Npower, the RWE-owned utility provider, claims that it wants to make the energy industry more transparent through the launch of a new product that will reflect the rise and fall of wholesale energy prices.
The company is planning to steal a march on rivals with npower Tracker, which is the first energy tariff of its kind in the UK. Customers who sign up to the product will see their bills based on a quarterly average of wholesale prices. The prices will be tracked using the Heren Report, a recognised independent industry price tracker.
The launch of npower Tracker will be backed by a press campaign, which starts today (Wednesday).
In the past, companies sought to reassure customers by signing them up to fixed-rate tariffs, which locked them in for a specified period and often saw them pay higher prices despite falls in the wider market.
An npower spokesman says the Tracker product aims to make the energy industry more transparent. Energy pricing is traditionally complicated and retail prices are based on wholesale prices, often some years old. Npower says it is determined to show that it is giving customers what they want by passing on any price changes quickly and honestly.
Head of product management Julia Lynch Williams says: “Npower Tracker is not for everyone, but it will appeal to customers who want to follow the market more directly – accepting the risks and the rewards.
“We’ve launched the first energy tracker because we wanted to bring some new thinking to the market. We are treating this as a pilot project and we will review the way the scheme has worked in March 2008 when this trial ends.”