Another letter from SSE to Ebico customers – A personal response by Phil Levermore, MD, Ebico Ltd.

I know that Ebico’s former supply partner, SSE, has recently written to EquiGas & EquiPower customers about their ‘SSE Zero Electric’ and ‘SSE Zero Gas’ tariffs. I wanted to clear up any confusion this might have caused as soon as possible.

For many years, Ebico partnered with SSE to supply our EquiGas and EquiPower energy tariffs. Unfortunately, towards the end of last year it became clear that SSE’s priorities and strategy, particularly in respect of prices, were no longer aligned with ours. In January, we therefore established a new not-for-profit energy partnership with Robin Hood Energy, the UK’s first council owned energy company.

Our two new tariffs, Ebico PrePay and Ebico Zero offer customers more affordable, flexible deals with no exit fees or tie ins – both with a price guarantee until December 2017.

I feel, now, that it is important that customers are given the information that SSE neglected to include in its recent marketing correspondence.

Ebico Zero is already at least 4.5% cheaper than EquiGas & EquiPower
SSE will, on the 28th April, be increasing its electricity price by around 14%
SSE, unlike Ebico, has not offered a price guarantee until December 2017

Quite apart from the omission of this key information, I am surprised at the apparent lack of imagination in SSE HQ, renaming EquiGas & EquiPower as ‘SSE Zero’ – which sounds remarkably similar to our ‘Ebico Zero’ offer.

The letter informs the reader that Ebico can’t transfer EquiGas/EquiPower customers to the Ebico Zero tariff unless the customer actively asks for it, which I accept.  Yet it seems to me irresponsible for SSE, in its correspondence, to encourage customers to do nothing – ensuring that they remain on the same tariff – whilst neglecting to mention SSE’s upcoming price increase on the 28th of April.

SSE’s letter concludes with, in my view, a thinly-veiled warning for those with the temerity to escape the clutches of a Big-6 company and switch to an independent supplier. I would like to reassure customers that Robin Hood Energy is a robust, responsible, and not-for-profit licenced energy supplier. We are delighted that together we can continue our fight against rising fuel poverty in the UK, providing energy contracts that function fairly for all consumers, for many years to come.

So, to be clear, customers who have not yet let us know that they would like to switch to Ebico Zero, and do not tell us soon that they would like to do so, will remain supplied by SSE at the more expensive energy rates of the EquiGas/EquiPower tariff (to be renamed ‘SSE Zero’) and will be subject to SSE’s increase in the electricity price on the 28th of April. Customers who have already let us know that they want to move with us to Ebico Zero, and those that decide to opt-in within the next few weeks, will benefit from the tariff’s lower energy prices, the December 2017 price guarantee, and will avoid SSE’s April price increase.  This is why we have made every effort to be as proactive and transparent as possible in our communications with you.

Phil Levermore

Posted in Uncategorised

Letter Confusion – So, Are We Reducing or Increasing Prices?

We have been sending letters to our customers telling them about our new, cheaper, energy plans, Ebico Zero and Ebico PrePay, available through our new supply partner Robin Hood Energy. We’ve now discovered that our former supply partner, SSE, is also writing to our customers, under our Ebico brand, to tell them that prices are rising. We know this is confusing, so we hope the following makes things clearer.

If you have already told us:

  • by phone,
  • by visiting choice.ebico.org.uk, or
  • by returning the tear-off slip attached to our letter announcing our new partnership

that you would like to move with us to Robin Hood Energy and benefit from the lower price of Ebico Zero, then you can disregard the letter entitled ‘Your Electricity Price is Increasing’, which was sent by our former supply partner, SSE, with our branding. Your account will be transferred to Ebico Zero, powered by Robin Hood Energy, over the next few weeks, and you will benefit from our lower prices.

If you have not already told us that you would like to move with us to Robin Hood Energy and Ebico Zero, then the ‘Your Electricity Price is Rising’ letter does apply to you. To avoid this increase, take a look at the recent email and letter we sent to you announcing our new partnership with RHE and, using the code number we provided, either click here to let us know if you would like to switch, or complete the tear-off strip and post it to us in the envelope provided.

We had hoped to make switching to our cheaper tariffs as simple as possible for our EquiGas/EquiPower customers. However, unfortunately our former supply partner, SSE, has been unable to support the transfer of customers to our new supply partner. So, we must now ask our EquiGas/EquiPower customers to confirm to us that they want to make the move to Ebico Zero. Customers who have not yet let us know that they would like to switch to Ebico Zero, and do not tell us that they would like to do so, will remain supplied by SSE on the EquiGas/EquiPower tariff and will be subject to the increase in the electricity price.

Please note, that the Warm Homes Discount (WHD) is not currently available with Ebico Zero, so if you expect to receive the WHD this winter, we recommend that you remain with SSE.

Posted in Uncategorised

Beat the price rises and move with us to cheaper energy deals under our new partnership with Robin Hood Energy

The good news for EquiGas and EquiPower credit customers is that, following the recent price increase announcement by SSE, Ebico Zero remains at least 4.5% cheaper than EquiGas and is now at least 19% cheaper than EquiPower – and price-guaranteed until at least December 2017. Customers can save even more if they opt to pay by Direct Debit.1

For pay-as-you-go customers, our new Ebico PrePay energy plan, with a standing charge of 25p per day per fuel, is 8.5% cheaper than EquiGas / EquiPower for a customer with an average2 level of household energy use, and is also price-guaranteed until December 2017.

So, switch to Ebico Zero or Ebico PrePay – with both price-guaranteed until at least December 2017.

1 5.5% cheaper for those paying by Direct Debit
2 Average savings in comparison to Dual Fuel customers on Equigas and EquiPower, and based on ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCVs) for medium user of 3,100 kWh for electricity and 12,500 kWh for gas.

Posted in Uncategorised

New, cheaper, energy deals under the new partnership with Robin Hood Energy

SSE has now closed EquiGas/EquiPower to new sales and tariff will be coming to an end. Consequently, our partnership with SSE has ended. However, we are delighted to announce the launch of Ebico Zero with our new supply partner, Robin Hood Energy. With Ebico Zero, the zero standing charge aspect of EquiGas/EquiPower will continue, which we know is so important to very many of our customers.

The great news for our customers is that, in addition to keeping the zero standing charge, Ebico Zero is at least 4.5% cheaper than EquiGas / EquiPower tariff and price-guaranteed until at least December 2017.

Customers can save even more if they opt to pay by Direct Debit.1

Ebico Zero, available to our credit customers, is offered alongside our new Ebico PrePay energy plan. Ebico PrePay, with a standing charge of 25p per day per fuel, is 8.5% cheaper than EquiGas / EquiPower for a customer with an average2 level of household energy use, is also price-guaranteed until December 2017, and is exclusive to pay-as-you-go customers.

We are confident that our new energy supply partnership with Robin Hood Energy gives us a strong base from which to advance our campaign to tackle fuel poverty.

1 5.5% cheaper for those paying by Direct Debit
2 Average savings in comparison to Dual Fuel customers on Equigas and EquiPower, and based on ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCVs) for medium user of 3,100 kWh for electricity and 12,500 kWh for gas.

[FAQ_Category category_slug=”rhe-transition-faqs”]

Posted in Uncategorised

Cross party support for Ebico and Robin Hood Energy partnership to fight fuel poverty in the UK

 

  • Minister for Energy and Industry, Jesse Norman MP says: “It’s good to see Ebico and Robin Hood Energy working together.”
  • Shadow Energy Minister, Alan Whitehead MP says: “This is a match made in heaven”
  • Ebico and Robin Hood Energy launch Ebico PrePay at a discount to existing tariffs
  • Not-for-profit partnership will spend surpluses on fuel poverty projects around Britain
  • To date, Ebico has invested £1.3million in fuel poverty projects around Britain

Ebico and Robin Hood Energy have today unveiled a new energy partnership to offer a brand new prepay tariff, as they vow to continue their fight against rising fuel poverty in the UK and provide energy contracts that function fairly for all consumers.

The partnership will offer the brand new tariff:  Ebico PrePay, which offers customers affordable energy and a flexible deal with no exit fees or tie-ins.

Minister for Energy and Industry, Jesse Norman MP said:  “Smart pre-payment is an important part of upgrading the UK’s energy system and helping people to save money. It’s good to see Ebico and Robin Hood Energy working together and using smart pre-payment to support their customers.”

Dr. Alan Whitehead, Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, said: “This is a match made in heaven – a not-for profit retailer linking up with a not-for profit energy supplier to provide highly competitive tariffs for the prepay sector who need those good tariffs more than anyone else. It’s also a challenge for those traditional energy retailers. Ebico and Robin Hood Energy are now making the weather on energy retailing – what are you going to do to catch up? All power to your elbows on this initiative – and keep it coming!”

The Ebico PrePay tariff, designed for prepay customers, offers un-rivalled flexibility, with no exit fee and a price guarantee until December 2017. The tariff is also 8.5%1 less than Ebico’s existing prepay tariff, with the price guaranteed until at least December 2017.

Ebico was founded in part to offer a better deal to those using prepayment meters and the new partnership is designed to allow them to offer a new alternative to this section of the market, which is often used by the fuel poor.

The new partnership with RHE will allow the company to continue on its founding mission, one which has already seen over £1.3million donated to fuel poverty charities and projects across the UK.

Customers switching to Ebico PrePay, and looking for the convenience of topping-up their meter credit from their mobile phone, can register to have their meter replaced, for free, with a smart pay-as-you-go meter this year.2

Ebico is rated as the top-3 energy suppliers in the UK by Which? in its 2017 survey. The company is highly commended for its superior customer service and is the fastest to pick up the phone to customers.

Ebico will continue to provide its current EquiGas and EquiPower tariffs, supplied by SSE.

Phil Levermore, CEO of Ebico, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce this partnership which will help our customers and our continuing fight against fuel poverty in the UK. We see this as a new way of providing energy – an affordable, flexible tariff with a founding ambition to make society a better, fairer place. Robin Hood Energy shares our ethics and our philosophy and we are resolute in our aim of helping to irradiate fuel poverty in the UK. At a time of rising energy prices, this partnership guarantees to fix prices until at least December and will always do what is in the best interest of our customers.”

Councillor Alan Clark, Chair of the RHE Board, said: “This partnership is a real meeting of minds. Ebico and RHE are both committed to providing a low cost, flexible tariff to our customers and using any surplus we have to fight fuel poverty across the country. This partnership should send the message to the rest of the industry, government and our consumers – there is a different and better way of doing business in the energy sector. RHE, as the first council owned supplier, and Ebico as the UK’s first not-for-profit energy company are at the forefront of what we hope will become a new movement in the UK energy market.”

Robert Courts MP for Witney: “The partnership between Ebico and Robin Hood Energy is a fantastic example of a local business here in West Oxfordshire, expanding and offering an innovative solution to a national problem.  Ebico was founded to fight fuel poverty and I am delighted that this partnership will allow them to continue this important work.  This partnership is a welcome display of innovative thinking that puts customers first.  I am proud that Ebico are based in West Oxfordshire and wish them well with their work.”

Callum McCaig MP, SNP Spokesperson on Energy: “No consumer should be paying more than they have to for energy costs, and whilst work has been done to regulate cheaper tariffs for direct-debit customers, there has definitely been a gap left for those on costly pre-payment meters. The efforts of Ebico and Robin Hood Energy are an encouraging start to tackle fuel poverty, and it is good to see the companies themselves taking the initiative on this issue. Hopefully this may be the start of working toward a future where those individuals who are not able to secure a direct-debit agreement are not then penalised and discriminated against with higher charges, as we should never expect the least well off in our society to foot the highest bills.”

Joanne Wade, CEO of Association for the Conservation of Energy, said: “We welcome the news that Ebico and Robin Hood Energy are working together to reduce the price of energy for some of the households who most need lower bills; we urge them to also help their customers to manage their energy use and invest in home energy efficiency.”

 

[button href=”http://quote.ebico.org.uk” class=”primary” target=””]Get a quote[/button]

 

[1] Average savings in comparison to Dual Fuel customers on Equigas and EquiPower, and based on ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCVs) for medium user of 3,100 kWh for electricity and 12,500 kWh for gas.
[2] Fitting subject to successful survey and installation date subject to operational constraints.

Posted in Uncategorised

Ebico – Once again in the top-3 energy suppliers in the annual Which? Customer Satisfaction Survey

We’ve never been out of the top-5 since we’ve been included in the survey, but now, of course there’s a lot more competition out there.  But there’s a lot more to a great Which? score than just price and, as Which? themselves point out, “Ebico has managed to answer calls to customer services in less than 30 seconds on average in all of our five mystery shopping investigations so far”.

Phil Levermore, MD of Ebico, responded to the result, “I’d like to thank all our customers who took part in the survey and scored us so highly.  The whole team worked really hard to provide our customers with great service, and it’s wonderful to see this work being recognised.  Third-place is great, but we’ll be striving for the coveted Which? Recommended Provider rating next year.”

Read more: http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/energy-companies/article/best-and-worst-energy-companies – Which?

Posted in Uncategorised

No price increases this winter – guaranteed!

Winter is the time when we all need to use more energy to keep our homes warm.  There have been plenty of scare-stories in the news recently about rising energy prices, so we want to give Ebico customers our assurance that there will be no increases in the price of EquiGas and EquiPower this winter.

Posted in Uncategorised

We did it again – we’re the fastest in answering our customers’ calls!

We know how annoying it can be to be kept on hold for a long time. That’s why we continue to work hard to make sure that our customers are not left hanging on the phone for a long time.

Whilst it is continuous hard work, we pride ourselves in making customers our priority and making sure that we are easily accessible when they need us.

“We know that consumers have many suppliers to choose from now, but we’re confident that the priority Ebico gives to helping our customers, demonstrated by this result, will continue to enable us to stand-out.  This is achievement is a testament to strong behind-the-scenes teamwork to deliver a great service to customers” said Ebico MD, Phil Levermore.

keeping-customers-on-hold-november-2016

The full article is available here.

 

Posted in Uncategorised

Ebico is now a living wage employer

Ebico received an accreditation for being a Living Wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation.

The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Ebico, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors and suppliers; receive a minimum hourly wage of £8.25 – significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.70.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.

Phil Levermore, Managing Director of Ebico said, “We are delighted to join the Living Wage movement. As a not-for-profit energy provider dedicated to fighting fuel poverty, we deal on a daily basis with low income families. We, therefore, want to make sure that our own employees do not become victims of this pernicious problem. We do so by providing them with the Living Wage as a minimum”.

Posted in Uncategorised

Ebico once again one of the top rated energy providers

Ebico is once again in the top-flight of energy companies according to the Which? Best Energy Companies 2016 customer satisfaction survey.

As in previous years, the survey shows that smaller energy providers are beating the Big Six hands down when it comes to customer satisfaction. In an increasingly competitive market consumers should shop around and consider switching if they are unhappy with the service they get from their energy provider. We’ve been in the top-5 of the Which? Energy company review ever since the survey began which, we believe, demonstrates our commitment to delivering the best experience for our customers that we can.

Which Energy Company Satisfaction Survey
The full report is available here.

Posted in Uncategorised