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jeudi 27 novembre 2014

Selectra et Jechange.fr are becoming suppliers’ brokers

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From les Échos 26/11/14

These websites direct consumers towards the low-cost offers, as comparators and brokers.

On the energy market, between consumers and alternative suppliers attempting to get some market shares, some Tom Thumbs enter the sector of offer comparating and broking. “Finally, the market starts to take off in energy, but awareness is quite slow, as there are major actors and as the government makes people believe that it protects them against price rises”, explains Gaël Duval, CEO of Jechange.fr. Located in Agen (Lot-et-Garonne, 47), the SME bets on an € 8 million turnover – as its activities include assurances, telecoms and banking services. The company is Selectra’s fellow competitor, but this one is a “pure player” in energy, which claims 100,000 agreements concluded in gas and power this year.
Both SME compare gas and power suppliers’ offers, which commission them each time an Internet user subscribes to an offer. For the supplier, the added value of these intermediaries lies in the acquisition of a new customer, but also in its customer administrative management, according to one of them.


Playing an international role

As Direct Energie, Planète Oui or ENI have concluded some agreements with Jechange.fr and pay a commission to eat (from € 30 to 70, according to the site) for every new customer, Selectra has also drawn agreements with Proxelia, Antargaz or Gazprom and presents a more exhaustive activity in the field of offer comparing. Other suppliers are reluctant to join them. “ We would get many customers in the short term, but we fear that this kind of players claim a major part of our value chain in the long term, following the example of Booking.com in the hotel sector”, said Julien Tchernia, Lampiris development director, which has chosen the independent comparators of UFC-Que Choisir and of Energie-info at the moment. Bercy services (Finance Ministry’s watchdog) watch carefully the practices of these new actors, through the DGCCRF (Directorate for fair trade and consumer affairs and fraud control T’s note )
Selectra intends to take profit of the end of regulated tariffs to develop in the field of “ co-ownerships, little industries or clinics”, said Xavier Pinon, its manager, who will launch also in group purchases in early 2015. Jechange.fr intends to offer a mobile application enabling someone to send its power or gas invoice to the site, which shall be analysed by a call center agent before calling back the customer. Then both actors express also their will to extend their activities internationally. 
Véronique Le Billon, Les Echos