Utilities

Loyal and elderly energy customers have saved at least £261 a year each in a collective switching trial run by the industry regulator Ofgem. Some 50,000 people who had typically been on the same variable tariff for six years with one of the big six suppliers were involved in the trial. The scheme was based on the idea of “collective” switching, where a group of consumers swap supplier in one go. Although four in five did not switch, Ofgem said the trial was a success. Some 22% of people who received letters explaining how they could save money by switching deals through the scheme followed through by moving to a cheaper tariff.

BBC 20th Aug 2018 read more »

Energy giant E.ON has become the latest electricity supplier to launch a renewable energy tariff aimed at electric vehicle (EV) drivers, offering customers who charge their vehicles at home a £30 discount on their annual bill. The company claims that the rebate, which is available to anyone who owns or leases a plug-in hybrid or fully-electric vehicle that is registered by the DVLA, is equivalent to 850 free miles in a Nissan Leaf. The energy supplied under the Fix and Drive tariff is generated from 100% renewable sources. Meanwhile, customers using the new tariff will have the equivalent of the emissions they generate through their gas use offset via carbon credits from the United Nations’ (UN) Clean Development Mechanism.

Edie 17th Aug 2018 read more »

The owners of Bulb Energy are preparing to cash in on the energy firm’s meteoric ascent in what could prove to be the most lucrative sale to emerge since the energy supply market’s privatisation, according to multiple industry sources. Hayden Wood and Amit Gudka, Bulb Energy’s founders, are said to be priming Britain’s fastest growing energy start-up for a sale to tech investors, either through an acquisition or a market listing following a £60m fund raising which valued the company at close to half a billion pounds. In the wake of increasing market chatter Mr Wood insisted there was “no possibility” that the pair would “even contemplate” selling the supplier. The entrepreneur was forced to speak out after City sources confirmed that the company is up for sale and its founders are courting the attention of funds in New York and Silicon Valley following the £60m investment from investors, including Yuri Milner, the Russian-Israeli billionaire. A senior industry source said “the complicated and heavily structured deal” promises its new investors, Magnetar and Mr Milner’s DST Global, the right to 100pc of the first £60m of dividends and the equivalent of 12.8pc of the company in the event of a sale.

Telegraph 19th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 August 2018

Utilities

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry has today hailed the emergence of new smart technologies and tariffs that are being enabled by the UK’s smart meter roll out, arguing they have the potential to save money and even generate income through electric vehicles and other smart technologies. Perry today visited the Bristol HQ of energy firm OVO Energy, which has invested in a smart meter enabled software platform for managing residential energy use called VCharge and early stage vehicle to grid charging technologies designed to allow electric vehicle (EV) owners to sell power back to the grid at peak times. The company is also amongst a handful of energy suppliers to use smart meters to offer customers time-of-use based tariffs that reward them for charging their EVs at off-peak times. Previous government estimates suggest the roll out of smart energy technologies that better manage supply and demand across the grid could save the UK up to £40bn between now and 2050, by curbing the need for new generation capacity, enhancing efficiency across the system, and slashing carbon emissions. Perry said OVO’s products were an example of how smart meters would provide the “cornerstone” for a new wave of energy technology innovation.

Business Green 16th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 17 August 2018

Utilities

E.ON has become the latest energy supplier to launch a 100 per cent renewable electricity tariff tailor-made for electric vehicle owners, offering customers who sign up 850 free driving miles per year. The two-year ‘Fix and Drive’ tariff announced by the energy giant yesterday guarantees a fixed unit price for consumer energy use as well as a £30 annual cashback reward, which it claims equates to the cost of driving 850 miles in a Nissan Leaf EV. Available now to UK drivers who own or lease a plug-in electric or hybrid vehicle registered with the DVLA, electricity from the tariff is certified as 100 per cent renewable through Ofgem’s Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme, E.ON said.

Business Green 16th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 August 2018

Utilities

The energy regulator’s latest market tinkering may have unwittingly handed thousands of customers to an energy company on the brink of going bust. Ofgem’s trial of a new scheme to ­encourage customer switching is expected to end in calamity after almost 13,000 customers on the worst value energy tariffs were urged to leave their supplier for a start-up firm which is ­unable to pay its bills. Under the new scheme, Big Six suppliers were forced to contact hundreds of thousands of customers to offer three alternatives tailored to their ­energy use, of which two were with new suppliers. A letter from SSE to a 97-year-old man living near Southhampton, seen by The Telegraph, urged him to switch to Electraphase last month. Just weeks later, the company is on the brink of collapse.

Telegraph 12th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 13 August 2018

Energy Networks

Around 25% of your energy bill goes towards energy network companies. These are not the actual suppliers of gas and electricity but the people who maintain and upgrade the pipes and wires that deliver it to us. In Scotland gas is delivered to the 83% of properties that are connected to the mains gas grid by SGN. Electricity, which is delivered to almost every household in Scotland, is in the hands of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) in the north of Scotland and Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) in the south. While you mi ght not have heard of these companies, they are working away every day to make sure that our homes and businesses receive the reliable energy supplies that we’ve all come to expect. But while organisations like Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) might encourage you to switch energy supplier to find a better deal, you have no choice who your energy network company is. They are all regulated monopolies. This means that the way they operate – and importantly what they charge consumers – is controlled by the energy regulator, Ofgem. Last week we published a report “Pylons, Pipes and People” which looks at how energy network companies in Scotland currently support households and how their role might change as we move to an energy system that has more renewables, more electric vehicles and smarter houses. We found that while the network companies are doing more and more to support households when there is a power-cut or gas outage, the Scottish electricity network companies could be doing more to provide support to vulnerable households outside of these “crisis” events. We are therefore calling for these companies to expand the reach and ambition of their consumer programmes, for example those which give support to fuel poor households.

Herald 12th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 12 August 2018

Utilities

Eon has overtaken SSE as Britain’s second largest household energy supplier. The German-owned energy group said that it was the only one of the Big Six suppliers not to lose customers over the past year and had put on about 50,000 accounts in the year to end of June. Yesterday it said that its UK customer business had made profits of €202 million in the first half of 2018, down from €230 million a year earlier. Eon had 15,000 more customer accounts than SSE as of the end of April, according to Cornwall Insight, an energy consultancy. The two companies do not disclose strictly comparable numbers, but the most recent data submitted to Ofgem showed the gap narrowing, with Eon having 6.2 million domestic gas and electricity customers accounts at the end of December, while SSE had 6.5 million at the end of March. Eon has since added customers, whereas SSE has said that it lost more customers in the three months to June. Eon’s lead is likely to be short-lived, however, as SSE plans to merge with Npower by the end of the year. The new merged supplier would be comfortably the second largest and would vie with British Gas for the title of Britain’s biggest. It would have more electricity customer accounts than British Gas, but fewer gas accounts.

Times 9th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 9 August 2018

Urenco

Uranium processing giant Urenco today announced figures for the half year to June 30, that showed a fall in revenues, but better pre-tax income. Urenco UK is based at Capenhurst near Chester. The business operates a Capenhurst plant producing enriched uranium to enable nuclear power stations around the world to generate electricity, and employs around 300 people. For the half year period it saw revenues fall from £725.2m last year to £690m this year, while EBITDA of £441.5m was slightly ahead of last year’s £438.7m figure.

Business Desk 7th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 8 August 2018

Utilities

Eon, one of Britain’s ‘big six’ energy suppliers, has announced it will cut 500 jobs across its UK operations as the market “continues to change at an unprecedented rate.

FT 1st Aug 2018 read more »

Energy supplier E.On UK has said it will cut around 500 jobs from its UK workforce ahead of the Government’s looming price cap on the sector. The UK arm of Germany energy giant E.On is hoping to make £100m worth of savings to shore up its financial position against the energy market’s “unprecedented” march of change. The Big Six supplier’s boss Michael Lewis said there are “numerous challenges” across the energy market “not least the forthcoming price cap”.

Telegraph 1st Aug 2018 read more »

Bloomberg 1st Aug 2018 read more »

Guardian 1st Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 2 August 2018

EDF

French utility firm EDF Energy has reported a rise in its first-half core earnings, with an increase of almost 18% of up to €8.23bn on its hydropower output, as well as a rebound in its nuclear energy production. Combined, improved nuclear and hydro production raised the company’s core earnings by €544m, with an additional €469m gained through improved wholesale market conditions. Hydropower output in France was the highest half-yearly hydro output in the last 15 years, rising to 29.3TWh, an increase of almost 40% or 8TWh. Nuclear production in France rose 2.7%, or 5.4TWh, to 202.6TWh compared to the end of June 2017. The increase was attributed to the higher availability of the firm’s nuclear fleet as compared to the first half of 2017, during which several reactor outages occurred as a result of manufacturing problems at the Creusot nuclear foundry. The company’s Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor is currently undergoing corrective actions on welds, with the schedule slightly delayed as a result. However, the EPR in its Taishan 1 site had its first connection, and a strategic cooperation agreement was signed with GE Power for the construction of six further EPRs in India.

Power Technology 31st July 2018 read more »

France’s EDF saw earnings jump in the first half of the year driven by increased nuclear and hydro production in its home market as the state-backed power utility pushed up its forecasts. EDF saw earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increase by 18 per cent over the same period last year to €8.2bn, ahead of analyst expectations of €7.85bn. Net income came in at more than €1.7bn, beating expectations for closer to €1.4bn. Sales came in at €35.2bn, up 5.6 per cent.

FT 31st July 2018 read more »

Posted: 1 August 2018

Utilities

As British Gas frets over losing hundreds of thousands of customers over the past six months, Amit Gudka and Hayden Wood’s energy start-up is on the opposite trajectory. Bulb Energy, the company the two friends established only four years ago, is now Britain’s biggest domestic supplier of renewable energy. The 630,000 households it serves may seem like relatively small fry when set against the total British energy market of about 27 million homes, but the rapid progress made by the London-based business places it at the larger end of the emerging companies that have set out to challenge the energy industry’s Big Six. Mr Gudka, a former energy trader at Barclays, and Mr Wood, who used to work at Bain & Company, the consultancy, set up their business after discussions revealed their shared frustrations with the industry. “I’d done a three-month project about [a Big Six supplier],” Mr Wood recalled. “I’d never seen companies so disorganised and inefficient. It was shocking to me how those companies weren’t really innovating or making things better for their customers.”

Times 1st Aug 2018 read more »

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, raised the prospect of a further rise in household energy tariffs this year after it reported a drop in operating profits in the first six months amid higher wholesale prices and cold weather. Shares in the FTSE 100 energy group fell more than 5 per cent to 144p even as it reassured investors it would maintain its full-year dividend this year. Centrica said adjusted operating profit in its consumer business fell 20 per cent to £430m in the year to the end of June 2018. The group’s UK household gas and electricity supply arm was hit by last year’s cap on tariffs for vulnerable households, the loss of customers and rising wholesale energy prices. The company has put its 20 per cent stake in a group of nuclear reactors up for sale and will start the process in September.

FT 31st July 2018 read more »

Energy market newcomer Octopus Energy will grow its accounts base by 100,000 at a stroke by picking up the customers left in limbo after the collapse of Iresa Energy. The energy regulator was forced to step in to find a new energy supplier for the customers left stranded after Britain’s cheapest energy company buckled under the pressure of rising energy supply costs last week. The collapse marked the end of a lengthy, public battle between Britain’s most complained about energy company and the regulator over its poor customer service and billing problems.

Telegraph 31st July 2018 read more »

Posted: 1 August 2018