Stephen Murray, Head of Energy Commercial and Partners, moneysupermarket.com
“It is a brave person to suggest most consumers have any idea when and how they use their kilowatt-hours.”
Stephen is the Commercial Manager and media spokesperson for Energy at the UK’s number 1 price comparison site, MoneySuperMarket.com. Stephen has a broad experience in Energy including B2B sales and residential sales during his 10 years at Powergen/EON. This time at EON included managing the comparison site sales channel before moving to MSM in June 2013, where he has overseen the significant growth in energy switching through MSM Groups and doubled the number of commercial partners.
What is the biggest challenge you’re looking to fix or improve at Future of Utilities: Smart Energy 2019?
The forerunner to Smart meters has been with us for many years now – the Economy 7 meter. Unfortunately, the understanding and, more importantly, engagement WITH these very simple ‘two-rate’ meters remains low. So, I think it is hugely important that we don’t lose the customer engagement angle within the conversations we are having about Smart roll-out timelines, SMETS 2 etc.
The messaging that Smart installation automatically delivers consumer benefits is too simplistic. How do we deal with that period of early engagement of ‘time-of-use’ tariffs? When suppliers start to compete with the “free at weekends” and “50% off after 7 pm weekdays” tariffs, how does the consumer have any idea which one to choose? We are engaged with our mobile phone usage (minutes, data, texts) and so we can make those choices. But it is a brave person to suggest most consumers have any idea when and how they use their kilowatt-hours.
So, for me, I think the biggest challenge we face is bringing the customer along with Smart to ensure that the Smart revolution is done with consumers and not to them.
Which story are you most excited to share?
Switching is on the rise. More and more households are recognising that inactivity is costing them money every year and that the price cap is not the answer.
That said, only 20% of UK households are switching each year and we still have over 10 million on standard/default tariffs. Moneysupermarket Group is a major player in saving UK households on their energy bills and I am confident there will be attendees at the conference that are amongst the “10 million” and need to hear how easy it is to save.
Who are you looking forward to learning insights from at the event?
I am keen to understand who is focussing on customers and supporting engagement in the Smart future.
Sector Manager – Utilities
Seb Fox is the sector manager for our Future of Utilities portfolio. He keeps an eye on industry developments, hot topics, and puts together our conference agendas. He’s been with the company for just over two years, having graduated from Mansfield College, University of Oxford.
Follow him on Twitter here: @Futureofutils