Together Energy is Scotland’s young but fastest growing energy company, supplying over 60,000 customers across the UK. Having been in the market since just 2016, does it have what it takes to be the UK’s up-and-coming supplier worthy of making Scotland proud? Keep reading to find out if their tariffs, services and credentials will get them to the top.
About Together Energy
Despite its short existence in the energy market, Together Energy has achieved huge milestones to get to where it is today. Let’s find out where it all began and where they're headed in the current energy market. We'll look at how their business is financed and what limelight they're attracting in the press.
- Together Energy Ltd was incorporated as a private limited company on 25 April 2015. It was created by former British Gas executive, Paul Richards, now managing director of Together Energy.
- On 31st May 2017 Together Energy won the Working4Business Award 2017 for Most Promising New Business.
- On 09 July 2018, Vision Holdings Ltd became the company’s majority shareholder. On 28 July 2016, Eddington Energy Supply Ltd was incorporated as a private limited company and became a subsidiary to its parent company, Together Energy Ltd.
- In December 2018, the energy regulator, appointed Together Energy to support OneSelect’s 36,000 domestic customers after the company ceased trading on 10 December 2018. Together Energy automatically took over customers' accounts on 14 December 2018.
- On March 2019 Managing Director Paul Scott Richards became a majority shareholder in Together Energy.
- On 6 May 2016 Together Energy Supply Ltd, previously trading as Azacca Energy Ltd and now a subsidiary of the Together Energy group, was incorporated as a limited company.
- On 14 June 2019 Eddington Energy Supply Ltd, a subsidiary of the Together Energy group, changed its name to Together Energy (Retail) Limited.
Together Energy was created in autumn 2016 and is based in Clydebank, a Scottish town located on the north bank of the River Clyde. Initially supplying domestic customers in Scotland, it now also supplies homes across England and Wales.
The supplier quickly built up its customer base across its group structure. Together Energy Ltd is the parent company, with two subsidiary companies: Together Energy Supply Ltd and Together Energy Retail Ltd.
The company shot to fame in December 2018 when Ofgem announced that it would take on 36,000 domestic customers of the failing energy supplier OneSelect, which ceased trading that month. Together Energy holds itself out as “unequivocally, Scotland’s fastest growing energy company”.
It boasts on its website that it currently supplies 60,000 customers across the UK. While we can’t confirm whether this is true based on the absence of their 2019 financial data, we can confirm their customer base at 55,092 as reported in their latest financial report, dated 31st August 2018. This represents an 80% increase of customers from the year before, no doubt owing to Ofgem’s decision to transfer customers from OneSelect!
Together Energy’s unique selling point is its set of competitive tariffs which are fixed from one to three years. The idea is that customers are rewarded for their fidelity by enjoying lower-than-average rates and protection from volatile price changes in the energy wholesale market, particularly in a post Brexit era. The ultimate benefit for customers in having long fixed terms is the price certainty they have. This, in turn, helps them plan and budget their long-term energy expenses.
Shares and finance
Together Energy Group’s managing director Paul Richards is the majority shareholder in its parent company, Together Energy Ltd. He holds 74.6% of the shares.
According to the company's latest financial statements for the year ended 31 August 2018, its key financials are as follows:
- Cash: £1.8 m
- Net worth: -£11 m
- Total current assets: £5.4 m
- Total current liabilities: £16.6m
GOOD TO KNOW:
- Net liabilities of the Group stood at £7,590,793 in August 2018.
- The Group made a loss of £6,862,871 in the year (2017: £919,519).
- During the period the Group generated £35,994,382 of revenue (2017: £1,683,964).
Together Energy in the news
When thousands of homeowners depend on a company to get their gas and electricity supplies, it's no wonder that the danger of the company's failure will hit the headlines. Let's look at how Together Energy's financial mire has been reported, as well as their relationship with their customers.
Clydebank firm Together Energy insists it is on track as losses rise (June 12, 2019)
The Clydebank Post reported on Together Energy’s poor financial results for the year ended 31 August 2018. It highlighted the supplier’s losses of around 7 million pounds. The newspaper hinted that the supplier’s very existence is threatened unless it manages to: obtain additional funding, meets its cash flow projections and continues to receive support from its wholesale trading partner.
Despite the losses, its boss Paul Richards, maintained that it was now “on the road to profitability”. Richards defends his optimistic come-back due to 80% of its customers having been registered on its three-year fixed term deals (that’s the Brexit Protect April22 tariff). He also cites the growing benefits expected from its £1.8 m investment in its internal billing system.
Energy customer refunded credit after switching providers (May 27, 2019)
The Express reported an embarrassing incident for Together Energy’s customer service department. Mr Hobbins joined as a Together Energy customer in Spring 2018 and accumulated a substantial credit due to his family’s high monthly spend of around £40 a month in energy. Despite switching supplier to Shell, Together Energy failed to provide him with a final bill.
With the help of The Express newspaper who mounted pressure on the supplier, Hobbins finally received what he wanted. Together Energy finally sent him an accurate final bill, together with a refund of £300.
The fuel mix is the ratio of different fuels or energy sources that Together Energy uses to generate electricity for its customers. The ratio is composed of renewables, fossil fuels (coal, gas, etc), nuclear energy and 'other'. This is an important figure as it allows us to assess the supplier's green to non-green ratio of fuel sources and compare it to its competitors and to the national average.
Together Energy hasn’t published its fuel mix. As such we can’t comment on the percentage of fossil fuels or renewable sources used to generate the energy it supplys to its customers.
Is this legal?
Together Energy’s failure to disclose this information is a legal violation of the Electricity (Fuel Mix Disclosure) Regulations 2005. This requirement, otherwise known as the Fuel Mix Disclosure (FMD) means that all UK suppliers must disclose this data to their customers by 1st October annually.
On 29th May 2018 Together Energy received an open letter from Ofgem, as did every other UK supplier, reminding them of the 2018 FMD deadline. Despite this, Together Energy failed to comply.
What happens now?
Together Energy has left itself open to legal action for its breach of Regulation SI 2005 No. 391. At the date of publication, we are unaware of the status of any such legal action against it. Selectra asked Together Energy for an update on this matter, but they declined to respond.
Can we hope for compliance by October 2019? It’s unlikely, but our energy experts at Selectra will certainly keep an eye on their website in case they do decide to publish this. But with no data to base our assessment of their fuel mix, we’ve been generous in giving them 1 / 5 stars for their fuel mix score.
Together Energy’s Fuel Mix Score: Selectra's verdict
Social champion in Scotland
Together Energy is heralded by many in Scotland as a social champion. Let’s look at what the supplier is doing to help local residents, including their own staff, move up the social mobility ladder.
Recruitment from underprivileged backgrounds
The Scottish-based supplier claims to recruit over 90% of its 110-member staff from the poorest 10% of postcodes in Scotland. More specifically, over 65% of its staff were recruited from charities focused on supporting 16 to 25-year-olds who were not in education, employment or training.
A real living wage
Together Energy is committed to paying its staff, regardless of age, the top bracket of the National Living Wage (NLW), currently at £8.21 an hour. Note that the NLW is different to the NMW (National Minimum Wage) which is based on age. Helping their employees to avoid low wages indirectly helps them avoid fuel poverty. So we commend the supplier for looking after their staff.
The energy supplier currently has members of its staff enrolled in a graduate levy apprenticeship, studying for a BA (Hons) in Business Administration from the University of Strathclyde.
Together Energy has partnered up with UK-wide charity Street League which uses sport to support 16 to 24 year-olds who are unemployed and progressing into education or employment. The energy supplier gives participants the opportunity to learn about new positions which are being recruited for at the company.
Interested candidates are guaranteed an interview. If successful, they would receive support and training to help them progress in their new role.
Activities and services
The bread and butter of Together Energy's activities and services is encapuslated in its tariffs. Since Economy 7 is central to its competitive prices, we'll look at this first, and then see how this enhances its core four price packages.
Economy 7 is an electricity rate that was introduced in 1978. On Economy 7, you pay less for the electricity you consume during the 7-hour off-peak time. This period is usually between 11 pm and 8 am. However, you would pay a lot more for your electricity if you were to consume it at any time outside of the seven-hour window.
If it’s so old, are people still on it?
Although the popularity of Economy 7 has plummeted significantly since it was first introduced, there are still millions of people using it. Its popularity is declining since many of its positive features are replicated and enhanced by smart meters, currently rolled out across the UK. The trend suggests that Economy 7 is being phased out.
How would customers of Together Energy get on Economy 7?
If you want to get on this rate, you’ll need a different type of energy meter installed in your home. It’s one that measures your electricity usage based on two separate prices: an on-peak price and an off-peak price.
What will I pay on Economy 7 with Together Energy?
Together Energy offers four different tariffs as laid out further below. Economy 7 rates are listed for each of the four tariffs. Based on the energy used in a household located in London, they are as follows:
|Tariff||E7 Standing Charge (p/day)||E7 Day Unit Rate (p/KWh)||E7 Night Unit Rate (p/KWh)|
|Together Fixed April20||24.45||14.26||9.96|
|Together 25 April2021||24.63||14.88||10.33|
|Brexit Protect April22||24.91||14.99||10.52|
Any other standard services?
The scarce information on Together Energy’s website on its activities and services is rather concerning. Mainly because we would expect them to offer the basic services required by Ofgem to help customers.
- Does Together Energy offer its customers smart meters, in line with Ofgem’s target to get one for every household by the end of 2020? We don’t know!
- Is Together Energy on the Warm Home Discount scheme, allowing participants to get money off their electricity bills during the colder months of Winter? We don’t know!
- Can customers choose to have a prepayment meter instead of a credit meter? Can they decide to switch from one to the other? We don’t know!
- Are there priority services for vulnerable customers who may be struggling to pay their bills? We don’t know!
There’s a lot we don’t know about Together Energy’s complementary services. This is surprising since these are very basic features that we would expect from every UK supplier, without exception.
Together Energy’s tariffs
Together Energy has four core tariffs to choose from. Three of them are fixed tariffs while the remaining one is variable. It’s not easy to decipher their prices or features just by looking at their tariff names, but in summary, they can be broken down as follows:
- Together Fixed April20 - Fixed rates for 12 months.
- Together 25 April2021 - Fixed rates for 25 months.
- Brexit Protect April22 - Fixed rates for 36 months.
- Freedom Variable - Variable tariff.
Same price for everyone around the UK?
No. Not everyone around the UK pays the same. Together Energy’s electricity, gas & dual fuel tariffs differ by region. That means that a customer in London could be paying one unit rate while another customer in Northern England pays another.
What does each tariff offer?
Below we’ve broken down the standing charges and unit rates for both gas and electricity across all four tariffs. Figures are based for the London region only.
|Price||Together Fixed April20||Together 25 April2021||Brexit Protect April22||Freedom Variable|
|Elec Standing Charge (p/day)||24.45||24.63||24.91||21.91|
|Elec Unit Rate (p/KWh)||13.98||14.55||14.73||15.71|
|Gas Standing Charge (p/day)||18.68||18.74||18.91||24.76|
|Gas Unit Rate (p/KWh)||3.37||3.39||3.43||3.52|
|E7 Standing Charge (p/day)||24.45||24.63||24.91||21.91|
|E7 Day Unit Rate (p/KWh)||14.26||14.88||14.99||14.67|
|E7 Night Unit Rate (p/KWh)||9.96||10.33||10.52||14.67|
|Fixed / Variable||Fixed||Fixed||Fixed||Variable|
|Fixed Period – Months||12||25||36||N/A|
|Exit Fee(s) per fuel||£30||£30||£30||N/A|
Which is the most popular tariff of the four?
While we don’t have the figures to confirm which of the four tariffs its customers prefer, a newspaper report from the Clydebank Post published on 13th June 2018 quotes the supplier’s head, Mr Richards, as “noting 80% of customers (having) signed up to three-year fixed term deals”. If this is true, that would suggest that 80% of its customers are on the Brexit Protect April22 tariff, which ties them into a 36-month term.
Together Energy’s prices compared to the market
How does Together Energy compare to other suppliers? We use Ofgem’s price cap as a benchmark to compare tariff prices. Together Energy’s prices are certainly lower than the price cap, in fact, they’re £174.95 cheaper!
To put this into context, a three bedroom flat in London paying the legal maximum allowed by Ofgem could save about £174.95 (based on average electricity and gas use) by switching to Together Energy. That’s not bad, but they’re by no means the cheapest supplier on the market. That’s why we gave this supplier a meager 2/5 stars for its energy prices.
Together Energy: Price Score
How can I contact Together Energy?
If you were a previous customer with the failed supplier OneSelect or you just have some questions about Together Energy’s services, they have a team on hand to help you out. The quickest contact channel would be either by phone or email.
Together Energy Customer Service
Please check with your provider if you don't know how much a call will cost.
0333 150 1699
*Monday to Friday: 9am-6pm
If you prefer to write to them, find their address and directions below.
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Together Energy reviews and verdict
New players in the energy market often come with rollercoaster-type reviews. There’s nothing exciting at first, then comes a rush of good and bad reviews. Together Energy is no exception. Let's take a look at how they've been reviewed by their customers and Selectra's verdict on Together Energy.
Together Energy reviews
Since its inception in 2016, it built up a small customer base and initially Together Energy had a lot of positive reviews.
Their customer numbers skyrocketed when it was handed all the 36,000 customers from OneSelect which folded in 2018, but unfortunately, their ratings did not. One year later, are their reviews getting any better? The answer is, no... they’re getting worse!
When Selectra first reviewed Together Energy back in 2018, its Trustpilot ratings were not that bad from the 931 reviews published. They were rated as 44% excellent and 34% bad. On the date of publication of this article, there were 4,836 reviews published, with a rating of 32% excellent and 47% bad. That’s a huge downfall for the supplier.
So where is Together Energy failing? What are its customers actually complaining about? More importantly, what is the supplier doing to offer better customer service moving forward? Find out in Together Energy’s reviews page (coming soon).
At Selectra we gave Together Energy a rating of 2/5. This score is based on: price, customer reviews, fuel mix and extra features, or lack thereof, (such as a quality smartphone app).
|Tariffs are competitive compared to most suppliers, particularly the Big Six, that charge up to Ofgem’s price cap.||Not a member of the government’s Warm Home Discount scheme.|
|Not rolling out smart meters.|
|They recruit staff members from underprivileged neighbourhoods in Scotland.||No smartphone app to make payments or submit meter readings.|
|No specific services offered to those with special needs nor assistance with paying energy bills.|
Together Energy’s Overall Score: Selectra's verdict
Overall, Together Energy gets a low 2/5 stars on our Selectra Score. This energy supplier is not one we can confidently recommend to potential customers looking to switch.