September 29, 2014
Research commissioned by regulator OFGEM found that more consumers than ever are using comparison sites to shop around for their gas and electricity, beating phoning suppliers directly as the main method. In total, 31% of consumers who switched their energy supplier done so on-line, a 5% increase from the same period in 2013.
Due to the increased usage of comparison services, OFGEM have proposed some changes to the Confidence Code scheme which currently governs OFGEM approved energy comparison and switching sites. Those who make the grade are given the Confidence Code badge to display and this assures consumers that they can trust this sites advice.
Energylinx are extremely proud to be part of OFGEMs Confidence Code. Rachel Fletcher, OFGEM senior partner and Be An Energy Shopper spokesperson, said: "Price comparison sites are a great tool to use when energy shopping and it's good to see more consumers using them. However, consumers quite rightly want to know that recommendations are trustworthy and the Confidence Code badge is a quick and easy way to check that the information is independent, accurate and reliable. There are potential savings of £200 to be made, just by switching to a better deal, so it's well worth taking a look."
Think it is time to go energy shopping? See what you could save on your households energy bills, click here.
Posted on September 29, 2014 at 04:23 PM
September 26, 2014
Today, (Friday 26th September 2014) OFGEM have written to the 'Big Six' Energy Suppliers - along with smaller and independent suppliers - after research commissioned by the regulator discovered an industry-wide failure to handle complaints to an acceptable standard. OFGEM have made clear the key areas in which customers are concerned with and where energy suppliers must start improving.
Included in these are:
• An improvement in which the speed of a complaint is dealt with
• Better communication between supplier and consumer during the complaint process
• Being more proactive in resolving complaints
The research by OFGEM highlights that more than half of those who made a complaint against their energy supplier (57% of domestic and 52% of small business consumers) were not satisfied with how the complaint had been handled. What is more, in almost half of the cases where the energy supplier felt they had resolved the complaint, the customer did not. OFGEM believe as a result of the current failings in the complaints procedure, almost one in two customers have switched or plan to switch their energy suppliers as a direct result of their experience.
OFGEM Chief Executive, Dermot Nolan said "These satisfaction scores are frankly awful. Almost all energy suppliers need to improve their complaints handling as a matter of urgency. There are real business benefits to good complaints handling schemes, and it shouldn't need a regulator to tell companies about the importance of this.
"Suppliers must now tell their customers what steps they will be taking to put things right. We are already formally investigating npower about complaints handling and other customer service issues, and this should send a strong signal to all suppliers that, where necessary, we will take action."
Usually OFGEM hold the survey of complainants every two years, however as the results of 2014 has been less than satisfactory, OFGEM have decided not to wait until 2016 and will instead hold another survey in 2015. This is to determine whether the necessary improvements have happened and decide if more regulatory action is needed.
To find out more click here.
If you have any issues with your energy supplier then OFGEM have a complaints factsheet for consumers which can be found here.
Posted on September 26, 2014 at 08:00 AM
September 25, 2014
Today Npower have launched their new tied bundled product- Intelligent Control October 2016- to the market. Replacing their previous bundled product, Intelligent Fix April 2017, but with some key differences:
• The Nest Learning Thermostat ™ is now available as part of the product at no extra cost. (Intelligent Fix April 2017 had a £99 charge)
• This product is priced at a discount to Npower standard tariff, with an average annual cost of £1,169* (based on average electricity consumption of 3,200kWh and gas consumption of 13,500kWh and paying by direct debit)
• The product offers a shorter term contract, with fixed prices until 31st October 2016
The state-of-the-art Nest Learning Thermostat ™ that is included in the tariff bundle first launched in the UK at the beginning of April 2014 and is a heating programmer and thermostat in one. It learns your schedule to program itself, turns down the heat when you're away and can be controlled from your smartphone, tablet or laptop--all of which can result in a more energy efficient home.
The more you know, the more you could save. The Nest app* allows you to change the temperature from your smartphone, laptop or tablet. You can also adjust your schedule and check your Energy History. Every month, Nest will email you a personalised Energy Report, detailing your energy use.
With typical heating controls not changing in decades, the Nest Learning Thermostat ™ is a welcome change. The Nest Learning Thermostat ™ puts you back in control of your heating and energy use, which could save you money, and its personalised schedule keeps your home comfortable.
Just turn it up or down. Nest learns the temperatures you like and creates a personalised schedule for your home. Unlike a rigid programmer schedule, Nest Learning Thermostat™ automatically adapts to your changing life.
Don't heat an empty room. The Nest Learning Thermostat ™ senses when there's no one in the house and automatically turns down the heat.
The Nest Leaf
Look for the Leaf icon every time you change the temperature. It appears whenever you're saving energy.
Easy to use, accessible wherever you are and helps reduce your energy use. Who knew saving energy could be such a beautiful thing?
Npower's fixed tariff, Intelligent Control October 2016 includes a Nest Learning Thermostat free with standard installation. It is available to home-owners who take both fuels, pay by monthly direct debit and manage their account on-line, the Nest Thermostat requires a compatible and fully functioning heating system and WiFi to operate.
* The Nest App is compatible with iOS devices running iOS 5.0 and Android devices running Android 2.2 or later.
To switch to Npower's Intelligent Control 2016 tariff, there is no easier place to do so than here at Energylinx. Click here to be taken to our switching platform.
Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. To find out more visit Npower website by clicking here.
Posted on September 25, 2014 at 08:00 AM
September 16, 2014
Energylinx would like to welcome Oink Energy to the supplier market today. The independent supplier have recently launched their service and are promising a 'straight-forward solution for straight-talking people'. Their mission is to provide a simple service and they will only offer one dual fuel tariff named "dead simple energy".
Oink Energy pledge the following to future customers:
•When contacting Oink Energy, a customer will speak to a named person within 30 seconds of calling and an email the same working day.
•There will be no tie-ins, no hidden penalties and no exit fees.
•A straight-forward on-line process to safely and easily switch energy supplier.
Oink Energy promise that all their important messages will be communicated in interesting and humorous ways and propose to deliver an invigorating and vibrant alternative to the rest of the energy market.
To find out more about Oink Energy click here or if you would like to compare and switch tariffs then there is nowhere easier than here at Energylinx, so take two minutes and see just what you can do. To compare tariffs click here
Posted on September 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM
September 11, 2014
There is an estimated three million UK households that are due a refund from the big six energy suppliers. The suppliers are working together - under the orders of regulator OFGEM - to hand the money back to customers that are due it. On average customers are owed £50 and the main reasons for customers being in a credit with a previous supplier include; moving homes and not leaving a forwarding address or switching to a new supplier. There is a massive £153 million which remains to be claimed by customers.
If it is not claimed in the next 2 years then the £153 million pot that the big six have set aside for refunds will be given to vulnerable customers. However, there is no time limit on when customers have to claim by and if they realise in 10 years' time that they are owed money by a supplier, they will be able to claim it back then.
Chief Executive of OFGEM, Dermot Nolan, said "Suppliers must now do everything within their powers to make progress in getting the money returned but they must stop such build-ups in future. Failure to deliver on the initiatives announced today could trigger further action by OFGEM, including enforcement".
This progress is necessary if the big six suppliers are to win back the trust and confidence of their customers.
If you believe that you are owed a refund then visit the website www.myenergycredit.com.
Posted on September 11, 2014 at 10:46 AM
September 8, 2014
After an extremely impressive ten-fold growth in three years, First Utility have become the first independent energy company to reach the 1 million customer mark and instantly pledged 1% of their annual profits to charity. First Utility launched their own First Utility Foundation which aims to support vulnerable families and individuals across the UK. With an initial £100,000 seeding from the supplier, the foundation was established to mark the 1 millionth account milestone for First Utility. The First Utility Foundation is separate to the suppliers regulatory obligations under the energy supplier licence conditions.
In 2011 the 'Big Six' held a massive 99% of the market - this is now down to 92% and First Utility have been one of the foremost causes for this decrease. Low prices have been the main reason for the drift towards the independent supplier, who have had the lowest prices on the market 23 out of the last 35 weeks. In fact, since 2008 First Utility have saved their customers a collective of £100 million, this is more than any other supplier on the market. Rt.Hon. Ed Davey MP said about First Utility landmark achievement "Reaching one million customer accounts is a fantastic milestone for First Utility. With over two million customers now signed up to independent suppliers overall it's clear that households increasingly trust them and are benefiting from competition in the market".
Ian McCraig, CEO at First Utility "Hitting the 1m milestone is hugely significant and proves how much of a shake-up was necessary in the market. We have been at the forefront of bringing lower energy prices and better value for the UK consumer and have consistently campaigned for a fairer more transparent UK energy industry. Halving switching time was a great achievement, but much more needs to be done and now. We are particularly delighted that our customers have saved so much by joining us and want to thank you them for supporting us through a period of such amazing growth. Our promise to them is to keep finding ways to bring household energy bills down".
If you would like to see whether you could save money by switching to First Utility then take 2 minutes to compare energy tariffs here. We offer a 100% impartial and OFGEM accredited comparing and switching service.
Posted on September 8, 2014 at 01:00 PM
September 1, 2014
September 1st seen Sainsbury's Energy launch three new tariffs on to the market. These are; Fixed Price October 2015, Fixed Price December 2015 and Fix and Reward March 2016.
FIXED PRICE OCTOBER 2015
• This is Sainsbury's Energy cheapest tariff on the market and promises peace of mind to those who wish to switch to it as it is a fixed price energy plan and prices will remain the same until October 31st 2015. This gives the customer extra security that they know exactly what it is they are spending. This is available to dual fuel customers, paying by direct debit only.
FIXED PRICE DECEMBER 2015
• This offers price security to any customers who choose to switch to it until December 31st 2015, giving the customer's complete peace of mind until then. It is only available to dual fuel customers paying by direct debit and if a customer chooses to leave before the contract end date, a £30 exit fee per fuel may be applied.
FIX AND REWARD MARCH 2016
• This is the longest Fixed Term contract that Sainsbury's Energy currently offer. New customers switching to the tariff receive a £50 Sainsbury's Gift Card, which they can spend in any Sainsbury's store on anything they want. This tariff is available to Dual Fuel customers, paying by direct debit only and anyone who chooses to end their contract early may face £30 exit fees, per fuel.
If you are looking to compare any of Sainsbury's Energy tariffs then Energylinx is the best place to do it. Click here to use our straight-forward and 100% impartial tool.
Posted on September 1, 2014 at 05:04 PM
September 1, 2014
British Gas launched two new tariffs on September 1st. The tariffs are Fixed November 2015 and Fix and Reward March 2016.
Customers looking to switch to British Gas Fixed Price November 2015 tariff will benefit from it being the cheapest tariff that British Gas currently have on the market and as a fixed price tariff it will give customers peace of mind until 30th of November 2015 - meaning even if the market prices go up, those on this tariff will not be effected. Customers who wish to leave the tariff before the contract end date on November 30th 2015 will face a £30 exit fee per fuel. This tariff is available as a dual fuel and only to customers who pay by direct debit.
Customers who wish to switch to British Gas Fix and Reward March 2016 will receive a £50 cash voucher that can be used in over 130 high-street stores and restaurants, including Debenhams and Argos. The tariff comes with a guarantee of helping you avoid any unexpected bills, as the prices are fixed which will ensure you know exactly what you are spending as the unit rates will remain the same until March 31st 2016. The tariff is available to dual fuel customers that are paying direct debit or cash/cheque and similar to Fixed Price November 2015, if a customer decides to end their contract before the end date of March 30th 2016 then they will face an exit fee of £30 per fuel.
If you wish to compare and switch to British Gas Fixed price November 2015 or Fix and Reward 2016 then the easiest place to do this is on the Energylinx website. Take advantage of our 100% impartial comparison tool here.
Posted on September 1, 2014 at 04:32 PM