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Energy > Our Reviews

Economy Energy Review

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
May 18, 2017

Economy Energy - Thermostat

Economy Energy sounds like a sub heading on a particularly dry Government white paper.

It certainly wins the award for the dullest name amongst the smaller gas and electricity suppliers competing to challenge the Big Six.

But whilst its name is far from creative, it is pretty accurate.

IS ECONOMY ENERGY THE BEST ECONOMIC CHOICE FOR YOU?

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Economy Energy really is...economy energy.

The Coventry-based provider frequently ranks around the top on lists of the market’s cheapest tariffs.

At the time of writing, it offers three low-cost tariffs for prepayment and non-prepayment energy customers: Evergreen Capped; Direct Saver and Smart Pay, with the option to prepay or pay by direct debit. 

You can see how Economy Energy stacks up by comparing energy suppliers now.

But what about its customer service? And how renewable is it? 

Read our Economy Energy review and see if they are the right supplier for you.

 

Is Economy Energy’s customer service any good?

Nowadays, when choosing an energy company, the level of service you’re going to get is almost as important as price.

The best place to start is the official statistics published by industry regulator Ofgem.

Between October and December 2016, Economy Energy received 51 complaints and poor reviews per 10,000 accounts, resolving 45% of them the next working day and 91% within eight weeks.

The most common complaints to Economy Energy were: sales (26% of complaints); customer service (14%); payments (13%) and metering (9%).

When compared to its closest rivals, Economy Energy’s service stacks up OK. 

In the same period, Ecotricity (29.6), Good Energy (41.5) and Flow Energy (48.6) all received fewer complaints per 10,000 accounts.

It did, however, perform better than Spark Energy and Green Star Energy, who received 85.7 and 119 complaints per 10,000 customers respectively.  

It’s worth noting that when reviewing Economy Energy’s results, they were a massive improvement on the beginning of 2016.

Between January and March it received almost double the number of complaints (1,232) than between March and June.

So it’s going in the right direction. The company says this is because it has invested heavily in front line staff.

Call times are, apparently, down to just 60 seconds.

But (we admit this isn’t a perfect scientific test) when we called at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon, it took well over five minutes to get through to a human being.

You can give it a go yourself on 0333 103 9053.

If you've had trouble with Economy Energy, make a complaint on A Spokesman Said or leave Economy Energy a customer review.

We're in your corner. 

 

Ofgem investigation into Economy Energy’s sales techniques

One pretty serious stain against Economy Energy’s name is Ofgem's investigation into its sales practices in September, including door-to-door selling

Citizen’s Advice reported a rise in the number of people who said they were unhappy with how they were sold Economy Energy deals.

Yet again, in October, an Economy Energy sales rep was accused of convincing people to let him into their homes and tricking them into signing up.

In fact, Economy Energy has quite a history.

In November 2015 it was ordered to pay a £250,000 fine for management failings and mis-selling.

Ofgem found the supplier’s salesman had falsely guaranteed cheaper prices than the Big Six and had not made it clear to customers they were signing up to a 12-month contract.  

 

Is Economy Energy cheap?

Economy Energy does what it says on the tin.

Its tariffs are consistently among the best-priced on the market and the Direct Saver 2017 even featured in our weekly top five cheapest tariffs email.

With an average annual cost of £822, there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to save a couple of hundred quid switching to the Direct Saver plan. You should review your energy plan and see how they compare to Economy energy.

FIND OUT WHAT ECONOMY ENERGY CAN OFFER YOU

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How green is Economy Energy?

Price, not the environment, is evidently what’s important to Economy Energy.

Here’s where it gets its electricity from:

* Coal – 38.7%
* Natural Gas – 36.2%
* Nuclear – 14.2%
* Renewables – 4.6%
* Other – 6.3%

The mix is the same for energy it purchases from suppliers on the wholesale market.

Needless to say, 4.6% is a pretty pathetic percentage; if you’re after an eco-friendly supplier, it’s probably best to steer clear of Economy Energy. Read our Bulb review for a more Eco-friendly supplier. 

To put that figure in perspective, OVO Energy sources 51.3% of its electricity from renewables and First Utility 28.3%.

The UK average is 24.3% for renewables and 17% for coal, so you can see Economy Energy is about as eco-friendly as a deforestation company!

In fairly small text on its website, Economy Energy sheepishly says 5% of its energy is generated from renewables and that it’s “working hard to increase the use of renewables where we can.” Green energy is becoming more important to some customers so it's an important point in our Economy Energy review.

But, it adds, “ultimately, we want to keep your energy bills down.”

To be fair, its priorities are made pretty clear.

 

A Spokesman Said’s verdict

Pros:

* Customer service going in the right direction
* Competitively priced tariffs

Cons:

* History of dubious sales practices
* Far from the greenest supplier on the market

See if you could save money switching to Economy Energy.

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