As is tradition as one year comes to an end and another begins, I took some time to reflect on the events, successes and lessons of 2017.
On a personal and professional level it has been a great year and as an organisation Energy Angels have achieved a great deal. As I looked through the performance data at the end of last year a number of things stood out.
The thing that I thought was the most interesting though was the information contained in our ‘query log’. A ‘query’ is the term that we give to the problems and issues our housing provider clients and their tenants contact us with. These are the cases, problems and issues that, were they not using our free services, their staff and tenants would have to deal with themselves.
The existence of these void energy management problems and issues was what, way back in 2006, our founder Lewis Taylor, recognised as putting a huge drain on resources, consuming masses of staff time and incurring avoidable costs. Since then Energy Angels has worked tirelessly to support the smooth running of the voids process, reduce energy costs and help housing providers minimise void turnaround times.
So, what was interesting about the ‘query log’ I hear you asking? Well, for those of you who don’t have to deal with all daily problems voids and letting teams encounter, or know the extent of the services we offer, it shows just how many different things can effect a void property, cause delays or concern new tenants. The chart below shows the ‘Top 20 query types for 2017’
What is most striking about these figures though is the 49%. That is the 49% of ALL queries our Operations team deal with on behalf of clients and tenants which involved clearing down debts on prepayment meters. Prepayment debt clearance is achieved by obtaining an ‘RTI’ code (Remote Token Issue) which removes the reported meter debt either resetting credit to £0.00, or in the case where we have switched a property in advance also applying credit to the meter. A staggering 34% of all queries related to requesting an RTI code for Electricity meters, a further 13% for dual (Electricity & Gas) codes and another 2% just for Gas meter codes.
When a property is without power it can prevent our clients from completing essential works and tests necessary to making a void property available for re-let. These delays can extend void turnaround times and thus reduce rental income. Spending time establishing which energy companies supply a particular address, contacting that/those suppliers and resolving debt issues takes further time. As a key part of our service to clients Energy Angels uniquely offer a 4 hour service level agreement to resolve these debt clearance issues. We are so confident in our ability to deliver this, that should our average response time to our clients exceed 4 hours for any calendar month, we will pay that client a fine. Our average response time for 2017 was actually just over 2 hours and 20 minutes, which means we saved our clients a minimum of 5500 worked hours just clearing debts from prepayment meters. In fact, through 2017 we estimate we completed over 14,000 hours of work on behalf of clients and tenants for FREE dealing with debt and metering issues. At the same time we also helping thousands of households reduce their energy bills.
Do you think this reflects your experience of managing energy in void properties? Are you staff spending, hundreds, or even thousands of hours each year speaking to, or worse, on hold with energy suppliers? Do you wish someone would take that headache away? There are many further benefits to using Energy Angels void energy management and tenant switching services, all of which are available free of charge to housing providers and tenants.
If you would like to find out more simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01902 585 500 to register your interest and a member of the team will be in touch.
Why not make 2018 an easier, simpler and cost effective one for you and your team?