April 30, 2019
In a small amount of energy switches, customers can experience delays waiting for a refund or they can be transferred to a supplier in error. Ofgem has introduced new measures offering automatic compensation to customers effected in an attempt to encourage energy suppliers to get every energy transfer right, first time.
What Compensation is Available?
If a customer's supply is not restored to the correct supplier in a timely manner, then they will be entitled to a maximum of £120.
Customers will also be entitled to a £30 payment if their previous supplier is late in refunding them their credit balance after they have switched.
Energy suppliers must refund these credit balances within 10 working days of a final bill being issued. If they don't, then they must pay compensation to the affected customer within 10 days of the breach. If a supplier does not make the initial payment, then they are required to make a further payment of £30.
All energy suppliers will have to report data on payments to Ofgem and they will monitor their compliance to ensure that the new regulations are being followed.
Ofgem hopes that the new requirements will boost confidence in switching and give customers peace of mind that they will be compensated if something goes wrong.
Rob Salter-Church, director, retail systems transformation at Ofgem, said:
"When a switch goes wrong, it can cause inconvenience, and in some cases, real worry and stress for those affected.
Automatic compensation payments from 1 May, and additional payments this year, should serve as an incentive for suppliers to raise their game and get switches right first time.
These new requirements, together with the introduction of the price cap, and tightening the rules on new suppliers entering the market, demonstrate our commitment to protecting consumers and ensuring they get a better deal."
Later this year, Ofgem also plans to introduce new requirements for suppliers to pay automatic compensation for delayed switches and providing late final bills.
Posted on April 30, 2019 at 10:14 AM
April 18, 2019
A whopping 615,503 households switched energy supplier in March - up 29% on the same period in 2018.
This brings the total number of switches to 1,451,145 this year, up 12% when compared to the same point in 2018.
The stats released by Energy UK today shows the impact the increase of the energy price cap has had consumers. Many of whom decided to move to a cheaper energy price plan.
Lawrence Slade, Energy UK's chief executive, said:
"It's very positive to see increasing numbers of customers continuing to switch and engaging in the market to make sure they're on the best deal for them - and of course, this number doesn't include those customers who choose to move to a new tariff with their current supplier, which would add many more thousands of households.
Energylinx's offers a free and impartial energy comparison and switching service. You can find out if you can save money on your energy bills on our website or by calling one of our energy advisors on 0800 849 707. We are open Monday to Friday 09:00-18:00 and Saturday 09:00-15:00.
Posted on April 18, 2019 at 01:13 PM
April 11, 2019
Welcomed news from Ofgem today.
The regulator announced that any new companies applying for a licence to supply energy will have to undergo more rigorous tests from June 2019. This is being done to help drive up standards for customers and reduce the risk of supplier failure.
Any new companies applying for a licence will have to demonstrate they can adequately fund their operations for their first year, outline how they expect to comply with regulatory obligations and show their intentions to provide a good level of customer service.
From senior staff members to directors and major shareholders of the companies applying for a licence, will also have to show they are 'fit and proper' to hold a licence.
Why has Ofgem taken this step?
Ofgem launched a consultation into its plans to tighten checks on energy supplier in November 2018. At the time, Ofgem highlighted their concerns with poor customer service and financial instability after several energy suppliers went bust.
In the last 12 months, 10 energy suppliers have went bust leaving hundreds of thousands of households without an energy supplier.
Trade body, Energy UK, are pleased about the new requirements suppliers will have to meet before going live.
Lawrence Slade, Chief executive of Energy UK, said:
"We welcome measures from Ofgem to introduce tougher entry tests for new suppliers entering the retail market. We want to see a future retail market where competition thrives, and customers benefit from increased choice and service, and aren't left picking up the tab when suppliers with unsustainable business models fail.
Ofgem will consult on new proposals in the summer with the aim of raising standards of suppliers already operating in the energy market. This will include considering new reporting requirements for energy companies who are already active in the market and rules around how suppliers manage customer credit balances.
Posted on April 11, 2019 at 09:51 AM
April 1, 2019
Energy prices have gone up for millions of customers after the energy regulator, Ofgem, revised the level of the energy price cap.
The move will add £117 a year on to the cost of standard variable tariff for an average* customer, taking prices from £1,137 to £1,254 and came into effect today.
If you are currently on your suppliers' standard variable tariff, then your energy prices have likely gone up today. All the "Big Six" British Gas, EDF, E.ON, Npower, ScottishPower and SSE increased energy prices for their customers by more than 10%.
There was some good news for the customers of Breeze Energy, Bulb, Igloo and Outfox the Market as they have decreased their energy prices.
How to avoid the energy price hike
If you are currently on a standard variable tariff or deemed tariff with your energy supplier, then you are paying too much.
Energylinx offers a free and impartial comparison and switching. You can compare energy suppliers online or by calling 0800 849 7077 and speaking to one of our energy advisors who will be able to help you find a cheaper deal. We are open Monday to Friday 09:00 to 18:00 and on a Saturday 09:00 to 15:00.
*An average energy user uses 3,100 kWhs for electricity and 12,000 kWhs for gas - as per Ofgem averages.
Posted on April 1, 2019 at 10:16 AM
March 25, 2019
Shell has officially become a gas and electricity supplier, moving 700,000 First Utility customers to its Shell Energy brand.
All Shell Energy's customers will be moved on to 100% renewable electricity tariffs.
Shell Energy chief executive Colin Crooks said:
"We are building on the disruptive nature of First Utility to give customers something better. We know that renewable electricity is important to them and we are delivering that, while ensuring good value and rewarding loyalty."
Mark Gainsborough, Shell's executive vice president of new energies, said:
"This is a good example of our approach to building a significant electricity business, in line with customer needs.
"Shell recognises the world needs more energy with lower emissions and this will give customers more flexibility, greater control and cleaner energy."
Shell is the world's largest listed oil company and said it is aiming to becoming the largest electricity supplier by the 2030s. The rebrand of First Utility to Shell Energy sets up Shell to take on the "Big Six" suppliers who have lost millions of customers in recent years.
Energylinx can help you compare energy suppliers, to make sure you are on the best energy tariff for your household. You can do this online or by calling 0800 849 7077. Our contact centre is open Monday to Friday 09:00 - 18:00 and Saturday 09:00 to 15:00.
Posted on March 25, 2019 at 11:13 AM
March 11, 2019
Brilliant Energy Supply Limited, an energy supplier with about 17,000 domestic customers, has ceased trading.
Under Ofgem's safety net, the energy supply of Brilliant Energy's customers, including those supplied under a white label
arrangement with Northumbria Energy, will continue and the outstanding credit balances of domestic customers will be protected.
Ofgem will choose a new supplier to take on all of Brilliant Energy's customers as quickly as possible. This supplier will contact these customers shortly after being appointed.
Ofgems advice to Brilliant Energy's customers in the meantime is:
1) Do not switch to another energy supplier.
2) Take a meter reading ready for when your new supplier contacts you.
If you are a Brilliant Energy customer, we have created a short guide that provides more information on what to do next. You can find out more by clicking here.
Posted on March 11, 2019 at 02:14 PM
February 18, 2019
Energy UK has revealed that almost 400,000 households switched energy supplier in January 2019 - up 5% on the number of switches in January 2018.
2018 was a record year for households switching energy supplier, with one in five transferring their supply to a different supplier. Millions more switched to a better deal with their current supplier.
The newly released figures show that throughout January, more than 25% of switches arranged were small or mid-tier energy suppliers.
Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said:
"It is positive to see that consumers continue to engage in the energy market, with nearly 400,000 customers switching last month.
"While it is too soon to tell the impact the price cap and the recent increase from Ofgem reflecting increasing costs, there are still savings to be made... For those who decide to switch, the Energy Switch Guarantee means customers can feel confident that the switch will be simple, speedy and safe.
The average increase of £117 to the energy price cap takes effect on April 1st, 2019 and it will mean higher energy bills for 11 million households - unless they switch to a cheaper fixed-term deal.
You can compare energy suppliers on our website or by calling 0800 849 7077. Our call centre is open Monday to Friday 09:00 - 18:00 and Saturday 09:00 - 15:00.
Posted on February 18, 2019 at 11:41 AM
February 14, 2019
Energy prices are set to rise for millions of customers after the energy regulator, Ofgem, revised the level of the energy price cap.
The move will add £117 a year on to the cost of standard variable tariff for an average* customer, taking prices from £1,137 to £1,254. The new prices are set to go live on 1st of April.
Ofgem announced the increase to the energy price cap last week. Since the beginning of this week, three of the "Big Six" energy suppliers in the UK have put up their energy prices, with many more suppliers expected to follow.
Which energy suppliers have announced an energy price increase?
If you are an Npower, E.ON or EDF Energy customer you can expect your energy bills to rise from 1st of April. British Gas, ScottishPower or SSE customer? Keep your eyes on the news as we expect your price increase to be announced shortly.
E.ON were the first energy supplier to announce they are putting prices up a whopping 10%, affecting 1.8 million of their customers currently on their standard variable tariff.
EDF Energy's became the second energy supplier to announce a 10% price hike, impacting 1.3 million of their customers.
Npower is the latest energy supplier to announce the price increase. This will affect 1 million households - around 40% of Npower's customer base.
How to avoid the energy price hike
If you are currently on a standard variable tariff or deemed tariff with your energy supplier, then you are paying too much. Right now, on the Energylinx website, our customers can sign up to a fixed-term energy deal with Utility Point that is £274 cheaper than the new price cap level for an average energy user.
Energylinx offers a free and impartial comparison and switching. You can compare energy suppliers online or by calling 0800 849 7077 and speaking to one of our lovely energy advisors. We are open Monday to Friday 09:00 to 18:00 and on a Saturday 09:00 to 15:00.
*An average energy user uses 3,100 kWhs for electricity and 12,000 kWhs for gas - as per Ofgem averages.
Posted on February 14, 2019 at 09:47 AM
February 1, 2019
"Big Six" energy supplier, Npower, plans on cutting 900 jobs to save costs. This is about 15% of Npower's 6,300 strong workforce.
Npower has said that it is too early to confirm which part of its workforce would be affected by the cuts. Although, a spokesman for the supplier has said it was aiming to preserve its customer service support team.
Chief executive of Npower, Paul Coffey, said
"Even with these reductions, we still forecast significant losses this year, but we're doing everything we can to minimise them whilst continuing to focus on service and value for our customers"
Npower has stated that the number of redundancies would be "considerably lower" because of natural turnover.
What has gone wrong?
Npower has blamed "an incredibly tough" retail energy market for the decision and the energy price cap which the government introduced at the start of January.
The energy price cap has been designed to keep energy bills below £1,137 a year for a "typical energy user" (a household that uses 3,100 kWh of electricity 3,100 and gas 12,000 kWh of gas). The annual cost will always depend on a household's energy usage, but the standing charge and unit prices that suppliers can charge are currently capped by Ofgem.
It was introduced to stop people who did not switch energy supplier being stuck on expensive default deals. As well as the pressure it is putting on energy suppliers, there are fears it could have a negative impact on how customers engage with the energy industry and discourage people from comparing energy suppliers and switching to cheaper fixed-term deals.
Energy regulator Ofgem has said the cap will save 11 million customers an average of £76 a year on their gas and electricity bills.
Many energy suppliers, including British Gas, have said the energy price cap has made the market unviable with several small to medium energy firms collapsing since it was announced. Two during the month that it took effect.
Npower had planned to merge its retail business with fellow "Big Six" SSE last year, but the firms scrapped the plan after the energy price cap was announced. In terms of customers, it would have created the second largest energy company in the UK. The largest energy company in the UK is British Gas.
The merger would have seen SSE's household energy division, SSE Energy Services, combined with the retail operations of Npower, which is owned by Germany's Innogy.
Posted on February 1, 2019 at 11:06 AM
January 25, 2019
Our Power, an energy supplier with about 38,000 domestic customers, has ceased to trade.
Our Power is the 10th energy supplier to go bust in the last 12 months.
Under Ofgem's safety net, the energy supply of Our Power's customers will continue, and pre-payment meters can be topped up as normal. The outstanding credit balances of domestic customers will be protected.
Ofgem will choose a new supplier to take on Our Power's customers as quickly as possible. This supplier will contact these customers shortly after being appointed.
Ofgem's advice to Our Power's customers in the meantime is:
• Do not switch to another energy supplier.
• Take a meter reading ready for when your new supplier contacts you.
This will make the process of transferring customers over to the chosen supplier, and paying back their outstanding credit balances, as smooth as possible.
Philippa Pickford, Ofgem's director for future retail markets, said:
"Our message to energy customers with Our Power is there is no need to worry, as under our safety net we will make sure your energy supplies are secure and your credit balance is protected."
"Ofgem will now choose a new supplier for you, ensuring you get the best deal possible. Whilst we're doing this our advice is to 'sit tight' and don't switch. You can rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your new tariff."
"We have seen a number of supplier failures over the last year and our safety net procedures are working as they should to protect customers."
Posted on January 25, 2019 at 12:14 PM