Octopus Energy chief: auto-switching is no way to build industry trust

New market players aimed at encouraging switching are doing nothing to help build trust between the energy industry and consumers, according to Greg Jackson, founder of supplier Octopus Energy. “The current crop of auto switchers are just arbitraging loss-leading deals from energy suppliers. They are not solving the problem, they are making it worse,” he told New Power.

On auto-switchers, he said, that if retailers are the people who are supposed to engage with people to bring them smart meters and engage with them towards better tariffs, the auto-switchers should either take on that or provide far more information about the destination companies. Jackson had similar issues with collective switching. He has often made the argument that switching disengaged customers over to a short-term deal that will turn sour on them does not benefit them.

The comments came in a wide-ranging interview with New Power where he also warned over the possibilities of ‘bundling’ power supplies along with other services such as electric vehicle tariffs. That could make power tariffs less visible, he said, warning: “That’s exactly what the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) cracked down on in banking. It realised that bundling was not bringing a consumer benefit and they forced unbundling. The last thing we want in energy is less transparency.”

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Further reading:

New launch means consumers have a handful of auto-switching options

New auto-switching company Labrador says ‘customers should know smart meter data puts them in control’

Auto-switching: what now for Flipper?

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