With the right support we can create real competition

It’s a big week here at Spark Energy. We’re over the moon to say that we’ve hit the important milestone of 100,000 active customers, and can also announce that we’ve secured a further £200,000 of funding from the Scottish Investment Bank – bringing their total investment to £855,000.

Since our launch in 2007 we’ve had to navigate a tricky economic climate in a tough industry, which can be hard on small suppliers, so to reach 100,000 customers is a big moment for us. We won’t stop here though – we’ve experienced strong growth and, with this new tranche of support, we’ll be building on our momentum in the coming months and years to provide you with a ‘five star’ customer service.

We became profitable in year end June 2013 and that’s important so that we are able to continue to invest in protecting and promoting the needs of our customers. Our profits are growing but we’ve got even bigger plans to add at least 50 new staff to our 220-strong team, helping us to maintain our high standards of customer care and continue to deliver a better overall customer experience than the ‘Big Six’ energy firms. We’ll also be expanding into new areas like broadband and telephony, launching an amazing app and offering more of the services that we know our core market of young, dynamic tenants will be looking for when they join us. That’s why support and access to finance from the likes of Scottish Enterprise is so valuable.

Small suppliers have a really important role to play in today’s energy market to make sure there’s good competition and choice for customers. We’ll continue working with our letting agent partners to provide a one-stop utilities solution which fits perfectly into the lives of their landlords and tenants and which is great value. We default to our lowest tariff from day one and have no tie-ins.

With the right support, specialist suppliers like us can accelerate real competition in energy. Recent announcements about increasing competition, faster switching and transparency of wholesale costs should really help. As you may have read previously I visited Downing Street in May to share some ideas about how Government and our regulator clear the way for yet more competition.

Earlier this week we were delighted to meet the First Minister of Scotland at our Selkirk HQ. The First Minister was in town for his Government’s cabinet meeting and stopped by to visit us as an example of a real business success story and one which is delivering change in an industry that is under political pressure to pull its socks up.

The First Minister said “the success of Spark Energy is excellent news for the Borders. With the right support there are tremendous opportunities for smaller suppliers to make real changes to the energy market which is why to date the Scottish Investment Bank has invested £885,000 in Spark Energy”.

He went on to add that “small suppliers have a critical role to play in improving the choice, service and transparency which has been lacking [in the industry] in the past.”

It’s testament to the hard work of everyone here at Spark that we’ve attracted this sort of national attention and we’ll use it as great motivation to drive us forward to continue to provide all of our customers with the high level of service that they deserve.

– Chris Gauld, CEO Spark Energy

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