The ‘npower Consultant Insight Report: Working Better Together’, which canvassed the views of senior energy consultants and brokers serving large businesses, has found that working in partnership with suppliers can help energy consultants reach their full potential and offer the best possible service to business end users.
The research found that consultants are acutely aware of the needs of their business customers. 70% of those questioned said their business customers rank ‘complying with legislation’ as a top energy-related concern, and more than half (59%) said the costs of complying with legislation is of specific concern to their customers.
79% of consultants would like a better understanding of energy policy and regulation themselves in response to their customers’ concerns. More than half (59%) of consultants surveyed would like energy suppliers to provide additional information on this complex area, particularly around Electricity Market Reform (EMR), the Government’s initiative to ensure the UK remains a leading destination for investment in low-carbon electricity.
The consultants questioned acknowledged the benefits that come from a better partnership with suppliers, with the most sought after support from suppliers is a single point of contact to liaise with, as cited by 63% of respondents. Half of consultants would also like suppliers to share more market information and 46% called for better energy management information and services.
Chris Billing, head of indirect sales at npower Industrial & Commercial Markets, said: “We commissioned this research to gain an in-depth insight into the pressures consultants face so we can be sure to add value to the service they offer businesses. The report endorses our own knowledge that consultants have a clear understanding of the needs and concerns of their business customers.
“However, it is clear TPIs need suppliers to work more closely in partnership with them to help business end users deal with an increasingly complex and evolving energy management and procurement landscape. In particular, energy suppliers should provide support on issues like legislation, the wholesale energy market and energy management to help consultants provide a high-quality bespoke service to their customers.”
At npower, we’re committed to working in partnership with consultants and brokers and helping them to develop bespoke customer solutions that respond to the needs of business. As part of this, we ensure each TPI we work with has a single point of contact within the npower team. To help share expertise and knowledge with TPIs on issues such as policy and procurement, we have created a series of bespoke consultant events that bring our experts directly to consultants. Our ‘EMR Explained’ activity, which helps businesses have a say on key energy policy decisions affecting them, also enables consultants to share their views and learn more about this key piece of legislation.