December 14, 2016
There has been over four million customers switching electricity supplier in 2016, eclipsing the past three years of switching data produced by Energy UK.
November saw switching stay above 400,000 with more consumers looking to take advantage of the variety of deals available. This similarly is the highest figure seen since November 2013.
Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said:
"A record number of people have switched electricity supplier in 2016. This is fantastic progress, but more needs to be done.
"Over forty companies across the industry, big and small, are working hard to win customers. With the Energy Switch Guarantee now in place, customers can be more confident to switch supplier. I'd encourage everyone to look at the best deal for them, whether that is one that offers a lower price or better customer service, there are choices for everyone.
"Let's make 2017 even better and make sure every family is benefitting from the best possible deal."
Energylinx make switching energy suppliers easy. Find out what you could save here or call one of our advisors on 01259 220000.
Posted on December 14, 2016 at 01:52 PM
December 9, 2016
More than 5,000 residents of park homes are set to benefit from £700,000 worth of energy bill rebates following a successful Warm Home Discount (WHD) pilot initiative.
The WHD is a government scheme, administered by Ofgem E-Serve, which may provide a £140 annual rebate on energy bills to those in or at risk of fuel poverty in Great Britain.
Up until now most people living in park homes did not qualify for WHD rebates because their energy suppliers' contract is often with the site owner, not the individual residents.
This has now changed following a successful pilot scheme in 2015-16, developed by Ofgem E-Serve, energy suppliers and Charis Grants, which provided a total of £233,520 in rebates to 1,668 residents. This was an increase in the initial target as more energy suppliers joined the scheme recognising it as an effective way to support vulnerable consumers.
This year more than 5,000 rebates, worth over £700,000, are expected to be paid out to eligible consumers who will also benefit from advice on making their homes more energy efficient.
Chris Poulton, Managing Director of Ofgem E-Serve, said: "We're pleased that more than 5,000 park home residents are able to benefit from £700,000 of extra support to help stay warm this winter. This is an important contribution to helping tackle fuel poverty for those vulnerable consumers in park homes.
"We thank the obligated suppliers and Charis Grants for working with us to develop the scheme, and hope to continue to pursue innovative ways to ensure that the WHD helps those who need it most."
Minister for Energy and Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: "It's great news that this scheme is now accessible to a broader range of people, which is an important part of our work to support low income and vulnerable households. The government's Warm Home Discount scheme is worth £320m per year and will ensure that over 2 million households receive £140 off their energy bills this winter.
"Ofgem's extension of the scheme to park homes shows government and industry working together to solve problems for hard pressed consumers."
Protecting and empowering consumers in vulnerable situations is a priority for Ofgem.
Next year, in a separate initiative, for the first time Ofgem will set a cap on prices for households with prepayment meters, which is estimated will save customers £75 a year on average.
As the WHD is designed to support vulnerable consumers, recipients must meet one of the eligibility criteria set out below.
To qualify for a payment, park home residents are required to meet one of the following criteria, in addition to paying council tax at the property:
♦ They or their partner is in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee & Savings or Pension Credit Savings
♦ They are in receipt of one of a number of means tested eligible benefits*
♦ They have a gross annual household income of less than £16,190 and the account holder is living with mental or physical disability or illness, or there is vulnerability within the home (children living in the house aged 5 or under or those of pensionable age)
♦ They have a gross annual household income of less than £16,190 and spend 10% or more of household income on energy bills to heat the property.
How to apply for the rebate
Park home residents can apply for the rebate at http://www.charisgrants.com/park-homes-warm-home-discount-scheme/ or by calling the Charis Park Homes hotline on 0330 380 1040.
Successful applicants will then be sent a cheque totalling £140 to help with energy costs.
Posted on December 9, 2016 at 11:45 AM
November 29, 2016
The Co-operative Energy has today written out to all customers of GB Enegy to advise them that with effect from the 30th November that reached an agreement with GB Energy and Ofgem to take over responsibility for customer's energy accounts, and are reassuring customers that they will have continuity of supply
They have confirmed that they will honour current contracts and price until it is due to expire.
They have promised to contact customers before their tariff expires advising them what they need to do at that point.
Customer services will continue to be provided by the same GB Energy teams who will be using the same systems. This should hep reduce any disruption to the level of service that they wish to offer. To that end they are increasing the number of customer services advisors.
And, finally they have stated We are developing more detailed plans, working closely with Ofgem, and we will contact you again before 15th December 2016 with an update on our progress.
Energylinx will be providng regular updates as we know more.
In the meantime if you wish to see how good Co-operative Energy tariffs are compared with GB Energy please use our 100% impartial energy price comparison. Remembering though that Co-Operative Energy have confirmed that existing deals will be honoured until they are due to expire
Posted on November 29, 2016 at 11:36 PM
November 26, 2016
On the 26th November GB Energy have announced that they have ceased trading.
Their statement reads: "Due to swift and significant increases in energy prices over recent months and, as a small supplier our inability to forward buy energy to allow us to access the best possible wholesale prices, means that the position of the business has become untenable and as such we will now be entering a process overseen by Ofgem to move you to a new supplier."
What does this mean for any customer of GB Energy?
Firstly do not panic as your gas and electricity will not be cut off. This will continue as normal and Ofgem, the industry regulator, will appoint a new supplier to take over your supplies.
What you should do?
Await to hear from Ofgem or use Energylinx to search for a new energy contract to replace the one you have with GB Energy.
Click this link if you wish to see how competitive GB Energy is for current energy deal compared with the rest of the market.
Posted on November 26, 2016 at 10:34 PM
November 15, 2016
According to Energy UK's recent switching data, there was a three-year record high for switching in October. 577,810 customers switched energy supplier last month, 53% more than in September 2016.
Energy UK's latest figures show that 92,632 customers switched to a small supplier, which is 9%t of all switches in October.
Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said:
"With the Energy Switch Guarantee - launched by the industry in June - customers are clearly feeling more confident to switch. That's why last month, over half a million people took control of their energy bills. Join them and save hundreds of pounds a year.
It only takes a few minutes to find the right deal. More than 40 suppliers are offering many deals under £1,000, so take advantage."
Posted on November 15, 2016 at 03:06 PM
November 8, 2016
Four months on from the market investigation that found consumers are collectively overpaying by £1.4 billion for their energy, Which? is challenging energy companies to show how they are engaging with their customers stuck on the worst deals.
Around 16 million people - over half (58%) of energy customers - are stuck on standard variable tariffs (SVT) with a 'Big Six' provider, the default and usually most expensive tariff. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that more must be done to get energy companies to engage with these customers. Yet, new Which? research has found that three-quarters (74%) of people said they have not been contacted by their supplier about changing their tariff in the four months since the inquiry was completed.
Which? also found that nearly nine in ten (86%) people said they think it is the energy companies responsibility to help customers better understand their energy usage and nine in ten (89%) say it is the energy companies responsibility to make sure they adequately understand their bill.
Which? is calling on all energy companies to find new ways of getting customers stuck on poor value deals to move. Our 'Fair Energy Prices' campaign is challenging the energy companies to publish plans by 31st January 2017 detailing how they will engage standard tariff customers and take immediate action this winter to deliver against this plan.
Which? will be publishing a scorecard to track the responses from the energy companies. The Government and the regulator must be ready to act if companies fail to deliver for their customers.
Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said of the campaign announcement
"Over recent weeks' Which? and others have challenged energy companies to set out what they will do for consumers 'stuck' on standard variable tariffs.
"While we would question whether people are really 'stuck' on standard tariffs, the industry is committed to help people benefit from the greatest intensity of competition there has ever been in the energy market.
"It is important that trusted voices help people realise the benefits of competition and the ease of switching. If people are told continually that they are stuck, we shouldn't be surprised if they act as if they are stuck. In fact, it has never been easier to switch to a good deal - which in some cases could save households £300 per year."
As a result of the CMA's report in to the energy industry, OFGEM, the industry regulator, are introducing a number of major reforms to make it easier for people to get the benefits of a competitive market.
Energy companies are working with Ofgem and others to implement CMA remedies over the coming months. Individual companies will of course do more and we welcome the fact that Which? will highlight what companies are doing and what more could be done.
Posted on November 8, 2016 at 02:29 PM
October 31, 2016
Energy Saving Week launched on Monday 31st October. It is a national campaign to help people cut their fuel bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to.
The week focuses on raising public awareness of how to switch energy supplier or tariff to get the best deal and make homes energy efficient. This is the sixth Big Energy Saving Week and is a partnership between Citizens Advice, the Energy Saving Trust and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with the support of numerous organisations, charities and companies.
There are events throughout the country, click here to see where the closest event to you is.
Energylinx provide a free and impartial comparison and switching service. To see what you could save on your energy bills click here or call 01259 220000.
Posted on October 31, 2016 at 04:03 PM
October 27, 2016
ScottishPower has launched a new fixed price energy tariff, Help Beat Cancer Fixed Price Energy January 2019, in partnership with Cancer Research UK.
The partnership between ScottishPower and Cancer Research UK began in 2012 and was renewed for another 3 years in 2015. So far, ScottishPower has raised more than £9million for cancer research.
Key Features of Help Beat Cancer Fixed Price Energy January 2019:
• Fixed energy prices until the end of January 2019
• At an average dual fuel bill value of just £942*
• No exit fees
A dual fuel customer that signs up to this new tariff is just £4 per month more versus ScottishPower's current Online Fixed Saver November 2017 v2* tariff (which has exit fees of £30 per fuel), whilst providing over a year's longer price protection.
What's more, ScottishPower will make a donation to Cancer Research UK for every month a customer is on the tariff, up to a maximum of £5 per fuel per annum, until the end of the tariff term
*Based on a GB average dual fuel domestic customer using Ofgem typical annual consumption of 3,100kWh of Standard Rate electricity and 12,500kWh of gas each year and paying by monthly Direct Debit for the period ending 31 November 2017.
Posted on October 27, 2016 at 11:04 AM
October 21, 2016
Nearly 400,000 (376,511) households switched electricity supplier in September 2016. This is a 21% increase compared to September 2015; and brings the total number of switches to over three million (3,377,317) so far this year.
Energy UK's latest electricity switching data also shows that over 70,000 customers switched to a smaller supplier last month. This is 19% of all switches.
Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said:
"I urge everyone to spend a few minutes to make sure they are on the best deal before winter hits. Join millions of people that have already saved hundreds of pounds so far in 2016. Deals are coming to an end every month so don't miss out on over 100 deals under £1,000.
The energy market is more competitive than it has ever been. With over 40 suppliers in the market and with the Energy Switch Guarantee in place customers should reap the benefits."
If you're on one of the following tariffs then it will end on the 31st of October:
• Co-operative Energy Fair & Square October 2016 - Paperless
• First Utility Energylinx Collective Switch October 2016 - Paperless
• First Utility iSave Fixed October 2016 (v28) - Paperless
• First Utility iSave Fixed October 2016 - Paperless
• First Utility iSave Fixed October 2016 v2 - Paperless
• First Utility The Big Deal October 2016 - Paperless
• Flow Energy Connect 2 - Paperless
• Flow Energy Connect 3 - Paperless
• npower Fixed Energy Online October 2016 - Paperless
• npower Online Price Fix October 2016 - Paperless
• Sainsbury's Energy Fixed Price October 2016 - Paper and Paperless
• Sainsbury's Energy Price Freeze October 2016 - Paper and Paperless
• Sainsbury's Energy Price Promise October 2016 - Paper and Paperless
• ScottishPower Online Fixed Price Energy October 2016 - Paperless
Posted on October 21, 2016 at 01:40 PM
October 6, 2016
A brief recap of what's been happening in the energy industry over the last 7 days.
Loyal Energy Customers Left out from Cheapest Tariffs (Saturday 1st October)
Four of the "Big Six" energy suppliers won't put existing customers on their cheapest tariffs. With the lowest priced deals only being available to new customers. In some cases the deals for existing customers are hundreds of pounds more a year. The four companies, E.ON, EDF, SSE and British Gas said they were simply responding to changes in the market.
While the British Gas tariff has now been withdrawn, other suppliers are still restricting their offers to new customers only.
Such deals were originally banned by the regulator Ofgem in April 2014. Following a recommendation from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in April this year, Ofgem let it be known it would no longer enforce these rules.
Ken Geddes, the chief executive of Energylinx, the largest energy price comparison business in the UK was "gob-smacked" on finding out how large the difference in cost new customers pay in comparison to existing customers.
Mr Geddes tested a new-customer-only tariff from E.ON, launched in mid-September.
He first applied as an E.ON customer and then as a customer of another company. The difference in the two prices he got from E.ON was £260.
"Having spent over a decade doing this job, I don't think I've ever seen that differential", Mr Geddes told the BBC. "I'm just gob-smacked as to the difference in price".
Not all major energy suppliers plan to offer such tariffs.
Scottish Power's Colin McNeil, Commercial Director:
"These tariffs must stop. We must recognise that we are still not a trusted industry, and perceived sharp practices do the industry no favours."
"Any of our customers can switch freely to any of our tariffs at any time."
The four energy companies which have offered the new-customer only tariffs, E.ON, EDF, SSE and British Gas, all say that they are responding to changes in the energy market and that their new tariffs are part of a strategy to serve a wide range of customers.
Ofgem's chief executive Dermot Nolan said that Ofgem had acted on the CMA's recommendation "to make energy competition more similar to telecoms because on the whole that will mean lower prices and better deals for consumers"
Prime Minister Sets Out Energy Retail Intervention Plans (Wednesday 5th October)
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference today, the prime minister pledged that the government "can and should be a force for good, that the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot, and that we should employ the power of government for the good of the people."
May continued "That's why where markets are dysfunctional, we should be prepared to intervene. Where companies are exploiting the failures of the market in which they operate, where consumer choice is inhibited by deliberately complex pricing structures, we must set the market right."
The point being that it's just not right that two thirds of energy customers in the United Kingdom are stuck on the most expensive standard tariffs.
This builds on comments earlier in the party conference from business and energy secretary Greg Clark, who said the government "will act" on the £2 billion of consumer detriment outlined by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) "in the next few weeks and months".
The PM's comments follow rumours that the government plans to extend price caps after the CMA recommended a transitional price cap for prepayment customers until the completion of the smart meter rollout.
Fracking Approved by UK Government (Thursday 6th October)
Horizontal fracking can go ahead, the government has said, in a landmark ruling for the UK shale gas industry.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has approved plans for fracking at Caudrilla's Preston New Road site in Lancashire.
A second site, Roseacre Wood, has not yet been given the green light amid concerns over the impact on the area.
It means, for the first time, UK shale rock will be fracked horizontally, which is expected to yield more gas.
Environmentalists and local campaign groups reacted angrily to the decision, with Friends of the Earth campaigner Pollyanna Steiner calling it a "betrayal of local people".
"Fracking goes against everything we need to do to tackle climate change. The government must end its fixation with dirty fossil fuels and focus instead on harnessing the UK's huge renewable energy resource."
In 2011, all fracking was suspended in the UK after it caused earthquakes near Blackpool. The ban was lifted in 2012. It is not the first time fracking has been approved since the ban was lifted - but it is the first to involve horizontal drilling.
In horizontal fracking, the well is turned horizontally at depth to extract gas from a layer - or layers - of shale rock.
It is seen as far more productive than conventional vertical drilling, which goes directly through the seam and reaches a smaller area.
Posted on October 6, 2016 at 01:09 PM