Energylinx News

November 24, 2017

British Gas lose customers after energy price hike

BritishGasNov17.jpgOn Thursday British Gas announced that more than 800,000 customers have left them since June, putting shares on tracks for what analyst predict will be the UK's biggest energy supplier's worst day in history.

In a trading statement released, British Gas parent company Centrica said it had lost 823,000 customers between June and October. It's thought the customer exodus could be down to an increase of 12.5% for loyal customers in September.

The mass departure leaves British Gas with 13.1m accounts, meaning it will still be the market leader even after its rival Big Six supplier's nPower and SSE merge to create a company with 11.5m accounts.

After the announcement, Centrica shares dropped 15.5% making it the company's biggest ever one-day fall. Despite a bad second half of 2017, the Big Six supplier expects its full-year adjusted operating profit for 2017 to be broadly in line with the previous year following a £750m "cost efficiency programme".

The company is expected to report an adjusted operating profit of around £80m, down from £221m last year.

Iain Conn, Centrica chief executive, said:

"Although some aspects of our delivery in the second half of 2017 have been disappointing, I remain encouraged by our progress in implementing our strategy.

"The balance sheet has been materially strengthened, and we continue to focus on improving our underlying performance. We have also provided a broad and definitive set of proposals this week to improve the UK energy market for customers and look forward to engaging with the Government and regulator in the coming weeks."

Could you get a better deal for your energy by switching? Energylinx offer a free comparison and switching service. You can arrange an energy switch on our website or by calling one of our advisory on 01259 220000.

Posted on November 24, 2017 at 12:42 PM

November 22, 2017

Ofgem Updates Standards of Conduct for Energy Suppliers

Last week Ofgem made important changes to standards of conduct for energy suppliers. These are the rules each supplier has to follow to ensure that customers are treated fairly.

The news rules clarify the responsibility energy suppliers have to vulnerable customers and the importance of suppliers ensuring all households have the information they need to engage with the market. The new standards put the responsibility on to the suppliers to decide the best way for them to do it and reinforce Ofgem's expectation that customers should be at the heart of the business.

Energy suppliers will be responsible for monitoring their customers' experience and must apply a range of methods to make sure they are aware of what their customers need.

Focus on Vulnerable Customers

There is a need to be able to identify signs of vulnerability and then steps need to be taken to give those customers extra support and recognise their specific circumstances.

Ofgem has set a new rule that energy suppliers have a special responsibility for vulnerable customers. Ofgem noted that there had been some improvements in supplier conduct towards vulnerable consumers, but they don't believe it is going fast or far enough.

Many suppliers run extra schemes to help vulnerable customers and this is something that Ofgem wants to see more of.

Helping Customers Make Informed Choices

Different consumers have different needs and need information presented to them in different ways. It is the job of the energy supplier to make sure all consumers can quickly and easily find and understand the information that they are after.

Ofgem believes the energy industry currently isn't as good as others at communicating with customers and suppliers need to seriously consider the purpose, channel, content, presentation, volume and frequency of the information that they provide.

Some of Ofgem's toughest enforcement penalties have been a result of supplier failure to meet these Standards, which have been in place since 2013, and the rules now play a larger role in how they regulate supplier conduct.

Ofgem will be watching closely to ensure that suppliers are teaching customers fairly and stand ready to act if they don't.

Posted on November 22, 2017 at 02:44 PM

November 20, 2017

British Gas to end its Standard Variable Tariff

The UK's biggest energy supplier has announced plans to scrap its standard variable tariff (SVT) before April 2018 for all new customers.

SVTs tend to be the most expensive energy tariffs. British Gas say that 67% of their customers are currently on their SVT, which is about 5 million households.

British Gas has taken this decision after energy regulator, Ofgem, announced draft legislation designed to lower the cost of energy bills. E.On has already said SVTs will no longer be the default option for customers coming to the end of their existing tariffs.

Announcing the change, Iain Conn, chief executive of British Gas parent firm Centrica, said:

"We have long advocated that the end of the Standard Variable Tariff is the best way to encourage customers to shop around for the best energy deal."

"We will contact all of our customers at least twice a year to encourage them to move away from the SVT."

British Gas contacted all its SVT customers in the first half of 2017, and it says that 10% switched away from the tariff.

The company has also said it will:

• Provide new offers "to respond to customers' changing needs"
• Proactively offer customers a choice of fixed-term tariffs at the end of their contract
• Introduce a new fixed-term default tariff
• Contact customers on legacy Standard Variable Tariffs and offer them better deals
• Introduce simpler bills for all customers
• Improve customer service

Are you currently on a standard variable tariff? Chances are you are paying too much for your energy. See what you could save by using our simple, online comparison and switching service. If you would like to speak to someone about your options you can call 01259 220 000. Any customers that switch with Energylinx throughout November will be entered into a prize draw to win a brand new Suzuki Celerio.

Posted on November 20, 2017 at 11:54 AM

November 16, 2017

Energy switching numbers continue to go up

The amount of UK consumers switching energy supplier continues to rise, as more than 600,000 household's switched electricity supplier in October.

This marks only the second time switching numbers have reached more than 600,000 in a single month and it brings the number of people that have changed energy suppliers in 2017 to over 4.5 million.

2016 was a record year for people switching energy supplier, with a total of 4.8 million moving last year. 2017 looks like it is set to smash that amount.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said:

"Switching continues to surge with over 600,000 customers changing supplier to find a better deal last month. Many more will have made savings by checking they are on the best deal with their current supplier. It only takes a few minutes to do this and with over 55 suppliers across the market, there's never been more competition or choice."

A third (32%) of those switching energy provider last month moved to small and mid-tier suppliers.

It is thought the Energy Switch Guarantee is having a positive effect on the market and is encouraging consumers to switch energy suppliers. The Energy Switch Guarantee is a promise made by participating energy suppliers that a customer's switch will be speedy, safe and secure.

You can find out how much you could save on your energy bills by using Energylinx's online comparison and switching service. On average our customers save £394.46*. If you would rather speak to one of our advisors then you can call 0800 849 7077.

*20% of all users over the last 60 days (17 Sep - 15 Nov) achieved a saving of at least £394.46.

Posted on November 16, 2017 at 11:21 AM

November 14, 2017

New Car... Anyone?

Energylinx is running an amazing promotion for the month of November and it'll guarantee an early Christmas for one lucky customer.

Any customer that switches their energy supplier through Energylinx in November, will be entered in to a prize draw to win a cracker of a car. Not only might you save money on your energy bill but you might bag yourself a car!

Voted the best small car of 2017, Energylinx is giving away a Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2 to one customer picked at random. Any customers that arrange a switch through our website or by phoning our call centre have the opportunity to win a Suzuki Celerio.

So, visit our website and get phoning to see what you could save today. The winners will be announced in December. Good luck and happy saving!

You can call the following numbers to arrange your switch:

01259 220000
0800 8497077
0845 2252840

Terms and Conditions apply.

Posted on November 14, 2017 at 02:48 PM

November 10, 2017

Data Processor Wanted

This advert is now closed.

Energylinx is looking for a Data Processor. Interested? find out more about the role and how to apply below.

Energylinx Limited - Alloa, Clackmannanshire - £18,000 - £24,000

Working as Data Processor for an innovative online energy comparison company, you will be instrumental in assisting in the day to day supplier pricing operations of the business, helping the pricing team to upload pricing information into a central database as well as providing pricing support to staff, customers and partnering organisations.

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 9 am until 5:00 pm Monday to Friday. However, there is requisite to be able to work hours as required between the core hours of 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday. Also you will be required to be part of an out of hours rota.
 Excellent interpersonal, organisational and communication skills

Personal Qualities

 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 marie.farmer@energylinx.com with the subject line: Data Processor Application

Or you can send them by post to:

Energylinx Limited
The E Centre
Cooperage Way
Alloa
FK10 3LP

Posted on November 10, 2017 at 09:53 AM

November 7, 2017

Switch Energy Suppliers to Win

Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2.jpgOne lucky customer will be getting an early Christmas present this year. Switch your energy with Energylinx and you could win a brand new Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2.

The team at Energylinx is excited to announce that we are running a prize draw for our customers. Every customer that switches either through our contact centre or via our website will be entered in to a prize draw to win a Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2.

There are two simple ways to enter.

Through our Call Centre

You can call one of our lovely energy advisors on 01259 220000. They will find out if they can save you any money on your energy bills and if you decide to switch your energy supply with us then you will be entered in to our prize draw for the month.

Online

You can switch through the Energylinx website by clicking this link. Organising a switching online is easy and stress free. You need to know your current energy supplier, your postcode and your annual energy consumption.

Energylinx is impartial and totally independent from all of the energy suppliers that are represented on our platform. We promise to find the best deal available for your household in less than 5 minutes. Why pay more? Beat the energy price hike and see what we could save you today. You might even bag yourself a prize in process!

Winners will be announced in December, so keep an eye out. Good luck!

Terms and Conditions apply.

Posted on November 7, 2017 at 02:36 PM

November 2, 2017

State of the Energy Market: 2017

Energy market regulator, Ofgem, has released a report on the State of the Energy Market.

The report highlights three concerns Ofgem has:

1. The market works well for engaged customers that actively search for cheaper deals but too many are missing out.
2. Consumers paying the highest prices are often those least able to afford it.
3. The progress to ensure clean and secure electricity suppliers has come at a higher cost than necessary.

Engagement

Competition continues to benefit consumers who are able and willing to shop around, meaning they can usually get a good deal.

As of June 2017, there were 60 suppliers offering electricity and or gas, 16 more than a year earlier. Since 2012, new suppliers have increased competition, reducing the six largest energy suppliers' share of the market from nearly all consumers to just over 80% of them. Switching and engagement are increasing and annual household switching rates reached almost 17% in June 2017, the highest since August 2011.

This is all positive but Ofgem is concerned with the consumers that aren't switching. The ones who remain on defaults tariffs and pay much higher prices.

Ofgem found 58% have never switched supplier or have switched only once. For a typical household, a standard variable tariff costs about £300 more each year than the cheapest tariff available and Ofgem has found that 60% of all consumers are on a default variable tariff.

Ofgem is working to make the current switching process quicker and easier so that the retail markets work better for everyone. They are looking at the case for more use of collective switching with the hope it will enable less engaged consumers reap the benefits of competition.

Vulnerable Customers

In the energy market consumers with low incomes are much less likely to switch to a cheaper energy supplier.
There are a number of support schemes like the Warm Home Discount that help some vulnerable consumers, particularly pensioners but Ofgem's report highlights that identification of and support of other vulnerable groups are not yet good enough.

The challenge is to protect vulnerable customers but also engage them in the market more effectively. Ofgem is currently consulting on extending their safeguard tariff to a further 1 million vulnerable consumers this winter.

Innovation

On average, consumers currently pay about £90 each year towards environmental policies. This will rise as low-carbon generation increases. Rapid falls in the costs of wind and solar generation show the scope for competition and innovation to limit future cost increases. But in the future, consumers will lose out if there isn't effective competition for low-carbon support schemes and for measures to help the energy system to work effectively.

Ofgem's report says that innovation must be harnessed in ways that bring benefits to all consumers. With more and more people harnessing their own electricity and having more control over their consumption using smart meters.

Traditionally, energy suppliers manage most interactions with consumers and the wider-market but peer-to-peer energy trading and greater customer ownership of their data should allow customers different ways of engaging with the energy system.

The report says that the UK's biggest energy suppliers made a profit of £1bn last year and have increased their profit margins in the last few years, despite losing millions of customers to smaller companies. The "Big Six" energy suppliers enjoyed a healthy margin, on average, of 4.5% in 2016 by charging customers high prices to loyal customers that have not considered switching energy suppliers.

Energylinx would like to invite everyone to compare energy supplier's tariffs and see what they could save. You can do it online or by calling one of our advisors on 01259 220000.

Posted on November 2, 2017 at 11:00 AM

October 20, 2017

Ofgem wants energy suppliers to step in sooner to help customers manage debt

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.

Ofgem said:

"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

Energy switching numbers continue to rise

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