We are an established challenger energy company with a strong consumer brand, Flow, rapidly becoming a genuine rival to the Big Six energy suppliers.
We focus on:
Delivering value to our customers via a compelling combination of competitive prices, award-winning customer service and carefully-curated additional products and services
Delivering value to shareholders via a successful, efficient business balancing growth and a strong customer experience with a tightly-controlled cost base
Acquiring an energy customer typically produces a loss in year one, due to the marketing cost of acquiring that customer. The customer typically hits break even early in year two. Profitability in energy companies comes from:
Great Britain has a market of around 50m energy customer fuel accounts available with an annual value of roughly £25bn.
It is a large, mature market that can deliver consistent, dependable revenue and profits.
After privatisation, the Big Six suppliers held onto their inherited market share for some time, even though they generally delivered high prices and poor service. However, as challenger suppliers have become more established, consumer behaviour is now changing rapidly with more and more customers looking to switch away from the Big Six for better prices and service.
But, about 25m fuel accounts remain on expensive tariffs with the Big 6, representing clear targets for challenger suppliers like Flow.
We believe that we are nimbler and able to adapt more quickly to market opportunities than the Big Six. We believe that we are well-placed to deliver further growth and value through…
We have established a range of direct sales channels to reduce acquisition costs.
Price comparison sites like uSwitch and MoneySuperMarket can drive high volumes of energy switchers – at a price. While these customers can deliver high lifetime value, some of them are serial switchers who will switch again at the end of their contract, looking for another saving. Equally, this environment requires low margin tariffs to gain visibility.
Using direct channels for acquisition has three benefits. The first is a potentially lower acquisition cost. The second is a more loyal customer. A customer gained by direct marketing, in whatever form, is potentially owned more completely by Flow. The third is the ability to sell a fairly priced product at a sustainable margin – all of which help drive profitability. Therefore, we have launched a range of acquisition channels to supplement our use of the price comparison sites to achieve these benefits.
Our experienced management and dedicated staff allow us to deliver award-winning, stand-out customer service.
There are two primary things that energy customers are looking for from their energy supplier – competitive prices and good customer service.
The Big Six tend to be expensive and, according to third party measures of service quality (like the annual Which? energy customer satisfaction survey), poor on service.
The cheapest prices on the market tend to be delivered by challenger suppliers who have sacrificed service quality in order to deliver leading prices. In fact, historically, there has often been a direct correlation between cheapest prices and worst service.
At Flow, we set out with the aim of delivering competitive prices and exceptional customer service. We have a ‘Great’ Trustpilot rating and have ranked consistently highly in the Which? annual energy customer satisfaction survey. In fact, in 2016, we were awarded Which? Recommended Provider for energy status, one of only two energy companies ever to receive the award.
We intend to continue to develop our customer service proposition, improving the customer experience still further to make service a key differentiator for our business.
Our tariffs now have 50% green electricity as standard
Customers can also upgrade to 100% renewable electricity for a small premium. This puts us in the leading pack of renewable suppliers, well-positioned for the renewable future, and makes us an attractive proposition for those customers who do want to be more environmentally conscious but don’t necessarily want to pay much more to be so.
Our business delivers impressive customer retention levels, increasing lifetime revenue per customer.
The longer a customer stays with us, the more their lifetime value increases. We have already delivered strong retention levels and we intend to continue to invest in ongoing communication with and engagement of our customer base, to improve these retention levels still further.
We control and reduce costs using efficient processes, effective digital tools and highly-trained staff.
Like many businesses, we encourage our customers to manage their accounts online, rather than via our customer service teams. Currently, 72% of our customers use our online portal to view statements, submit meter readings and get answers to questions. We run communication campaigns regularly to register additional customers for our online account management service.
We run internal continuous improvement programmes to identify possible areas for process improvement. We work with our software providers to automate as many processes as possible, to ensure as favourable a ratio as possible of headcount to customer base.
Our wholesale energy relationship with Shell Energy Europe reduces cash requirements and facilitates robust, hedged energy trading, protecting us from energy price fluctuation, protection which many other challenger suppliers don’t enjoy.
In December 2015, we signed an agreement with Shell Energy Europe which significantly reduced the amount of security we needed to post when acquiring a new customer. This gives us a significant advantage over the majority of other challenger suppliers and allowed us to grow our business much more quickly – in fact, in the 12 months following the agreement we grew Flow Energy by 150%.
Our agreement with Shell also has another key benefit – it allows us to hedge our trading positions. This means we can buy energy forward, protecting ourselves from energy price fluctuations in the wholesale market. Again, this is a benefit that the vast majority of other challenger suppliers don’t enjoy
We offer additional products and services to our customers, to enhance engagement and retention and to increase customer value
Originally founded as an engineering firm, we have a strong product background. We offer a range of products and services for the modern, efficient, connected home. Offering customers more than energy cements our relationship, encouraging retention and also has the potential to increase revenue per customer. We employ a light-touch approach, working with carefully-selected partners to offer best-in-class products, which allows us to be flexible and responsive while minimising costs.
The energy industry is changing rapidly and the pace of change will only increase as we move towards a renewable, decentralised, digitised energy future. We believe that it is those companies that have created strong, durable relationships with their customers who will be best placed to take advantage of the seismic shift away from big traditional suppliers to the companies who will become the market leaders of the future.