8 November 2002 – Utilyx, the UK’s largest on-line energy broker, launched Thursday a new range of services aimed at cutting the cost of electricity and gas procurement for industrial and commercial energy buyers.
The new services have been developed in conjunction with customers and include strategic advice and consultancy in addition to the B2B online energy auction procurement package, which underpinned the launch of Utilyx in 1999.
Utilyx will offer customers a weekly market intelligence report and offer procurement departments more in depth consultancy and market strategy reports to help with energy contracting and timing of purchases. The service includes collecting and managing energy consumption data using specialist software which up until recently was only available to suppliers.
“Our energy experts help customers understand what they are buying, together with how and when they are buying it,” said Chris Bowden, Utilyx CEO. “We explain how customers are exposed to risk with energy purchasing and how they can best cover that risk”.
Utilyx has also updated its electronic platform for half-hourly and non half-hourly electricity and gas tendering. The system is a reverse auction model where competitive bidding drives down the prices and reduces the time consuming and complex task, traditionally taking 12 days, to a few days work. ” The speed of the process enables suppliers to reduce margins they would normally allow for price fluctuation,” said Bowden.
Utilyx has had some success on behalf of customers by grouping together companies and conducting joint auctions. Recently Halifax Bank of Scotland saved over three per cent when buying gas as part of a larger group.
Utilyx is remunerated through a commission paid by successful suppliers and is seeing a growth in transactions through its system including major energy buyers such as Marks and Spencer, The John Lewis Partnership, Air Products, Kimberley Clark,, Barclays and Boots. To date Utilyx has placed over 15 TWh of energy with a market value of £320m.
This latest step by the privately owned Utilyx has required a small amount of additional capital raising from among the venture capitalists and high net worth individuals who originally backed the start-up.