Friday 12 December 2014

Guest Blog: npower’s Chris Billing – Flexible Power

Guest Blog: npower’s Chris Billing – Flexible Power

Giving the small guys big business benefits

The energy market can be an unpredictable place. For example, we saw an £8/MWh price range in March, with prices dropping from £49.50 early in the month to £41.50 at the end. If your supply contract happens to be up for renewal in the same period we see a market upswing, fixing your energy costs for the next year can be costly.

That’s why in today’s volatile times, hedging is the name of the game for reducing risk. But for many of the energy consultants we work with, they serve businesses too small to merit stand-alone access to the wholesale market.

That’s why ‘basket’ arrangements are becoming more popular – so lots of smaller companies can be grouped together with their aggregated volume traded in smaller blocks throughout the year.

However, we also know there can be disadvantages of buying this way. What happens when one customer leaves, or you have multiple contract start dates? If one or two clients breach volume tolerance restrictions, is everyone in the group penalised? And so on.

The magic-wand solution

That’s why we like to talk to the consultants we work with, so we can find out more about the problems and issues they experience with existing market arrangements – and what they and their clients would ideally like if we had a magic wand.

I’m pleased to say I think we’ve come up with a winning solution that will help us maintain our position as the preferred supplier for many consultants.

We’ve revamped our existing Access: Flexible Power product to enable consultants to better offer smaller clients the benefits of greater purchasing flexibility to secure the best price available – but without many of the usual restrictions.

Client volume is aggregated into a single portfolio, with multiple wholesale market purchasing opportunities throughout the year, so you can achieve a ‘smoothed’ price and reduce the risk of buying 100% of a client’s volume requirements at a market high.

Award-winning dedicated support

Throughout the process, support is provided via a dedicated Portfolio Manager from the award-winning npower Optimisation Desk, with 24/7 access to the Risk Navigator online tool for the latest market intelligence and bespoke trading reports. A dedicated customer service team is also on hand to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Other key features include:

  • No restriction on individual client volume, as long as the total volume is a minimum of 6GWh (excluding micro businesses).
  • Available for HH, NHH and combined supply.
  • Multiple start dates (within contract period) can be accommodated, plus a simple extension mechanism is available to add new clients once your portfolio is set up.
  • Clients can exit the product and convert to a stand-alone fixed or flexible contract at any time.
  • One daily Price Setting Report combines the purchasing requirements of all your clients to provide a single view of your overall position.
  • Each portfolio member is priced in accordance with their own consumption profile, so ensuring no cross-subsidisation.

There are also options to tailor your portfolio to ensure Access: Flexible Power more closely meets your and your clients’ specific needs. For example, multiple purchasing strategies can be accommodated within one portfolio. Or you can choose to fix certain billing elements such as non-commodity pass-through charges or opt for no reconciliations.

So if you want to benefit from big business purchasing benefits for small low-volume clients, I suggest you take a closer look at the new Access: Flexible Power. We believe it’s the best in the market and we’re confident you’ll agree.

This is a sponsored article.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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