08 May 2013 08:05:07
ENER-G Procurement shortlisted for two major awards
The independent energy purchasing consultancy, which is a founding member of energy broker watchdog the Utilities Intermediaries Association (UIA) and a member of its Council, is a finalist in the Industrial and Commercial Consumer Champion and SME Consumer Champion award categories.
Mark Alston, general manager of ENER-G Procurement, said: "We're very proud to have reached the finals of these prestigious awards for excellence in energy purchasing consultancy. We place customer service at the heart of our business and are working hard to raise industry standards and promote fairness and transparency in the energy market through our involvement with UIA and the Ofgem Third Party Intermediary working group. This involves working towards developing an industry wide code of practice."
ENER-G has been campaigning for a number of years to address key issues affecting business energy customers. These include 'deemed' or 'out of contract' rates, where suppliers charge punitive and unfair rates to companies which fail to meet contract renewal deadlines. This is often made worse by a lack of transparency and short timescales involved in the termination process.
Mark Alston explained: "We believe customers should be free to choose whether to enter into a term agreement, or simply pay a variable tariff which is reflective of the actual costs of supply incurred. We are campaigning for the automatic renewal process/rollover on contracts to be removed and for deemed rates and out of contract rates to be pitched at an appropriate level that is reflective of the market. To reduce the risk of businesses falling victim to unfair charges, we have introduced a free renewal reminder service to alert businesses of the need to renew well in advance of their contract end date."
ENER-G is also working to achieve greater transparency among suppliers for their third party charges. These can amount to up to 50% of an energy bill, yet can be excluded from fixed price offerings. As such, customers can be unaware that up to 50% of their budgeted cost is liable to increase. The company is pressing suppliers to categorise their offers for greater transparency and to produce 100% genuine fixed offerings for clients’ peace of mind.
In its mission to halt the damaging practices of a minority of 'rogue brokers', ENER-G has introduced a unique broker identification number to enable customers to verify that ENER-G is their legitimate representative.
ENER-G Procurement delivers energy services to British Chambers of Commerce members across England under the Chamber Utilities™ brand and is the preferred supplier of energy purchasing and consultancy services to EEF, the UK manufacturers' organisation.
ENER-G will now go forward to the Energy Live Consultancy Awards Final on 27 June. The awards will be judged by Angela Knight, CEO of Energy UK, Louise Kingham CEO of the Energy Institute, David Porter former CEO of AEP and the former editor of Utility Week, Janet Wood. They will be joined by chair of judges Mervyn Bowden, former head of energy management at Marks & Spencer.