Good Energy, the sustainable electricity and gas supplier, have just had to tell customers some bad news. Their electricity prices will be increasing by 9 percent. No small sum, particularly with winter and dark nights drawing in. But whilst they won’t be alone in giving such news to electricity users it is interesting to note how they have communicated this information.

They’ve treated their customers as grown-ups.

In their email and blog post (copy below) they explain:

  • why the increase has been necessary
  • what they’ve done to prevent the rise until now
  • what next steps will be occurring
  • extended their customer phone line hours to ensure customers can get in touch if they have queries about pricing or need advice in how to reduce electricity usage

All in language and tone that is respectful and straight forward.

A lesson for everyone.

Here’s the blog post:

We’ve had to raise our electricity prices, but our gas price is staying the same

We haven’t had to put our electricity prices up for four years. But due to a series of increases in the cost of getting electricity to you, we’re sorry to have to raise them by an average of 9% on 5th December 2012.

With winter on its way, we’re pleased to say that our gas price, which we decreased for dual fuel customers in August this year, is not changing. This means we cost about the same as the Big Six’s standard dual fuel tariffs, something we expect to be able to continue, if not improve, in the future.

The electricity price change is primarily due to the costs of upgrades to the electricity grid, such as supplying homes with new technologies like smart meters and improving the distribution and transmission network for electricity. These costs have gone up by more than 50% over the past four years and affect both unit rates and standing charges.

We’ve been able to insulate our customers from much of this thanks to efficiencies we’ve gained in our electricity trading systems due to investment in more weather forecasting data and improvements in our ability to trade renewable energy. In 2010 we also repowered our wind farm at Delabole, which provides us with around 16% of our power needs (up from 7%), and has allowed us to better manage our pricing.

“We appreciate that any increase in price is not good news for customers,” says our CEO Juliet Davenport. “We understand the importance of price stability and have succeeded in avoiding an electricity price rise for the last four years. Our aim is to try and provide customers with stable, reasonable prices and our focus continues to be how to deliver this for the long-term. We believe that by building 110MW of new renewable generation capacity by 2016, increasing the number of independent generators we buy from, decreasing our cost of serving our customers and continuing to invest in innovating our trading services we will be able to achieve this.”

We will be writing to each of our customers to let them know how the price rise will affect their bills based on average consumption. If you’d like to find out exactly how much your bill will be with Good Energy, please use our online price checker.

Our Customer Care team is on hand for a chat about our prices or anything else you might like to discuss. To make it as easy as possible for you to get in touch we’ve extended our opening hours. We’ll be open from 8:30am – 7pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 2pm on Saturdays from Monday 29th October until Friday 30th of November.

Please note, standing charges have increased more in some areas than others. This is due to the regulator’s wish to see distribution companies calculate their charges in a similar way.

Don’t forget, our Customer Care team’s energy efficiency advice service is endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust, so they’re great people to speak to for help with reducing your bills.