So Energy Review
So Energy’s name doesn’t fill you with confidence.
It’s not far from an uninspiring So So Energy or, more worryingly, SOS Energy.
But anyway, what’s in a name?
What really matters in our So Energy review is price, customer service, tariffs and green credentials – the nuts and bolts of choosing an energy supplier.
Based in leafy Chiswick, London, So Energy started taking on households in November 2015; it offers dual fuel, electricity and gas tariffs, but does not support the Warm Home Discount.
It says it’s “based on simplicity, ease and great value” and that it wants to shape the industry around these ideals.
You might think ‘So what?’, that's what all the suppliers taking on the Big Six say.
As with many of the nimble challengers, So Energy's unique selling point is price.
Compare energy suppliers on A Spokesman Said and you'll see what I mean.
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Is So Energy cheap?
So Energy backs itself when it comes to price.
Its website claims the average customers will save £250 a year by switching.
Under its Low Price Policy, it aims to ensure its fixed-rate tariff will always be one of the cheapest deals around.
In fact, So Energy aims to be in the cheapest 10% of all tariffs available when comparing average energy usage.
But these are just vague goals, not concrete promises.
There’s a good chance So Energy's claim holds water.
Back in January, a study found its cheapest average tariff came in at just north of £800 – the third cheapest on the market and beaten only by Extra Energy and GB Energy.
One of those suppliers, GB, has since gone out of business and it’s worth sounding a note of caution: as the cost of wholesale energy rockets, small suppliers offering cut-price deals will have to raise prices to survive.
So Energy might be cheap now, but can it maintain that pricing structure and remain profitable?
At the moment, though, it stacks up fairly well; we got a quote for £858 for a four-bedroom house in north London - bargain!
Is So Energy’s customer service any good?
Because it’s so new, there’s very little information about So Energy’s customer service.
It has yet to publish its complaints data with Ofgem, so it’s difficult to know for sure how effective its service is.
When we called So Energy, the call didn’t go through correctly, and the company is only available between the limited hours of 9-5 Monday to Friday, which might put off some households.
So Energy can be contacted on [email protected] and 0330 111 5050 and aims to respond to messages in one working day.
So Energy tariffs
Currently, the company’s one fixed tariff is called So Hippo.
To keep things simple, So Energy will only ever have one tariff available and this will change from time to time.
Here are the key details of So Hippo:
* Fixed energy prices for 12 months
* Monthly Direct Debit
* Online only
* £5 exit fee for gas and £5 for electricity
A heads up: So Energy takes the first Direct Debit payment from your bank account on or around the day you join them.
This might spook some customers not expecting to be charged straight away, but it's nothing to worry about.
Is So Energy green?
Let’s take a look at where So Energy gets its electricity from – the UK average is in brackets:
* Coal: 18.9 (17.0%)
* Natural gas: 32.7% (32.3%)
* Nuclear: 12.9% (23.7%)
* Renewables: 28.3% (24.3%)
* Other fuels: 7.2% (2.5%)
So Energy is, well, pretty so so when it comes to renewables. It’s neither a planet-killing, fossil fuel behemoth or a sustainability pioneer.
It might use more coal than the national average, but it also uses more renewables. There are certainly greener suppliers out there (read our Ecotricity review for size), but tree huggers shouldn’t be put off by So Energy.
The company’s website has all the run of the mill advice to help you cut down consumption and save money – boiling less water in the kettle, washing clothes at a lower temperature and programming your central heating, for example – but is pretty sparse on green energy goals.
It doesn't, for example, currently support feed-in-tariff payments for solar panels.
So Energy do NOT support Feed in Tariff payment
So Energy account
So Energy’s website is pretty slick.
It’s well designed and easy to use and includes a handy guide to help customers get used to their account.
The account allows customers to manage usage and payment, submit meter readings, understand bills and tariffs and view statements.
We were impressed.
A Spokesman Said’s verdict
* Competitively priced tariffs
* Clear and well planned website
* Unclear how good customer service is
* Limited variety of plans for customers
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