They're dropping like flies...(and make no mistake this IS an Energy Industry crisis)

  • 24 November 2018
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Flies don't just drop unless attacked (which is worth bearing in mind here) oh..and I hate that expression , but.. they actually are dropping like flies, and it's a symptom of a very broken energy market.

Here's a list of this year's casualties (numbers not verified)

Spark Energy* today (23 Nov.18) with (estimates vary) 280,000 customers and the loss of over 400 jobs
Extra Energy, two days ago, 108,000 domestic and 21,000 business customers, around 600 jobs
Usio Energy (October) 7000 customers
Gen4U (September) 500 customers
Iresa (July) almost 100,000 customers
National Gas and Power (July) 80 customers
Future Energy (January) 10,000 customers

*See here: >
Spark couldn't meet it's renewable energy subsidy payments
>Ofgem have also taken action against 3 other suppliers, warning them that they need to pay up

They are:

Economy Energy - Ofgem have launched investigation into non-payment of their obligations (so they may be the next casualty)

URE energy
- Given notice to deliver payments by 31st March 2019

Eversmart
- Given notice to deliver payments by 31st March 2019

Some of the blame here is also being attributed to the > Ofgem enforceable (regulatory) price cap. and >HERE

The collapse of smaller companies may seem counter intuitive in terms of the price cap, but it has to be seen in conjunction with increasing wholesale energy costs, which will eventually push the smaller leaner companies into price-cap territory. Then what?
If the government don't review the price cap vote-catching legislation I foresee many more failures.
If you squeeze on one end of the toothpaste tube..when the cap is on the other end, something's got to give.

Poor performance and consumer complaints will hasten the demise of companies because to make profit companies will have to stay lean; this means fewer staff to deal with queries, this means more complaints. This has also been a factor in the demise of some of the above.


I really hope PP can manage their way through this minefield and we can continue to promote sustainability and renewable energy, and, if the downside is that prices have to go up to see them through then so be it.(I'm as mean as the next person, actually no- I'm meaner, but sometimes you have to look at the longer term picture)
Of course there will always be a cheaper quote, in fact I hope there is, I don't want to see PP grow too fast, because look where that gets you....

I've spent long enough ranting..it's time for my medication...


All comments welcome..(but not about the medication or the toothpaste...)



13 replies

Userlevel 6
Interesting post @woz, lets hope Pure are secure with their App only business model.

I was not aware that companies effectively pay more if they don't have an amount of energy sourced from renewable supplies. Makes sense in today's world I guess but should be baked into their business model from day 1 and not be an excuse for failure.

I was with Extra Energy myself 2-3 years ago on a fixed price deal. They had an awful reputation in terms of inability to support their customers. You could never get an answer from their call centre and an email I sent took over 3 months (three!) to reply too. I dreaded anything ever going wrong and, to be honest, counted down the months to the end of my fixed deal, as exit fees were quite steep. In the end nothing did go wrong and the switch out to another supplier went ahead without problems, so all worked out the end.

BUT, were they a victim of there own success? I recall them being top on the caparison charts for months, must have been attracting many new customers, but simply did not have the infrastructure in place (back office / support) to deal with the high volume of customers. As a result, like me, you could not wait to get away from them. A real shame.

Now, I hope PP sort out the "server issues" quickly and can honour the 2 day commitment on customer queries. I must say though, the self help format of this community is a real breath of fresh air for energy companies and quite comforting in its way, knowing that there is someone not very far away.
Yes, I'm worried for the smaller suppliers. I believe ofgem are introducing stricter rules for newcomers to the market, but perhaps they should put a hold on new small companies setting up until this all plays out.

This has made my other half very anxious about PP (not that there's any evidence that PP are not going to survive) which is not good as she suffers from anxiety and depression. That, plus her anxiety over the lack of a call centre means we are, unfortunately, switching away. Had it just been me I'd have been happy to stay, but health comes first.
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Sorry to hear that @MikeZ. Trouble is these days you just don't know if your jumping out the frying pan into the fire. Just look how many big name businesses we loose each year, admittedly not in the energy market though.

Ofgem do look to give us protection though if something like this were to happen.
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I have a good feeling re PP, and have since day one. I have confidence they are here for a long time 👍👍👍
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Me too but there's a but...
it's become obvious to me that PP need to improve customer communication, as in "let's head em off at the pass.
I'm certainly not going to be accused of being overly defensive, that's counter productive. (Domeone wrote in a review that the community was overly defensive),
Bev;17619:
I have a good feeling re PP, and have since day one. I have confidence they are here for a long time ������������������
PPs business model is probably the leanest in the market being purely app based and no call centre, it’s like the UBER of the industry and look how big that is now! I’ve got confidence in them. And seem a decent bunch of people.
Sorry to see you go @MikeZ
Especially as I was really enjoying our discussions about EVs. (Speaking of, got my Leaf charger installed at home - finally - on Friday. Just the small matter of waiting for the car to arrive....)

Perhaps you could mention to your other half that while we are, as @Royborsberry says, very lean, one of our shareholders is BP.
Having the backing and support of a global business helps to provide Pure Planet with financial credibility and security in the energy market, which sets us apart from many other newer entrants.
Hi @Marc,

I'm aware of BP's stake in PP but, as I said, it's not just down to me and health is more important. I'll certainly be considering you again in the future.

Congrats on getting the charger installed - at least things are moving along...
MikeZ;17830:

Congrats on getting the charger installed - at least things are moving along...

Yes! Can't wait for the Leaf to arrive ;):o
Interesting article. It is sad for those who lose jobs or are concerned by the possible issues of power supplies. I switched here and plan on staying (for now) based on the following.

1. I wanted a good value, green supplier.

2. I have never needed to call my energy supplier, so was not worried about the lack of phone support. Furthermore, it is the actual support that matters, not the method of contact. I have been frustrated beyond belief by a well known phone company that has phone support, but you can never get anywhere.

3. I can switch again, any time I want.

4. My understanding is that even if the supplier goes out of business, unfortunate as that is, the consumer still receives a supply, being automatically switched to another supplier. Although the new rate may be poor, the consumer has the option to switch to yet another supplier. Is that correct?

Bill
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hi buchlyviebill
Your understanding is correct there is more info HERE
My concern is not PP going bust, entirely the opposite, it's PP growing too quickly.
Buchlyviebill;17907:
Interesting article. It is sad for those who lose jobs or are concerned by the possible issues of power supplies. I switched here and plan on staying (for now) based on the following.

1. I wanted a good value, green supplier.

2. I have never needed to call my energy supplier, so was not worried about the lack of phone support. Furthermore, it is the actual support that matters, not the method of contact. I have been frustrated beyond belief by a well known phone company that has phone support, but you can never get anywhere.

3. I can switch again, any time I want.

4. My understanding is that even if the supplier goes out of business, unfortunate as that is, the consumer still receives a supply, being automatically switched to another supplier. Although the new rate may be poor, the consumer has the option to switch to yet another supplier. Is that correct?

Bill
Userlevel 6
Hi @Buchlyviebill , good list, mine was very similar when I thought through joining PP.

Currently I'm more than happy and I know that if something does go wrong (but seems unlikely as I sit here tonight), its easy just to "move on". 🙂
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Following the recent demise of another supplier, yesterday I had a look at PP’s last filed accounts, then I went to access this forum to get a message telling me the server was not responding! I tried on several devices but always the same result. Part of my brain linked what I had been reading with the lifeless website. Thankfully the site came alive again and the connection was unfounded!

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