Magali Hodgson is Product and Services Optimisation Manager for npower, as well as one of the faces for ELN’s The Market Report. She shares her thoughts on why the market needs more sophisitcated trading tools.
When you carry out energy transactions, do you ever second-guess your hedging decisions? If you are spending many thousands each year, modeling different price scenarios can be a useful tool – which is why we’ve just added that exact functionality to our relaunched Risk Navigator service. When I joined npower back in 2007, creating this kind of sophisticated tool for our flexible I&C customers was still in the realms of fantasy. But six years is a long time in the energy arena. Not only does technology now allow us to make complex information far more accessible, but customers also want to be far better informed.
Hedging behaviours have also changed beyond recognition, with an ever-growing proportion of our I&C portfolio embarking on the journey from fixed to flexible contracting, and a increasing number of export customers joining our more traditional import base.
Our role in supporting customers to take greater control of their energy has therefore shifted. That’s why we are constantly reviewing what we do and finding new ways to provide solutions to customer’s changing needs – and their growing appetite for market intelligence. After all, in order to pursue an effective energy-hedging strategy, you need to understand the market in which you operate.
So while the new-look Risk Navigator continues to provide regularly updated market news and personalised trade analysis reports, we’ve added some new features. For example, customers can now see their latest deals in a quick-to-view table and easily flip between volume already closed and volume yet to transact, together with the weighted average price for each. You can even see the latest weather forecasts for your own location. It’s like bringing edited highlights from the wholesale market onto your desktop.
Of course, we don’t expect customers to have time to keep abreast of market detail in the same way energy traders or portfolio managers do. That’s why price alerts can also be set, with automated email notification, so you don’t have to watch the market all day long.
We also appreciate that while knowledge is power, information overload can create confusion. So we’ve carefully considered the best way to provide access to such a wealth of data. A new-look dashboard is, we hope, the answer.
This means that rather than logging in and then switching in and out of different functionality, you can now see snapshots of the key information displayed all at once on one main screen (your dashboard). You just click to expand the feature as and when you want to see more. When the market is especially volatile, this can be useful to leave on your desktop to easily check for updates throughout the day.
If you already use Risk Navigator, please tell us what you think of the changes we’ve made. And if you’re not yet using what we believe is the industry-leading market intelligence tool, then I suggest you get in touch to request a trial. Risk Navigator comes as part of the broader Optimisation Desk Service, so it’s definitely worth talking to us.