt or stepping in early enough to help customers who are struggling to pay bills.

"We want the industry to demonstrate that it is identifying and supporting these customers in a timely way. We will be monitoring suppliers to make sure they make long-term improvements on bringing down debt.

Ofgem says there has been some improvements from energy suppliers, as more customers with debts of less than £100 are managing to repay them.

Some suppliers also provide customers on prepayment meters with "friendly credit" to keep their gas and electricity running when they forget to top up.

However, Ofgem said the number of prepay customers repaying much larger bills was not decreasing fast enough. In particular, small and medium suppliers were not equipped to prevent debt build-up. Some of the debt is not the fault of the customer, such as inaccurate billing - where payments do not cover use - and problems with billing systems.

Ofgem said:

"All suppliers must be aware of their obligations, anticipate the challenges they may face from the start, and have adequate systems in place to support financially vulnerable customers"

Ofgem's report has found some improvements; it says the number of customers in debt to their supplier has fallen over the past year by 9% to 971,362 for gas customers, and by 3% to 1,195,635 for electricity customers.

The number of disconnections for debt also fell to 210, down from a peak of 8,300 a decade ago.

Why don't you compare energy suppliers and check whether you are paying more than you need to for your gas and electricity? Energylinx offer a free and impartial comparison and switching service either online or by calling 01259 220000.