Opus Energy Launches Gas Market Service

In response to customer demand, the UK’s largest independent business energy supplier, Opus Energy, has expanded its market portfolio to offer a new gas service to small and medium (SME) businesses.

The gas service offers customers a clear alternative to existing market suppliers and includes many of the popular benefits already available with Opus’ successful electricity products. Customers will have access to competitively priced, fixed-term contracts, shielding them from gas market price fluctuations. Existing electricity customers will continue to receive the same high standard of customer care with the ease of only having one supplier.

The energy supplier currently provides electricity to over 60,000 sites across the UK and entry into the gas market is proving successful. Since the first supply went live in the middle of October 2009, sales have exceeded expectations, with over 1,000 customers already signed up.

Opus Energy has the flexibility to buy gas from a number of market sources and is therefore able to respond quickly to market price changes, and pass cost-savings directly onto customers. The gas service will initially be marketed to existing and new SME customers.

Charlie Crossley Cooke, founder and Managing Director of Opus Energy, said:

“Opus Energy has successfully been supplying electricity to the business market for seven years. We’ve experienced significant growth based on our competitive pricing, exceptional level of customer service and an incremental growth strategy. We have responded to the high level of customer demand for gas products and will apply the same principles to ensure that we become a first rate gas supplier.

“The expansion of the gas service will be developed to ensure we continue to see overall company growth and maintain the high levels of customer service expected from Opus Energy.”

Businesses can receive a competitive online quote for gas services by visiting www.opusenergy.com or calling 0845 0405810.

Via EPR Network
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Thin End of Wedge As GBP4.30 Added onto Electricity Bills

Energy regulator Ofgem has signed off investment in the regional electricity networks that will add GBP4.30 a year onto household electricity bills. However, this is just the thin end of a wedge warns a uSwitch.com as it is a small part of a much broader GBP233.5 billion energy investment programme that is expected to add GBP548 a year in total onto consumer energy bills.

This could see household energy bills hit as high as GBP4,733 a year by 2020, nearly four times higher than they are today. Ofgem itself calculated that household energy bills could hit GBP2,000 a year as a result of investment, but recently described this as ‘over optimistic’.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “GBP4.30 a year may seem small fry, but in fact it’s a wake-up call for us all. This is just the beginning of a huge investment process that will lead to significantly higher household energy bills. The GBP5,000 a year energy bill may seem like an outside possibility, but we have to remember that energy bills doubled in the last five years alone and that the huge investment needed just to keep the lights on in Britain will alone add GBP548 a year onto our bills. The fact is we are entering a new era of high cost energy and households will have to adapt their behaviour accordingly.

“The Government has been banging the drum for energy efficiency for a while now, but consumers have been reluctant to spend money on these measures. As a result, energy efficiency has been massively underperforming even though it is one of the biggest defences we have against escalating energy costs. We also have a competitive energy market, and yet less than 5% of consumers are on the most competitive energy plans – most people are paying far more than they have to for the energy they use.

“This has to change. My advice to consumers is to invest in making your home more energy efficient, reduce the amount of energy you use and make sure you are paying the lowest possible price for it. Big projects such as a new energy efficient boiler or home insulation can be expensive, but the savings you make through cutting the price of your energy could be re-invested into energy efficiency measures so that you reap even greater rewards in the future.

“Don’t be put off. If cost is an issue, speak to your supplier to see if they can help – they have a pot of money available to help households with energy efficiency. Or contact the Energy Saving Trust for advice. The key thing is to start future-proofing yourself against higher energy bills now.”

Via EPR Network
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uSwitch.com Comments on Today’s Announcement on Smart Meters

uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service, welcomes today’s announcement on smart meters, but believes there are still a number of issues that need to be ironed out before the launch. Prime importance is to ensure that the final specification of the meters will meet consumers’ needs and that enough focus is given to educating consumers on their use.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “The introduction of smart meters is a positive step forward in the drive to ensure that all households get accurate, up-to-date energy bills and have the information they need to be able to monitor and lower their energy usage.

“Today’s announcement shows that the Government and the energy industry are picking up the pace, although there are still a number of issues to iron out. The key concern for consumers is cost and how much the roll out of smart metering is likely to add to household energy bills. Our research shows that only 19% of consumers believe that a significant increase in household energy bills is a price worth paying and 57% of people are not even aware of what smart meters are. This suggests that without a proper education and consumer engagement programme there could be an uphill battle persuading households that they should be picking up the tab.

“There is much to be gained from the roll-out of smart meters so it’s vital that all parties involved keep their eye on the main prize which is the benefit it will bring to consumers and the competitive market. If households are to get maximum value the specification has to be right and designed to put easy-to-understand information at people’s finger tips, including historical usage data so they can manage their energy more easily, compare prices and find an energy plan or supplier that suits their needs. This is a huge opportunity for the industry to get consumers engaged in managing household energy, but there will only be one opportunity to get it right.”

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Concentration:FLABEG pools Know-How

FLABEG, the international glass finishing specialist, now provides its customers with even more transparency. With the formation of FLABEG Deutschland GmbH the company will concentrate its key competences in the field of automotive and technical glass, in future FLABEG GmbH will focus simultaneously on the development of the solar mirror business.

“The significant expansion of our worldwide business locations made it necessary to re-organize our key competences,” said Axel Buchholz, CEO of the FLABEG Group, explaining the new structure. The automotive and technical glass divisions will operate under the umbrella of FLABEG Deutschland GmbH. The mission: to create a powerful, flexible center of competence for partners in the automotive, consumer electronics and aerospace industries.

For FLABEG customers the pooling of expertise in the solar mirror business and the automotive, technical glass has distinct advantages. FLABEG provides its partners from consulting to support up to the individual precision solution all from one source. “Even with expansion, it is important for us to retain the flexibility and structure of a medium-sized company,” said Axel Buchholz. “Utilizing the concentrated development expertise of our all locations, we are able to produce tailor-made high-tech glass products for our customers in a timely manner. A key competitive advantage for FLABEG customers.”

FLABEG, founded in 1882, is an independent company with production facilities in Europe, America and Asia. FLABEG is an expert in all types of glass processing. Precision bending and coating are among the core competencies of the company.

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