Customer Newsletter Winter 2019

a message from juliet

Two decades ago the energy industry was going nowhere. The privatisation of the energy market promised choice and change – but it was still following a path laid down in the 1950s. Big power stations at one end. Homes and businesses at the other. Business as usual, with no room for anything different.

Customers were still thought of as “meters”. Suppliers had different names, but offered the same service. People were not encouraged to think about where their power came from, and were predicted to keep on consuming it at ever greater rates.

Jump forward to today, and the picture is quite different. Electricity generation in the UK has fallen to its lowest level since 1994, thanks in part to greater energy efficiency. At the same time, the share of electricity generated from renewables rose to a record high of 33%1. And a revolution behind the meter is showing that people want to take power into their own hands. But how did we get here?

Supporting power pioneers
It started with pioneers who experimented with generating their own power. Many reached out to us in the early 2000s with stories of being cut off by the big companies; of having no-one to sell their power to. So we teamed up with these trailblazers to figure out a way forward.

For starters, existing export meters were big and complex, and exporting was too expensive for such small amounts of power. Never one to take a problem lying down, we lobbied for simple meters and lower export costs.

Next, we set about creating a marketplace that would provide smaller generators with an income for their power. Our customers supported us in changing the market and HomeGen was born – laying the foundations for the government’s Feed-in Tariff.

Small-scale generation went from strength to strength. There are now almost 1 million homes and businesses2 generating their own power. This number had been projected to be even higher by now, but in 2015, progress stalled. The government focused on larger projects – offshore wind, fracking, nuclear – and pulled back subsidies for small-scale renewables. The final government support for small-scale solar will cease from April this year.

Time for a new revolution
Fortunately, we can make change happen for ourselves. With solar prices and battery storage costs falling, we know that generating and sharing power on a local level will soon become the natural choice.

Good Energy is working towards making this vision a reality. With your help we have made huge progress in the last twenty years. And with your ongoing support we can continue to drive faster and greater change for the next twenty.

Juliet Davenport
Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

our 2018 highlights

From powering World Heritage sites to launching a new campaign, 2018 was full of successes. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been up to over the past year…

Our service, in your words
To make sure we’re providing a high standard of service, it’s really helpful to know what you think we’re doing right – and what we could be doing better. That’s why we’re so grateful to the hundreds of you that have shared your views on Trustpilot. Your feedback has lead to our UK-based customer care team achieving a 4-star Trustpilot score.

Supporting mental wellbeing
We believe in creating a workplace where everyone can thrive, be themselves and be at their best. As one in four people in the UK will experience mental ill health, we teamed up with Mental Health First Aid England to train 11 people across Good Energy to support their colleagues through difficult times. Here’s what Fran Woodward, our Director of People & Culture, said about the course:

“We want Good Energy to be a place where everyone feels comfortable talking about their mental health. We are delighted to have a team of mental health first aiders who are on hand to help people get the support they need.”

Our ‘ways to be good’ campaign
Back in September, we launched a campaign to inspire more people to join Good Energy. The videos, shared on social media, showed five ways people are already being good, such as avoiding single-use plastic and cycling to work. It then encouraged them to add one more: switch to clean power.

You can find the video on the Good Energy YouTube channel. Share it with friends and family to show that switching to clean power isn’t just one of the biggest things you can do to tackle climate change, but one of the simplest.

Powering Blenheim Palace
We’re proud to supply businesses such as Innocent Drinks, Neal’s Yard Remedies and BAFTA. Last year, we strengthened our partnership with UNESCO-listed Blenheim Palace by agreeing to supply electricity to buildings across the estate, including the Pleasure Park and estate offices as well as the Palace itself. A piece of our national heritage, committed to protecting our future, too.

2019: smart meters and more

How does cooking dinner affect the amount you’re spending on energy, in real time? What’s the best time of day to run the washing machine? Smart meters will give people greater control over how much energy they’re using, and when.

Because of this, we believe that smart meters will help release the UK’s energy system from the grip of a handful of huge fossil fuel-burning power plants. Not to mention allow more homes and businesses to generate, use and share their own clean power.

So we’re working hard on our smart meter programme and are hoping to start our pilot early this year. Once we’ve made sure everything runs as smoothly as possible, we’ll let you know when we’ll be offering meters to all customers that want one.

Here are some of the benefits of having a smart meter:
• No more meter readings – your meter will send them to us automatically
• More accurate bills, which will no longer be based on estimates
• Insight that will help you save energy and save money

One of the issues with the early SMETS1 smart meters is that they turn ‘dumb’ when customers switch suppliers, and need to be replaced. We want to reassure you that the new SMETS2 meters that we’ll be offering can be moved to new suppliers without losing their smart functionality. Hassle free, and more environmentally responsible.

Be rewarded for recommending us
In spring, we’ll be launching a new campaign where you’ll be able to invite people you know to join Good Energy. If they switch to us on your recommendation, you’ll both receive a reward. Watch this space; we’ll let you know more as soon as we can.

Finally, we’d like to thank you for your continued commitment to tackling climate change by supporting renewables. We look forward to what 2019 brings.

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