Energy companies besides the Big Six, such as Flow Energy, Octopus Energy, PFP Energy, Utilita and Utility Warehouse, reign at the top of Which?’s annual energy satisfaction survey of nearly 9,000 people.
In the UK’s biggest satisfaction survey of energy companies, the Big Six suppliers linger towards the bottom of the satisfaction survey table – all among the 10 lowest-scoring suppliers.
Some small suppliers have also dropped down the satisfaction rankings – apparently failing to keep their customers happy as they grew – with Extra Energy and Spark Energy joining Npower at the bottom of the table this year.
The consumer champion found only a third of customers with the Big Six (32%) are very satisfied on average, as opposed to half (52%) for medium-sized suppliers and nearly half (45%) for smaller suppliers.
Those Which? surveyed who are with medium-sized energy firms are also most likely to recommend their supplier, and most likely to rank it excellent on every measure, in comparison to those with the Big Six and smaller suppliers. Customers are most likely to rank medium suppliers’ value for money, the clarity and accuracy of bills and phone customer service as excellent compared to the Big Six and smaller suppliers.
This year’s only Which? Recommended Provider for energy is small supplier, Octopus Energy.
When switching, consumers need to consider the service and price offered by a supplier – not just its price – as they might not get what they bargained for.
Which? found customers with the Big Six on a standard variable tariff could save up to £333 a year by moving to the cheapest dual fuel deal on the market.
Consumers looking for good customer service and cheaper energy deals can compare customer scores and deals with Which? Switch, a transparent and impartial way to compare energy tariffs and find the best gas and electricity supplier.
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said:
“Energy customers shouldn’t tolerate shoddy service, sky high prices, or failure to resolve complaints. Once again our survey shows many of the biggest energy companies languishing at the bottom of the table , with some small suppliers showing signs of growing pains .
“Energy companies should be working to give their customers a fair deal, which includes competitive prices and good customer service . If you’re not getting a fair deal you should switch away today to potentially save hundreds of pounds and get better service.”
Notes to Editors:
- Full table of results:
- For the full results, including how customers rank their energy supplier’s customer service, value for money, bills, complaints handling and more, go to: www.which.co.uk/energy-table
- Research: In September 2017, Which? surveyed 8,761 members of the UK general public who are responsible for paying their energy bills and asked them what they think of their energy supplier.
- Research: For the purposes of the research, Which? classed First Utility, Ovo Energy, Utilita and Utility Warehouse as ‘medium’ energy suppliers. This is because they are the next-largest after the Big Six.
- Which? rated 31 suppliers in Great Britain, of which more than 90% of people are customers, and every supplier in Northern Ireland.
- Research: £333 saving figure is the difference between the priciest Big Six standard variable tariff (Npower) and the cheapest tariff on the market which is available across England, Scotland and Wales. Data is from Energylinx and based on a medium user (using Ofgem average of 3,100kWh electricity and 12,000kWh gas per year), paying by monthly direct debit with paperless bills. Prices are averaged across all regions. Data correct on 3 Jan 2018.
- The full breakdown of each energy supplier’s performance, including results of our customer satisfaction survey, procedures and practices assessment, customer waiting investigation for online and phone service and complaints performance can be found at: www.which.co.uk/energy-table
- Which?’s Northern Ireland energy guide can be found at: http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/energy-companies/article/northern-ireland-electricity-and-gas
- There are no Which? Recommended Providers for Northern Ireland, because comparable complaints data is not available.
- Find out what it takes to become a Which? Recommended Provider at: http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/energy-companies/article/best-and-worst-energy-companies/energy-companies-which-recommended-providers
- Consumers looking for cheaper energy deals can compare deals with Which? Switch, a transparent and impartial way to compare energy tariffs and find the best gas and electricity supplier: www.which.co.uk/switch
- Top tips for saving money on your energy bills: http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/cutting-your-energy-bills/article/guides