UK’s best energy supplier tariff deals
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The best energy companies
Every year, Which? recommends the top provider or providers. For 2020, three providers have been recommended, which is the most they’ve ever highlighted in this way in a single year. They are:
1. Octopus Energy
2. Pure Planet
3. So Energy
All three recommended energy providers are considered challenger brands, being newer and smaller than the likes of the Big Six. The top-rated providers typically put their customers first and are unafraid of doing things differently, adapting to what their customers want. An example of this is that all three recommended suppliers sell 100% renewable energy.
#1 rated energy supplier
Second place supplier
Coming in second place was Ebico, receiving 79% for the customer score, 60% for the procedures and practices score.
Ebico, a not-for-profit on a mission to help those affected by fuel poverty, was awarded five stars for bill accuracy but had no rating for complaints handling. Founded more than 20 years ago, it’s one of the oldest smaller energy firms and has risen from fourth place in 2019 to second in 2020.
All tariffs include 100% renewable electricity, and the Ebico Zero tariff is one of the few with no standing charge, meaning customers are only charged for the energy they use.
Customer feedback included: “Better value than my previous supplier by a long way.”
Joint third place supplier
Joint fifth place
Following the top four energy companies, including a tied third place, the scoreboard jumps to another tied fifth place with Powershop and People’s Energy.
Selling renewable tariffs, and promising to put people and the planet first, is People’s Energy.
The energy company received five stars for bill accuracy, but no rating for either customer service or complaints handling, and only three stars for digital tools. Nevertheless, it came in at joint-fifth out of 35 energy companies with 77% customer score, but no score for procedures and practices.
Having launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2017, People’s Energy gives its customers 75% of the company’s profits through bill reductions and account credit. It equalled as one of the best-rated firms for value for money.
“As a shareholder I benefit in a way I cannot with other suppliers,” said one customer.
An independent brand that has backing from Npower, Powershop promises to offer a different way of buying energy through its energy powerpacks, which are discounted bundles of gas or electricity that customers can buy in advance.
“The powerpacks that Powershop has on offer are fantastic,” one customer said.
Also in the top 10 energy providers
The worst energy companies
Out of sight at the top of the leaderboard were the energy industry’s most well-known brands, often referred to as the Big Six. None made it into the top 20 and all achieved customer scores between 51-61%.
Low-ranking Big Six
One of the UK’s largest energy suppliers, and the largest generator from renewable sources, SSE was given four stars for customer service and complaints handling. All other categories got three stars.
“When I have had to contact them they were very efficient,” said an SSE customer, “and the information provided was clear and easy to understand.”
E.ON, now one of the largest UK energy suppliers after welcoming 50,000 new customers last year, scored four stars for bill accuracy and complaints handling, but three stars elsewhere.
“Still expensive but not as expensive as others,” shared one E.ON customer.
Slightly lower down the table
Sharing the 27th spot, EDF Energy and British Gas both received a customer score of 60% and majority three-star ratings, but a disappointing two stars for value for money.
Npower, which supplies more than 4.5 million domestic and business customers, took 30th position out of 35 energy companies.
Rated a mixture of two and three-stars for different criteria, this isn’t the first year Npower has done poorly and they can regularly be found at the bottom end of the table.
One customer criticised their service: “Recently I had an issue with a faulty smart meter and it took three engineers and five emails over seven weeks to get it corrected.”
Last year, Scottish Power matched Npower’s low score, but 2020’s ratings pulled Scottish Power even lower down the charts, bringing them in at joint 33rd position.
With a customer score of 51% and just one three-star rating, along with five two-star ratings, Scottish Power were the lowest-ranked of the Big Six.
“They don’t listen,” one disappointed customer said, “don’t do as they promise, don’t give the compensation they promise, and do not communicate within their own organisation.”
Switching to a cheap energy supplier
Whilst some people may worry that switching energy supplier could leave them suffering with poorer customer service, these survey results tell a different story.
None of the Big Six were rated five stars for any criteria. In contrast, lots of smaller, newer firms excelled in bill accuracy and customer service whilst scoring highly amongst the other categories too.
Finance was also an important factor for customers, and none of the Big Six were rated higher than three stars for value for money.
Coming in last
One customer said: “They ignore emails and when one speaks to them on the phone they don’t do what they say they will.”
At both the top and bottom of the table sit relatively new energy companies, but Together Energy had a customer scoring that was 35% less than Octopus Energy in first place. The results suggest that Together Energy has some changes to make if it wants to start impressing its customers.
It takes just a few minutes to find a better energy company. Compare and switch to a cheaper gas and electric deal with a reliable energy supplier using Utility Saving Expert’s free online comparison tool.
Energy companies rated
You can see the tables of the best and worst performers below. How does your current energy supplier measure up?
The top 10 energy suppliers
The worst performing energy suppliers
|Green Star Energy