Centrica is to transfer over seven million UK customers to ENSEK’s Ignition platform, following the two signing a strategic partnership this week.
The move is designed to help the company become one of the lowest-cost suppliers in the market, which forms a key pillar of Centrica’s turnaround plan it stated. The company – which owns Big Six player British Gas – has struggled in recent year due to challenges created by the price cap, which have been exacerbated over the past year by the impact of the pandemic.
In 2020, Centrica launched British Gas Evolve, a new residential energy brand, designed to offer low-cost, digital-first energy. This already uses Software as a Service company ENSEK’s Ignition platform, alongside software from Amazon and Salesforce.
As such, there are already 250,000 customers on the simpler digital-first platform. This includes 53,000 residential energy customers taken on from failed supplier Simplicity, after British Gas Evolve was named as the Supplier of Last Resort for the company by Ofgem.
Transferring legacy processes to automated services has already seen a 74% uplift in “promoters” of customer experience at British Gas Evolve, according to Centrica.
"Our partnership with ENSEK is another great example of how we are using the right technology to deliver a more affordable, sustainable and simpler experience for our customers,” said Chris O’Shea, group chief executive at Centrica.
“We have already seen the benefits that ENSEK has brought to our ways of working and the customer experience with British Gas Evolve, and we now plan to replicate this across our entire UK energy supply business."
The push to turn around the company follows Centrica seeing a record profit drop of 31% in 2020, the latest in a string of consistent periods of loss for the company. The company’s 2018 financial results sent its share price tumbling to a 20 year low after it confirmed that the incoming price cap would create challenges for the company. The previous annual financial statement led to the company cutting over 4,000 jobs when it was released in February 2018 due to the company’s “weak” performance.
This led to Centrica announcing a plan to become a simpler, leaner business in order to turn the tide of loss in June 2020.
Numerous energy business are looking to embrace automation to streamline their processes in the face of turbulent market condition – for example the price cap has recently been raised by £139 due to wholesale prices jumping 50% – with ENSEK alone now providing products and services to over 30 customers including Eneco, Utility Warehouse and – as of last October – Good Energy.
Jon Slade, CEO of ENSEK said: "By leveraging ENSEK’s modern and flexible platform, Centrica is empowered to take greater control of its key customer touchpoints and respond quickly to customer needs in a rapidly evolving market. Continuous innovation is at the core of ENSEK’s strategy, as we look to enable digital transformation in the energy sector and accelerate the energy transition."
ENSEK’s chief product officer Tyron Vardy recently wrote about how smart half-hourly readings are redefining the energy market in Britain for Current±.