Article | March 25, 2020
With people working from home and generally staying in spring 2020, publications around the world have reported on a significant decrease in air pollution. Wouldn't it be great if we could keep emissions low, even after the threat of Covid-19 has dissipated? One company is trying to make that happen. Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that traffic and air pollution have plummeted as cities shut down due to the coronavirus. While there are no silver-linings to the COVID-19 pandemic, our response to this crisis shows that we are capable of abrupt changes when the situation necessitates them. Perhaps we can even reverse climate change. A key factor in bringing this change will be altering the way we commute. One company, Aptera Motors, is trying to make this happen with solar-charged electric vehicles.
Article | March 22, 2021
Despite rising energy costs and dwindling customer ratings of the ‘Big Six’, over 37% of Brits still believe they are getting a good deal when it comes to gas and electricity.
Here, Keith Bastian, CEO of rising independent Outfox the Market, challenges those age-old perceptions that are damaging consumer bank balances…
I have never quite understood the notion of pay more for the same service. Except that last part, is really where the difference lies.
As I have made my way through the energy market, it seems clear to me that we are facing a common notion.
Age-old dinosaurs, that have relied on name status and brand power to retain customer loyalty, despite not providing anything different or any value-added service, give the impression that customers are somehow safer with them. That is the biggest misconception.
We at Outfox the Market would like to challenge that.
Of course, when I speak in such a way, I am referring to the ‘Big Six’, those long-established brands whose share in the energy market whilst substantial, is increasingly coming at the cost to its customers.
For example, in the latest independent customer rankings from Which, it was determined that the traditional big energy companies had some of the lowest scores for customer service and value for money, yet some customers still feel secure with them.
On the contrary, rising independents, such as ourselves, were scoring highly in these areas and this is where I feel the difference lies.
Regardless of your opinion on fossil fuels and/or renewables, it is more the value of looking after your customers, understanding their concerns and dealing with them efficiently that has become somewhat lost for the ‘Big Six’.
It is true that they have a larger proportion of customers to serve with a larger workforce, but that should not be to the detriment to the service they provide.
What were are seeing now, as evidenced by the recent Ofgem price hikes, is the ‘Big Six’ once again failing consumers in these areas, with most of the top names putting costs up by £96 a year on average as of April.
I am not one to not acknowledge that energy firms are tongue-tied in some respects in passing regulated costs on; there are times when we must. However, customers could also benefit from a little research.
Even with growing numbers of consumers switching, nearly 60% of all households in the UK are still on standard variable rate tariffs, those that are subject to the incoming Ofgem hikes.
So, the real question is why aren’t more customers switching? Heritage, loyalty and brand association. These facets really should not come at cost of paying more for energy.
I really believe it is down to time-sensitivity and a misunderstanding around the barriers to switching, with cost somewhere in the middle.
According to MoneySuperMarket, 75% of us would switch if we could save £149.99. A hefty figure, but why not the £96 highlighted earlier? That is still pretty good, and something that would add up nicely over the years.
I understand we are time-poor as a nation, it’s well publicised, but we’re all well averse in switching phone contracts and insurance deals, so why not where our energy comes from?
Truth be told, I believe it’s an age-old notion that energy is ‘just something that comes with the house, not worth the hours or hassle to change.’
But in all honesty, it takes a matter of seconds to switch. Firms such as ourselves offer this and more via a quick and easy quote online. Best of all, many energy providers will help manage the switching process for you, contacting your current provider and notifying them of your intentions.
I would also like to challenge this notion that once an energy firm ‘gets you’, you are ‘locked in’ for years upon end in ever rising contract costs.
If you are on a standard variable tariff, you can switch to a new provider at any time. What’s more, even if you are in a fixed term energy deal, which can be subject to exit fees, sometimes the cost involved outweighs the savings you can make with your new provider.
Customers must do their best to ask more of energy firms, check the service they are being given and hold it up against national bill averages. Compare what your neighbours, friends and family are paying under similar living circumstances, and weigh up if you are being given a fair deal.
Living costs and regulated price hikes are always going to be an ever present worry, so I call on both customers and energy firms to do their due diligence in these respects.
Age-old energy firms relying on their reputation must take a serious inward look at their lessening market share to understand why they are failing customers.
It’s time to make a change now, both from business attitude and a consumer standpoint; switching is quick, easy and a vital notion to bear in mind, as both retaining custom and saving money becomes an ever-growing sticking point in the energy market.
Article | February 10, 2020
The rapid growth of corporate renewable procurement has been nothing short of a buyer-driven revolution in the United States’ electric sector. Almost 20 gigawatts (GWs) of corporate power purchasing agreements (PPAs) were completed in 2019 across the globe, up from 13 GWs of corporate PPAs in 2018 and triple the numbers from 2017.1,2 And the majority of this growth has come from the United States. Fortunately for those of us committed to renewable energy, we expect this trend to continue. But as should be expected in such a dynamic, buyer-driven sector, we are starting to see some noticeable shifts in the marketplace as it evolves and grows. I wanted to highlight some of the trends Constellation is watching for this year.
Article | April 6, 2020
Globally, there is increased interest and investment in sustainable forms of energy via commercialized renewable power technologies such as solar (thermal and photovoltaics), wind, biomass, geothermal, and other viable sources that are at the center stage. As part of the definitive pathways towards de-carbonization, investors, lenders, market players, and policymakers are increasingly becoming aware of the need for flexibility in the energy value and supply chain. This key area is a critical market segment wherein renewable power technologies are expected to play an important role in both front of-the-meter (FTM) and behind-the-meter (BTM) applications. Accordingly, renewable power is an attractive option to power generators, process plants, commercial and industrial (C&I), institutional, and residential facilities in reducing overall carbon footprint.