Small energy firms top the energy satisfaction table: But where did your supplier rank? 

Octopus Energy has taken the top spot in Which?’s satisfaction survey yet again as small and medium sized energy suppliers dominate the rankings.

The provider, which now supplies over a million homes, topped the table for the second year in a row – achieving the top customer score of 83 per cent with five-star ratings for billing accuracy, customer service and complaints handling.

However, the Big Six suppliers are all left stuck in the lower third of the league with disappointing scores.

Scottish Power languishes in the bottom three after receiving a low customer score of 51 per cent.

Small & medium sized energy suppliers dominated the energy satisfaction rankings by Which?

Which? surveyed 8,385 UK adults between 2 and 30 October 2019 across the UK about their energy supplier and asked them to rate companies on a number of criteria including value for money, customer service, bill accuracy and digital tools.

It found that only a small margin separated the five energy companies in second to sixth place.

Ebico, Bulb Energy, Pure Planet, People’s Energy and Powershop all performed exceptionally well when it came to billing accuracy and well on all other fronts. 

Among these top companies were three newcomers – People’s Energy, Powershop and Pure Planet.

So Energy, which came joint seventh in the listening has also become a Which? Recommended Provider – a title only awarded to domestic energy suppliers who pass all of the sites assessments on customer service and their analysis of supplier procedures, practices and prices. 

List of the top energy suppliers when rated by customer satisfaction in a survey by Which?

List of the top energy suppliers when rated by customer satisfaction in a survey by Which?

Despite only entering the market within the last three years, they were all rated very highly for billing accuracy as well as highly on bill clarity and value for money, equaling more established rivals.

Scottish Power 

One reason for Scottish Power potentially ranking so far down the table is the way it handled taking on the now defunct Extra Energy’s customers. 

After Extra Energy went bust in November 2018, Scottish Power was chosen by Ofgem to take on the remaining customers. 

However, more than a year on and customers are still waiting for credits to be refunded with some waiting for thousands of pounds to be refunded.  

This is Money has challenged the firm to explain its decisions but it said it had been unable to complete many of the customer requests due to the ‘quality of data’ it had received from Extra. 

In comparison, customers with the Big Six were found to more likely on average have encountered problems with their provider.

A third of British Gas customers, three in 10 Scottish Power customers and around a quarter of EDF Energy, Eon, Npower and SSE customers told us they had experienced a problem within the last year. 

Meanwhile, just 11 per cent of Octopus Energy customers said they had a problem with their provider. 

Of the Big Six, SSE and Eon were the highest-scoring and came in joint 24th place with smaller firm E.

Whilst this does not put them right at the bottom of the table, it will still no doubt be a cause concern for customers of the firms. 

SSE’s household energy business was recently purchased by Ovo, which means customers could see changes in their service in the future.

Eon is also set to take over Innogy, Npower’s parent company, in the next 12 months.  

Final: The bottom end of Which?'s survey shows that Together Energy got the lowest rating

Final: The bottom end of Which?’s survey shows that Together Energy got the lowest rating

One of the bigger suppliers that saw a dramatic change was First Utility, which  rebranded as Shell Energy last year.

It has dropped from a mid-table position last year into the bottom seven. While customers praised it for billing accuracy, its customer service was rated poorly. 

Robin Hood Energy suffered the biggest fall in the rankings after it plummeted from second place last year to 20th, tied with Boost Energy and Utilita.

While Robin Hood customers were generally positive about value for money and billing, a smaller proportion of people said they would recommend the firm as compared to last year.

Octopus has taken the top spot as small & medium sized energy suppliers top the rankings

Octopus has taken the top spot as small & medium sized energy suppliers top the rankings

Although a number of small companies dominated the top of the rankings, not all of the small and medium sized suppliers performed well.

Newcomer to the survey Ampower, for example, performed badly with a disappointing customer score of 53 per cent. Customers rated its billing, customer service and digital tools as poor.

Together Energy finished bottom of the table, despite having secured a mid-table position last year. 

It scored poor two-star ratings from customers for billing accuracy, clarity, customer service and value for money. 

Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and Services at Which?, said: ‘Consumers have dozens of energy suppliers to choose from – and it is clear that some newer challenger providers are better than their larger counterparts at keeping customers happy and delivering a better service.

‘Customers shell out hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds a year on their gas and electricity bills so it is right that they expect good service from their energy supplier.

‘If you are one of the many customers out there who feels their supplier is falling short, consider moving to one that can offer a better service as well as cheaper prices – you could save hundreds of pounds a year.’

Customers who are stuck with an energy supplier they are not happy with are advised to use price comparison sites to see if they could save money by changing suppliers or moving tariffs. 

You can check to see if you could save by using This is Money’s comparison tool.  

 

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