Energylinx News

March 2018 Monthly Archive

March 29, 2018

Citizens Advice reveals best and worst energy supplier rankings

Cheaper energy bills are great but they aren't the only reason to consider switching energy suppliers. It might suit you better to be with an energy supplier that is easy to contact and has excellent customer service.

Every 3 months, Citizens Advice compare energy suppliers across 5 different categories and rank how good their customer service is. Citizens Advice then score each supplier out of 5. The categories they rank are; Complaints, Ease of Contact, Bill Clarity, Ease of Switching and if the energy supplier takes part in the Switch Guarantee.

In the period from October to December 2017, So Energy came in at number one with 4.7 stars, followed by Bulb Energy and Octopus Energy.

Economy Energy, a medium-sized supplier that was set up in 2012, came bottom of Citizens Advice's energy star rating system, scoring 1.2 stars out of a possible five for customer service.

Energy Supplier Rating for October -- December 2017

Energy Supplier Rating October - December 2017.jpg
Source: Citizens Advice

The table only includes suppliers that Citizens Advice can rate across the board. For example, for some smaller suppliers Citizens Advice only have data about billing.

If you are looking to switch energy suppliers, Energylinx has made it easy. We can compare the market to find the best deal for your home. You can do this online or by calling our lovely energy advisors on 01259 220000.

Posted on March 29, 2018 at 03:23 PM

March 27, 2018

Ofgem bans Iresa from taking on new customers

Ofgem has banned Nottingham based energy supplier, Iresa, from taking on any new customers until it fixes its current customer service issues. Iresa has also been banned from increasing existing customers' direct debits until the issues are resolved.

This is not the first customer ban Iresa has faced. In early 2016, Iresa was forced to stop taking new customers after the energy regulator, Ofgem, found that customers were having trouble getting in touch with the energy provider.

Ofgem has said that the ban will remain in place until Iresa improves its service to its customers and could have its licence revoked by Ofgem if it fails to take steps within the next three months.

To meet Ofgem's requirements, Iresa must extend its current call centre hours, bring down the average call waiting times to below five minutes, and respond to all customers who request a call back by the end of the next working day.

Iresa must also make a commitment to respond to customer emails within five working days, clear the existing backlog of consumer emails and log all expressions of customer dissatisfaction.

Iresa also must be able to prove they can identify and manage all of its vulnerable customers, which includes offering to put them on a priority services register.

Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem:

"This order sends out a very clear message to suppliers that where they fail their customers on service, Ofgem will step in and take strong action. It's crucial that all suppliers provide customers with good service, including acting quickly and effectively to sort things out wherever problems occur."

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said the ban was a "very important intervention".

The consumer protection group had formally referred Iresa to Ofgem in November for "consistently poor" customer service.

"While this is a positive step, Ofgem also needs to go further. The regulator should tighten up its licensing regime so they can prevent poorly prepared suppliers from entering the market in the first place."

If you are an Iresa customer and you aren't happy with their customer service, Energylinx offers a comparison and switching service. You can either do this online or by calling one of our lovely advisors on 01259 220000.

Posted on March 27, 2018 at 10:30 AM

March 21, 2018

New survey reveals the energy suppliers that are the hardest to leave

On the back of a record-breaking month for energy switches, consumer association Which? surveyed over 8,000 energy customers to reveal the energy suppliers that are the easiest - and hardest - to switch away from.

Easiest Energy Suppliers to Leave

The energy suppliers that made it easiest to switch away from were Sainsbury's Energy and SSE. 92% of respondents rated their switch from them as easy or very easy.

Arranging a switch from British Gas to First Utility was rated the easiest switch overall, with 97% saying their switch was easy or very easy.

Trickiest Energy Suppliers to Leave

Of the 11 large energy suppliers, Co-operative Energy, First Utility, GB Energy and Ovo Energy make it the trickiest to leave. At least 6% of customers that switched from one of these energy suppliers said they found it difficult or very difficult to leave them.

Overall, the trickiest transfer was from EDF Energy to Npower. A fifth of customers who made this switch rated it difficult or very difficult. British Gas or Eon to Npower were the next trickiest switches (8% and 9% found it difficult to move between these firms, respectively).

The Which? survey doesn't provide information about which energy supplier caused the delays with the switch.

How to switch energy supplier hassle-free

If you are considering switching energy suppliers then Which? has provided some simple tips to make sure your energy switch is hassle-free:

1. Use your actual energy consumption (in kWh) to get the most accurate quote when you compare energy prices. To find this use your annual statement or latest bill.

2. Choose an energy supplier that is part of the Energy Switch Guarantee for a speedier, safer energy switch - these companies promise to complete your move within 21 days. Currently the following energy suppliers are signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee: Utility Warehouse, OVO Energy, Fairer Power, Peterborough Energy, Southend Energy, Energy SW, M&S Energy, SSE, Enstroga, Pure Planet, ScottishPower, Octopus, Ecotricity, First Utility Tonik Energy, EDF Energy, Bulb, Sainsbury's Energy, British Gas, E.ON, Npower, Flow Energy and So Energy.

3. Regularly submit meter readings to your old and new energy suppliers to keep your bills accurate. If you're in debt, arrange with your old supplier how you will pay (if you pay by direct debit it may be able to take the amount owing automatically).

You can arrange an energy switch with Which? Switch online or by calling an energy advisor on 01259 220235. Which? Switch will compare the whole market to find the cheapest energy deal.

Posted on March 21, 2018 at 10:50 AM

March 15, 2018

Energylinx for Business wins prestigious title at the SME Insider Awards

Bruce and Tom SME Awards.jpgOur sister company, Energylinx for Business, won the Sprint 100: Fastest Growing Small Business Award at the Business Insider's Scottish SME Awards ceremony.

The Scottish SME Awards recognise everything from profit share to highest climber as detailed by the Scottish Business Insider's SME 300 database collated in the September 2017 magazine edition. Now in their twelfth year, the glitzy awards ceremony was attended by businesses from all over Scotland.

Energylinx for Business was chosen for the "Sprint 100: Fastest Growing Small Business Award" award due to their rapid growth over a short period of time. An incredible honour and recognition that is well deserved!

Bruce Laird, Chief Operating Officer of Energylinx for Business said of the achievement:

"Energylinx for Business limited were delighted to receive the Sprint 100 award for the "Fastest Growing Small Business in Scotland" from Business Insider.

It is great to receive an award that gives our team the recognition they deserve for their hard efforts over the past 6 years. It was especially rewarding last night to receive this award on behalf of Energylinx for Business because the award was specifically targeted at companies working in the SME market sector.

The reason we started this business in 2012 was to help small business owners get fairer energy deals and we believed that the way to do that was to build a robust online energy comparison and switching solution similar to what was available in the Domestic Market. After 6 years of software development we believe we now offer the best in market solution for business energy comparison and switching which is the reason for our rapid growth. We are now looking forward to achieving further growth over the coming years."

It has been an exciting few months for Energylinx for Business as they have launched a new part of their online comparison service with a new website, Business Energy Online. This is the most advanced business energy comparison service available to SMEs today.

To find out more about the service Energylinx for Business can offer affiliates, brokers and energy suppliers visit their website.

Posted on March 15, 2018 at 03:42 PM

March 12, 2018

Record amount of households switched energy supplier in February

The latest switching figures from Energy UK show that over 660,000 customers transferred energy supplier in February - the highest monthly switching number every recorded and a 60% increase on February 2017.

With February being the shortest month, the record number means that nearly 24,000 households arranged an energy transfer every day last month. So far in 2018, over 1 million customers have switched energy suppliers.

Competition in the energy market continues to grow as more households choose to leave the "Big Six" energy suppliers to go to a small or mid-tier energy suppliers. They accounted for 130,000 (one fifth) of all energy transfers arranged throughout February.

Confidence in energy switching is also high with 9 in 10 customers happy with the process according to the Energy Switch Guarantee. The Guarantee, which now covers over 90% of the retail market, is a series of commitments to ensure switching is simple, speedy and safe.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said:

"The energy market has never been so competitive and it's great to see record numbers of consumers engaging in the market to get a better deal.

"Customers can make big savings by joining the millions who've found a better deal - through either checking with your existing supplier or choosing from over 60 suppliers on the market. And with the Energy Switch Guarantee in place, consumers can be sure that the process will be simple, speedy and safe

Energylinx offers a free and impartial switching service. You can arrange a transfer online or by calling one of our friendly energy advisors on 01259 220000.

Posted on March 12, 2018 at 12:12 PM

March 9, 2018

'Climate Change - Our Hidden Addiction' Out Now

Climate Change Picture.jpgBruce Laird, COO of our sister company Energylinx for Business, has published his first book 'Climate Change - Our Hidden Addiction' and it is now available to buy as an eBook or paperback on Amazon.

We spoke to Bruce just after it hit the virtual bookshelves to find out about what to expect from his new book.

What made you decide to write a book?

"After 30 years of being active in the energy industry in the UK and having studied energy from both an engineering and legislative aspect, I decided to embark on the challenge of putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard to be more exact). I was NOT convinced that carbon dioxide was causing Climate Change, and that using technology to solve a problem created as a result of using too much tech surely couldn't be the right solution.

I wanted to explain why I believe that the experts might have got it wrong when it comes to carbon emissions."

That is a bold statement...

"I know and I fully accept that I too could be completely wrong but what if I am right? What will happen if we don't change our focus on how we deal with climate change?"

What do you hope this book achieves?

"By reading my book I hope it will do two things. Firstly, I want to make your blood boil because someone could be so stupid to question the current thinking on Climate Change and push you to do more of your own investigations into the subject matter.

And secondly, I want to make you think that this guy has a point and there is perhaps another reason for Climate Change and encourage you to again look more closely at the subject matter and then hopefully take an alternative approach to addressing the problem".

Anything readers should know before purchasing the book?

"If you are easily offended by rude language or don't want to know when the world might end then don't read this book. If (like me) you have thick skin then you just might like this book but unfortunately there is no refunds if you don't! (laughs)

I hope the book helps provoke some more debate and perhaps more focused activity to help solve what is probably our biggest problem since the invention of toilet roll."

'Climate Change - Our Hidden Addiction' is now available as a paperback or eBook on Amazon.

Posted on March 9, 2018 at 02:30 PM

March 5, 2018

Ofgem bans 'catch-up' bills for energy used more than 12 months ago

From May 2018, energy suppliers will not be allowed to back-bill customers for gas and electricity that they have used more than 12 months previously.

Energy regulator, Ofgem, believes that accurate billing is an essential part of customer service and that large catch-up bills could cause stress and leave consumers struggling financially.

Ofgem said the typical back bill was £1,160 and in some (extreme) cases have exceeded £10,000. The regulator said it was aware of 10,000 complaints in a year regarding energy supplier's back-bill procedures.

Most billing problems come from issues with an energy supplier's billing system, or because the meter used is not correctly registered at the customer's address.

When this is the case, energy suppliers will estimate bills until they have an actual meter reading. If the estimate hasn't been high enough and the customer's consumption is higher than expected, then energy suppliers send a "catch-up" bill to recover the difference.

With smart meters being rolled out across the UK, suppliers will no longer need to rely on estimated bills and customers shouldn't receive catch-up bills.

Rob Salter-Church, Ofgem's interim senior partner for consumers and competition, said:

"Large catch-up bills can leave consumers struggling financially or even in debt to their supplier.

"Getting billing right is an essential part of customer service, and it's unfair that consumers should be left out of pocket when through no fault of their own they're issued with a shock bill from their supplier.

"So we're taking action and banning suppliers from issuing back-bills beyond 12 months, where it's not the customer's fault. This sends a strong message to suppliers to improve the accuracy of the bills they send to their custom."

Citizen Advice welcomed the decision. Victoria MacGregor, director of energy at Citizens Advice, said:

"We have long called for the changes announced today. The new rules will deliver better protections for households and small businesses across the country. No-one should face a massive unforeseen bill that goes back years when it is their supplier that is at fault.

"Previously we've seen evidence of suppliers trying to game the rules by blaming customers for billing errors, cases where suppliers have ignored their commitments entirely, and small businesses receiving unexpected bills running to tens of thousands of pounds."

Posted on March 5, 2018 at 12:02 PM