The most important priority for the national energy supply should be developing alternatives to fossil fuels, according to eight out of 10 US adults. 1 In Europe, nine out of 10 say similar – that their national governments and the European Union should set ambitious targets to encourage renewable energy use.2 And in the UK, the majority of people believe that increasing renewable energy is the best way to guarantee their energy security. 3
The people have been heard. These countries and others – a total of 64, accounting for 89% of global CO2 emissions – have made commitments to net-zero carbon.4 Meanwhile, over 350 major companies, from travel to technology and fashion to fast food, have set targets to go 100% renewable. 5
When trying to overcome the challenges posed by climate change, it’s clear that it takes all of us – from countries and corporations to people and business processes. It’s why we want to share some ways we believe utilities payments can play an essential part in the operations for renewable energy suppliers.
Reducing payment chargebacks could help renewable energy suppliers keep costs down
Today, renewables are already the cheapest source of power. 6 As consumers and suppliers alike rush to cope with the rising cost of traditional energy, renewables are poised to become the new baseload, accounting for half of power by the end of the decade and for 85% by 2050. 7
It’s great for the planet – and great for business, too. But to scale your service, you may also have to scale costs. Some costs, like infrastructure, suppliers and contractors, are unavoidable. But preventable costs like chargebacks could have the potential to undermine any cost-saving advantages offered by renewable energy. The value of these chargebacks, which require you to repay to a customer the cost of a fraudulent or disputed payment, are estimated to reach a total of $117.46 billion by next year – with merchants on the hook for nearly $79 billion of that. 8
To avoid the avoidable, renewable energy suppliers can use our Disputes Defender tool. A dual-layer approach proactively reduces the number of chargebacks that occur in your utilities payments process, leaving you less to pay out and better able to keep costs down.
Keeping account details updated helps increase reliability and builds customer trust
We’ve mentioned the increasing costs of traditional energy. Powering your home or business, you’ve probably experienced it for yourself. In the first quarter of 2022, short-term gas prices on the largest European exchange were five times higher than their 2021 average. 8 But ask customers if they’re likely to switch, and you might be surprised.
According to customers, the answer is no. In the UK, for example, only 94,428 customers moved to a new supplier in January of this year – a 73% decrease compared to the same period last year. 10 Seemingly made more risk-averse by the circumstances, energy customers are staying put, relying on their existing suppliers to see them through.
That means there can’t be anything that gets in the way of your customers consuming and paying for their power. One challenge with a card-on-file payment model, you risk higher rates of declines if you don’t have the most up-to-date card details. This could cost your customers a fine (or worse, their power supply) at a time when energy costs are already sky-high. And it may be enough to, in turn, cost you a customer.
One solution could be to trust your customers’ utilities payment details to Account Updater. It’s the card-on-file tool that uses our card network connections to securely deliver your customers’ latest, most accurate payment information. So you can keep acceptance rates high – and your customers’ minds at ease.
Protecting your people and profits from fraud helps promote confident growth
Between high public opinion and low cost, perhaps it’s no surprise that renewable energy suppliers have outperformed fossil fuel companies in recent years. 11 The success of companies like yours is attracting plenty of attention, too. Investors have seen to it that renewables accounted for an estimated 70% of the $530 billion spent on all new power generation capacity last year.12 But there’s also some unwelcome attention.
As much as $96 billion is lost from fraud in the global energy sector every year. 13 As the role of renewable energy grows, so may its share of those losses, making it essential to protect your business, its customers and their payments.
With a multilayered fraud solution like FraudSight in your payments process, you could do just that. FraudSight, winner of Best Technology Initiative at the Card and Payments Awards 2022, combines unparalleled data insights, industry leading technology and our payment fraud prevention expertise to accurately spot and stop fraudulent payments. So you can protect your revenue and continue to attract investment.
Payments could be one of your most valuable resources
When it comes to sustainability, every little thing helps. Just as renewable energy is one essential part of a wider strategy to reduce climate change, payments are one essential part of a wider strategy for successful suppliers. Both go a long way to meeting your goals.
At Worldpay from FIS, we understand we have a role to play, too. It’s why we’re setting out to help renewable energy suppliers optimize their payments processes to be more cost-effective, reliable and secure so you can attract and keep more revenue and customers. We already help more than one million merchants around the world process and protect 110 million transactions every day and in 126 currencies using more than 300 payment methods.
Now we want to help you.
To learn more about our approach to utilities payments or find out more about any of the solutions we’ve mentioned here, just get in touch.
1Pew Research Center Science & Society. 2022. Two-Thirds of Americans Think Government Should Do More on Climate | Pew Research Center. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2020/06/23/two-thirds-of-americans-think-government-should-do-more-on-climate/[Accessed 10 May 2022].
2European Commission. 2022. Eurobarometer. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://europa.eu/eurobarometer/surveys/detail/2273.[Accessed 10 May 2022].
3The Independent. 2022. ‘Clear public support for more renewables’, UK poll shows | The Independent. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/renewable-energy-wind-planning-ukraine-b2045708.html[Accessed 10 May 2022].
4TMcKinsey & Company. 2022. Global Energy Perspective 2022 | McKinsey. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/oil-and-gas/our-insights/global-energy-perspective-2022. [Accessed 10 May 2022].
5RE100. 2022. RE100 Members | RE100. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://www.there100.org/re100-members. [Accessed 10 May 2022].
6the Guardian. 2022. Most new wind and solar projects will be cheaper than coal, report finds | Renewable energy | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/23/most-new-wind-solar-projects-cheaper-than-coal-report?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco. [Accessed 10 May 2022].
7McKinsey & Company. 2022. Global Energy Perspective 2022 | McKinsey. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/oil-and-gas/our-insights/global-energy-perspective-2022 [Accessed 10 May 2022].
8Chargebacks911. 2022. Chargeback Costs: The Shocking Truth in 2022. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://chargebacks911.com/chargeback-costs/[Accessed 10 May 2022].
9McKinsey & Company. 2022. How European industry can respond to spiking energy prices | McKinsey. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/outsprinting-the-energy-crisis[Accessed 10 May 2022].
10Paloma Esteve Campos. 2022. Slow start to switching in 2022 | Energy UK. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://www.energy-uk.org.uk/media-and-campaigns/press-releases/526-2022/8087-slow-start-to-switching-in-2022.html[Accessed 10 May 2022].
11IEA. 2022. Executive summary – World Energy Investment 2021 – Analysis - IEA. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-investment-2021/executive-summary[Accessed 10 May 2022].
13Smart Energy International. 2020. Energy Theft and Fraud Reduction. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/energy-grid-management/energy-theft-and-fraud-reduction/. [Accessed 10 May 2022].