October 20, 2017
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.
"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.
Posted on October 20, 2017 at 09:56 AM
October 12, 2017
It has been another bumper month for customers switching energy suppliers as 550,000 households moved energy companies in September, up 46% on the same month in 2016.
Consumer engagement in the market is booming with more than four million customers switching energy supplier in 2017, so far.
Energy industry regulator, Ofgem, released new research into the energy industry and it showed that consumer engagement in the market has increased from 37% in 2015 to 41% in 2017. It isn't only households that have switched before that are switching again, as in the last 12 months a third of switchers that changed energy suppliers did so for the first time.
The new research also showed that nine in ten energy switchers were happy with the current process of changing energy suppliers and over two thirds were more likely to switch energy suppliers due to the commitments of a simple, speedy and safe switch promised by energy suppliers as part of the Energy Switch Guarantee.
Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said:
"The energy market is rapidly transforming as competition continues to flourish and the numbers of consumers engaging in the energy market continues to grow. Over half a million consumers switching suppliers in the space of a month, shows the scale of the growing momentum.
"There are great savings to be made either by checking with your existing provider or by switching to one of over 50 suppliers in the market - So our advice to consumers is follow in four million footsteps and make sure you are on the best deal."
Winter is almost here. Compare energy suppliers and see what you could save on your utility bills either through the Energylinx website or by calling one of our advisors on 01259 220000.
Posted on October 12, 2017 at 01:12 PM
October 10, 2017
Energylinx is seeking a Microsoft Office whizz to join our team as an Assistant Pricing Analyst/Data Processor. The position will be based at our head office in Alloa.
The new team member will be instrumental in assisting in the day-to-day pricing operations of the business and helping the pricing team upload the latest energy price information into a central database. In addition, they'll provide pricing support to staff, customers and partnering organisations.
Job Type: Permanent
Hours: 35 hours per week. Flexible between 9am - 6pm Monday and Friday.
Benefits: The hourly rate is £9 per hour. You'll be entitled to 28 days holiday and have access to an employee benefits scheme run by Perkbox.
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 9am until 5:00pm Monday to Friday. However require to be able to work hours as required between the core hours of 9am until 6pm Monday to Friday
* Excellent interpersonal, organisational and communication skills
* 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Assistant Pricing Analyst/Data Processor
Or you can send them by post to:
The E Centre
Closing Date: Friday 20th October 2017
Posted on October 10, 2017 at 02:04 PM