Guest Blog: npower’s Ben Spry on Energy Prices

Staying one step ahead of the market The Ops Desk has always been a USP for npower, enjoying a market-leading position for more than a decade now. But as the […]

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By Geoff Curran

Staying one step ahead of the market

The Ops Desk has always been a USP for npower, enjoying a market-leading position for more than a decade now. But as the market evolves and becomes ever-more competitive, our aim is to continually build on our services and introduce new innovations to ensure we remain one step ahead for our customers.

Putting our money where our mouth is

For example, we’ve recently starting guaranteeing wholesale market screen prices for all import and export transactions under 10MW. We’ve always worked hard to provide customers with exceptional price quality, often bettering screen prices, but this is the first time that we’ve contractually committed to this.

Driving value out of energy contracts is obviously important for all our customers. Critical to this is having an effective approach to risk management, which is why we work closely with many organisations to help them understand how this informs their buying and selling behaviour.

Sticking to budget

Operating a flexible purchasing contract while remaining within a set budget is a common customer request. That’s why products such as our award-winning Direct Budget Management are proving so popular, where we work with clients to set a robust risk management strategy and budget, with the option for our team to operate the agreed strategy on the customer’s behalf.

Our first Direct Budget Management (or DBM for short) customer was in fact RWE npower back in 2011. We fine-tuned how it worked with our own energy manager before rolling it out to customers. But today, it’s still saving npower around 10% each year on energy costs compared to a fixed contract.

Delivering more certainty

Although DBM was originally developed for customers with smaller volumes that were new to flexible purchasing, the volume range of customers now served is 3GWh per annum right up to 500GWh, both on an import and export basis – illustrating its appeal to larger consumers too.

For export customers, DBM has worked fantastically well, with the guaranteed budget giving confidence to any third-party investors, alongside a strategy that delivers benefit if wholesale prices increase.

Making the most of EMR opportunities

The energy landscape is going through a period of substantial change, with Electricity Market Reform (EMR) presenting customers with increasing challenges but also new opportunities to participate. As a result, many customers are starting to look more closely at how they manage their volume. So our challenge this year is to ensure that we are in a position to provide them with the required level of flexibility and the ability to more closely align their price and volume risk management.

Innovation remains a priority

Innovating on behalf of our customers remains key for us at npower. Many new developments are being driven by my colleague Magali Hodgson, from whom I took over as Ops Desk Manager. Magali and her team are working hard behind the scenes and are dedicated to creating innovative, value-added solutions to energy risk management.

The energy market is at a very interesting juncture. There is currently a lot of uncertainty, with volatility returning to the wholesale market. But on the Ops Desk, we have never been in a stronger position to help customers manage their risk – and are busy working on new tools, products and services to ensure we continue to lead the market.

I’ll be bringing more updates via our Daily Market Reports, along with other members of the team, and will be tweeting regular news from our Twitter account @npowerbusinesss.

This is a sponsored article.