Sheffield energy start-up set for 80,000 homes
A Sheffield energy start-up is signing 200 customers-a-day by challenging the '˜Big Six' on price, customer service, sustainability and tech, the boss says.
Nabuh already has 7,000 customers after going live in July, according to chief executive Klaus Bach.
By the end of 2018 it hopes to have 80,000 and employ 25 - up from 10 today - in a head office in The Balance on Pinfold Street and 50 in a shared call centre in the city. It also employs door-to-door salespeople not based in Sheffield.
Nabuh was founded with a £2m investment by Danish family firm Juhl Bach Holding. It plans to invest a further £2.4m this year Mr Bach added.
He said: “We are definitely giving the Big Six a run for their money. I just don’t think people realise there is an alternative.
“People need to understand that going with a small energy provider is not that big a risk - and they usually save you money.”
Industry watchdog Ofgem would not allow any householder to be disconnected in the event of a company failure, he added.
Nabuh specialises in people who ‘pre-pay’ for energy on a card they top up. It guarantees to save them money or it won’t sign them, Mr Bach said.
It also contacts customers when any discounted rate is due to expire to stop them paying extra, continuing until it receives a response.
Nabuh was cheaper than the Big Six due to having fewer overheads. It could also offer better customer service, promising to answer the phone in less than 30 seconds, he added.
Nottingham, Birmingham and London were home to many of the new generation of energy firms, Mr Bach said. And after being unable to hire experienced people in Sheffield, Nabuh had committed to training its own staff.
Juhl Bach Holding ApS is one of the biggest family-owned private companies in Denmark. It specialises in ‘corporate venture activities’ and has a portfolio of more than 10 companies, from start-ups to mature companies, mainly in the IT and energy industries.
It has offices in 10 countries.