Analyst report highlights need for flexible billing solutions to support service innovation in retail energy sector
- Competitive energy suppliers developing innovative service propositions combining energy supply with non-traditional products to secure long-term customer loyalty
- Modern, flexible billing solutions required to support diverse combinations of gas, electricity and non-traditional services
- Opportunities for billing solutions providers experienced in serving telcos and for start-ups to challenge the traditional utility vendors for market share
Cambridge, United Kingdom (25 April 2014) –Innovative approaches to service creation are placing new demands on the billing and customer information systems used by competitive energy suppliers, according to a new report titled Billing Strategies for Competitive Energy Retailers from analyst firm Quindi Research (www.quindiresearch.com).
“In competitive markets, the retail energy environment is undergoing a radical transformation,” said Catherine Viola, author of the report. “Alongside the shift towards smart metering, there is a growing diversification not just in the types of companies supplying electricity and gas, but also in the range of services they offer.”
Players from many different backgrounds are competing against the traditional utilities, including big consumer brands, green energy companies, and home services providers. “From their wide-ranging starting points, these companies are bringing new types of services in which electricity and gas supply is often just one element of a broader proposition,” explained Viola. “The permutations are very diverse, but many embrace the idea of using non-commodity and value-added services to create highly differentiated propositions aimed at increasing customer stickiness and establishing longer-term customer relationships.”
Companies such as Utility Warehouse in the UK and Dodo in Australia have already built big customer bases by offering discount packages for multiple home services including gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, mobile, and car and home insurance. Other newer players are packaging energy supply with home energy efficiency products and services. For example, the UK’s Flow Energy offers a domestic heating boiler that uses innovative technology to generate electricity as well as heat the home. Customers receive the boiler free of charge in return for committing to a multi-year contract for their gas and electricity.
According to Viola, as new types of service proposition and service provider emerge to challenge the classic utility model, there will be an increasing demand for flexible billing and customer care solutions that can accommodate widely varying combinations of products and services. “This is challenging the traditional utility billing solutions providers to enhance their functionality. At the same time, there are opportunities both for start-ups with modern billing solutions and for vendors experienced in other sectors such as telecommunications to challenge for market share.”
Billing Strategies for Competitive Energy Retailers examines the trend towards combining energy supply with non-traditional services to build binding customer loyalty, and explores the service and billing strategies of some of the most dynamic new entrant energy suppliers in competitive markets such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The report also evaluates the vendor landscape for utility billing and customer information systems and assesses which solutions providers are best placed to cater for competitive energy suppliers’ evolving requirements. The 90-page report is available from Quindi Research.
About Quindi Research
Quindi Research provides customised research and analyst services for organisations throughout the energy and telecommunications sectors. The company’s publications and research help software vendors, equipment manufacturers, network operators, service providers and regulators identify and exploit the opportunities from the emergence of new technologies. Founded in 2012, Quindi Research is based in Cambridge, UK. For more information, please visit www.quindiresearch.com.
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