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Customers urged: claim £135 discount on energy bills

As Britain enjoys its warmest summer for years, people worried about next winter’s energy bills are being urged to apply now for a £135 discount.

The Warm Home Discount rebate, which is given each winter automatically to less well-off pensioners, gives those who qualify a discount of £135 off their electricity bill in winter. Yet other customers – and not just older customers - who are struggling with their bills can apply for the discount too.

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Energy UK comments on Contracts for Difference

Commenting on the new terms for Contracts for Difference published by DECC, Energy UK said:

“Both the Contracts for Difference and the Capacity Market are essential to attract the investment that this country needs and to keep the lights on. The devil will be in the detail and investors will be eagerly scrutinising the terms that have been published today.

We urge policy makers to consider how to communicate this story to customers. Bill payers need to know where their money is going and for what. This country needs a balanced energy mix which provides affordable, secure and clean energy.”

Energy UK comments on ECC committee report

Responding to the Energy & Climate Change Committee report on Prices, Profits & Poverty, Angela Knight, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said:

“We take the criticisms and recommendations in this report seriously and, as it recognises, we have gone a long way in improving the information we provide. We have seen radical change – there are fewer tariffs and the new deals are clearer so it is easier to compare, bills have been simplified so they are easier for customers to follow and it is simple to switch from one supplier to another. The industry is also committed to helping customers who are struggling to pay their bills. Many companies have their own schemes and, across the industry, Energy UK runs the Home Heat Helpline.

“Energy companies all publish annual accounts and, in addition, both the generation and supply parts of the business provide Ofgem with all the information about revenues, costs and profits for which the regulator asks. Profit is necessary for employment and investment in this country so we can build the new power stations that will provide ongoing security of supply. We recognise there needs to be open and honest dialogue between all parties and that customers understand their bills also include the cost of the distribution system as well as the environmental and social levies.

“We know there is more to do and trust takes time to rebuild. We will continue to work with customers, government and the regulator as well as consumer groups to make things better.”

Energy UK comments on shale tax breaks

Energy UK believes we need to consider a mix of all forms of energy generation to meet the UK’s needs and for energy security. Shale needs to be considered as part of the overall picture. However, any proposed schemes must take safety and environmental concerns fully into account.

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Energy UK response to uSwitch 'over-complicated' bills research

in response to uSwitch research claiming people are being left confused by over-complicated household bills, including energy bills, Energy UK said:

“There is a lot of information that companies are required to include on customers' bills, but they are working hard with the government, Ofgem and consumer groups to make bills as clear as possible.

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Smart meter guidelines launched

Standards will govern the installation and use of data from smart meters

New rules and guidance protecting customers who get a smart meter installed have been launched today. The Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice and Smart Meter Data Guide are two significant measures that will build customer confidence during the smart metering roll out between now and 2020.

The Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice (SMICoP) specifies the minimum standards that energy suppliers have to follow when installing smart meters in their customers’ homes. The code’s aims are for the installation experience to be positive, to ensure customers are protected, and to make sure that customers are clear as to what will happen during the installation process. The code stipulates that smart meter installers are to offer customers energy efficiency advice and also bans sales activity being conducted during the installation.

Smart meters can collect energy consumption information, which customers can use to learn more about their energy use. The Data Guide, which is being launched alongside the SMICoP, outlines the key information customers need to know about their rights and choices when they get a smart meter installed. In particular, it outlines what data will be collected by energy suppliers, and the choices that consumers have about the amount of information their energy supplier can collect and how the information can be used.

Both documents have been the result of work from Energy UK, its members, Consumer Futures, and a number of other stakeholders who have contributed to their development.

Lawrence Slade, Chief Operating Officer, Energy UK, said: “The guidelines launched today are designed to ensure customers have a positive experience when their smart meters are installed. The rules are there to contribute to a smooth and successful roll-out of smart meters across the country.

The commitment of “no sales at the installation visit” will also mean that customers do not face any pressure to take out new products or services at the point of installation. They will however be guaranteed to get advice about how to use less energy in the home, which will be very welcome.”

For more information:

Data Guide:

Energy UK response to Ofgem's consumer vulnerability strategy

In response to the unveiling of Ofgem's consumer vulnerability strategy, Energy UK said:

“Energy companies spend around £300 million every year helping two million fuel poor and vulnerable households, often going above and beyond their regulated obligations. This includes taking £135 off the bills of the poorest pensioners and running trust funds for those most in need. Suppliers also run Priority Services Registers offering additional free services for customers who are elderly, sick or disabled including password schemes for home visits, and quarterly meter reads.

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When energy companies find electricity thieves, they will prosecute

In response to Ofgem's proposed new rules for suppliers to tackle electricity theft, Energy UK said:

“Electricity theft is dangerous and illegal. Contact with live electricity cables can kill and tampered meters cause fires. Electricity theft also costs honest customers money which is why energy companies take this – and gas theft – very seriously. Every year our members detect and prosecute criminals. When energy companies find electricity thieves, they will prosecute.

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Energy UK response to infrastructure announcements

Power at the heart of the economic recovery

Today's infrastructure announcements give the green light to investment in renewables of offshore wind plus the creation of the new energy capacity to ensure the lights stay on. Energy UK's Chief Executive Angela Knight said today.

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