Flow Energy Review
Flow Energy is still a relatively fresh face on the UK energy market.
It's only been supplying energy to households since 2013 and has just over 150,000 customers.
This may be nothing compared to the millions of customers the Big Six can boast, but Flow plans to change the game using ground-breaking technology. A relatively unique feature that we don't often see in our reviews.
‘Innovation’, ‘inspiration’ and ‘alternatives’ are the buzzwords at Flow, which brands itself as a product company as well as an energy supplier.
Named Which? supplier of the year in 2016, Flow Energy represents a real challenge to the Big Six.
It offers cheap Flow Energy gas and electricity tariffs, decent customer service and clever energy management tools.
So have a read of our review and decide whether you want to go with the Flow.
To see if you could save money, compare energy suppliers now.
Is Flow Energy's customer service any good?
The risk with smaller suppliers is that they don’t have the infrastructure to handle complaints.
But is this the case with Flow? Is customer service any good? Does Flow Energy review well?
Flow promise that customers can expect a “service team who understand what you need” and who deliver “quick response times” and a “speedy resolution”.
And, at the moment, they’re delivering.
In its latest survey, in January 2017, consumer group Which? gave Flow a customer satisfaction score of 73%, placing it 4th in a rankings table of 23 providers. It scored four out of five stars for value for money and billing accuracy.
Flow claims an impressive 96% of its customers would recommend them.
Between January and March 2017, Flow received just 430 complaints per 100,000 customers. Compare that to rivals First Utility (2,052), Utilita (5,685) and Extra Energy (3,708) and you can see Flow is doing OK!
In a recent study on call-waiting times, Flow was the third fastest supplier to pick up the phone. Customers only had to wait on hold for 55 seconds before getting through to someone.
Customers who own a Flow boiler can also benefit from 24/7 support, 363 days a year.
Contacting Flow by phone or email is straightforward – you can call Flow on 0800 092 0202.
But if you want to make a complaint about Flow Energy, post on A Spokesman Said.
We’ll fight your corner for a fair response
Is Flow Energy cheap?
To get a price from Flow, you need to answer a ton of questions about the type of house you live in and the energy you use.
But by enlarge, you’ll find Flow one of the cheaper suppliers on the market and a decent bet if you're looking to save money on your energy bills.
The company offers a range of tariffs, including a fixed deal until July 2018.
For two people living in a four-bedroom terraced house in north London, we got a quote for £990 a year.
Making a payment to Flow Energy
Flow reviews Direct Debits every six months – but you can, of course, ring them up and ask them to do it sooner if you think you’re being overcharged.
Remember: your account should be in credit in early winter. If it’s not, get onto Flow and ask them to look into it.
You can see monthly statements online using Flow’s portal, where you can also submit meter readings and make payments.
The website is accessible and easy to navigate so viewing your bills should be straightforward.
But if that’s not for you, you can get paper statements sent through your letterbox every six months.
Flow Energy technology
Central to Flow’s focus on innovation are its micro-combined heat and power boilers.
These boilers work on natural gas and, according to Flow, produce electricity at the same time as heating your home.
The electricity generated reduces your carbon footprint and, because you can use it to power your home, shaves money off your bill – win-win!
For example, if your bill is £120 but you generate £80 in electricity credit, your bill is reduced to £40.
It’s worth noting that the boiler only generates electricity when the heating is on.
And, because it uses gas, it’s low carbon and not green. But it’s still a fairly eco-friendly option if that’s something you care about.
Flow also offers a host of smart products aimed at helping you manage your energy consumption.
* A thermostat that lets you control your heating from an app on your phone. It’s a neat tool. Using motion detectors, it can turn off the heating when it thinks no one is in the house.
* A plug that lets you measure the output of your devices and switch them off from your phone. So, if you’ve left your hair straighteners on, no problem – just switch them off remotely.
The products may be pricey – both the thermostat and the plug cost £360 – but Flow do offer attractive monthly payment options.
On 13/09/16 we reported on Flow's new Eco RF boiler, which allows you to control your energy from your phone. Bundled in with Flow home energy it could also save you money.
How renewable is Flow Energy's gas and electricity?
Many of Flow’s products will help households cut down their emissions.
The Flow boiler, for example, can reduce your household carbon emissions by a whopping 20% - the same as driving an average UK car 4000 miles less a year.
While there are greener suppliers on the market, Flow has taken great strides to make its power more renewable.
Here's where it gets its fuel from:
* Coal - 18.9&
* Natural Gas - 32.7%
* Nuclear - 12.9%
* Renewables - 28.3%
* Other - 7.2%
Flow has come a long way: last year it sourced just 4.6% of its fuel from renewables, which include wind, tidal and solar.
The UK average for renewable energy generation is 24%, so Flow is marginally greener than average.
Want to know more? Read: Choosing a green energy tariff - everything you need to know.
Last year, Flow launched its low carbon boiler that generates electricity as well as heat.
Flow’s Chief Executive, Tony Stiff, said: "This application could be a game-changer. We think that we have an opportunity to become the de facto heating system of choice... a chance of becoming the Google of the energy industry.”
Flow offers a lot of positives and, if you’re getting itchy feet with your current provider, may well be worth a punt.
Here’s what we think:
* Innovative products which will help you manage your energy consumption and cut down your household costs
* Good customer service, including almost non-existent hold times on phone lines (a big plus).
* Competitively priced tariffs mean you’re likely to be getting a decent price.
* The emphasis on new technology and online account management may put you off if you’re not particularly tech savvy.
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