Despite the fact that 90% of medium sized businesses would like to use tools to help them take better control of their energy purchasing, recent research from npower has revealed that more than half (56%) do not have the time or resources available to allow them to reap the benefits of a more sophisticated energy product.

Jon Davies, head of product management and strategy at npower, explained, “Traditionally, many medium sized businesses pay for their energy on a fixed price tariff, and renew their contract at the same time each year. As the energy market is constantly fluctuating, being tied into a renewal date sets their prices for the year, no matter how high market costs are at that point, removing any flexibility to take advantage of an ever changing wholesale energy market.”

To combat this, npower is helping this often neglected segment of the market to take control of its energy costs with the introduction of its new PriceWatch service. PriceWatch has been designed for business customers that use between 200MWh and 10GWh per annum and currently purchase energy at a fixed price, but want greater flexibility and influence over energy purchasing decisions.

He continued, “With a lack of energy expertise being the second most popular reason why businesses in this sector do not opt for a more sophisticated product and 56% of businesses stating that achieving the best price is the principal reason for choosing an energy product, we have developed PriceWatch.

“With PriceWatch, we work with our customers to understand their budget for the next contract period to develop upper and lower price triggers. A dedicated account manager overlays these triggers onto the market and tracks it on a customer’s behalf. If a trigger is hit, the business will be contacted with the option to renew early, allowing the business to lock in their energy contract at a price that is in line with their budget.

“The benefit to businesses is threefold – they get the expertise of a dedicated account manager, greater flexibility over purchasing decisions, and most importantly have a higher level of control over their spend on energy.”