Energy > Our Reviews

Green Star Energy Review

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
Mar 27, 2017


Launched in 2013, Green Star Energy is a relative newcomer in the UK energy market.

Whilst it may look like an independent supplier, Green Star is actually a subsidiary of Just Energy Group.

Just Energy supplies almost 2 million customers across North America.

It has a far from spotless record: the Better Business Bureau – an ethical business campaign group – criticised the provider for giving customers misleading information.

Over in the UK, however, Green Star Energy is a popular choice with switchers.

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This is, in part, down to their focus on simplicity: bills are easy to understand and switching is deliberately seamless.

It was even named 2016 provider of the year by Consumer MoneyFacts.

The supplier’s Managing Director, Joanna Thornton, says: “We are a small supplier with big plans. Our mission is clear - great service, easy to understand products and savings on your bill."

But does it deliver?

Let’s take a look in our Green Star Energy review.

 

Green Star Energy tariffs

There’s little doubt that Green Star are competitively priced –  it reckons it can save customers £176 a year on average, when compared to a standard tariff at one of the Big Six.

To get an accurate quote from Green Star Energy, you need to fill out a bunch of questions about the size of your house and your energy usage.

Green Star offers five main tariffs:

Unlimited Tariff:

* Fixed bill for 12 months
* Prices from £62 a month for one-bed flats and £125 for family-sized homes
* £30 exit fee
* Use as much energy as you like

Rate Saver:

* Average annual bill of £915
* Lowest prices fixed for 12 months
* £30 exit fee

Green Saver:

* 100% renewable electricity
* Average annual bill of £1,014
* Prices fixed for 12 months
* £30 exit fee

Rate Watch:

* Prices vary and will follow the market
* Annual average bill of £1,017
* No exit fees

Pay as You Go

* Average annual bill of £1,088
* Prices vary and will follow the market

All tariffs come with online account management and a duel fuel discount.

To get the unlimited tariff, you have to have a current annual usage of under 8000 kWh for gas and under 2000 kWh for electricity.

With the “average consumption” defined as 12,500kWh for gas and 3,100kWh for electricity, many households will be ineligible.

But if you live in a big house and use a lot of energy, the unlimited tariff could be a cost-cutting option.

A word of warning: Green Star do not currently offer the Warm Home Discount. 

Top Tip: Refer a friend to a Green Star tariff and get your hands on a £20 shopping voucher.

COMPARE GREEN STAR TARIFFS NOW

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Green credentials

With a name like Green Star, it would be a surprise if it got most of its power from coal.

Happily, Green Star’s electricity is as renewable as it comes. Offering an alternative to other providers like Bulb and Ecotricity

In 2016, 100% of its electricity was supplied from renewable generators.

Green Star electricity breakdown (national average in brackets):

 

Source: Green Star Energy website

Information on energy conservation and efficiency is freely available on the Green Star website.

Green Star also work with the campaign group Carbon Footprint to help preserve the Amazon rainforest. When customers sign up to its green tariff, Green Star will contribute to conservation projects. 

Green Star Gas supply:

With gas, the carbon content is more or less the same no matter where it comes from. That said, Green Star does promise it is "actively looking" at how it can offer its eco-friendly gas product to domestic customers. 

 

Online offering

The Green Star website is very simple: it has no bells or whistles and doesn’t swamp you with detail.

Whilst it may seem sparse, it’s very clear and well laid out. All the key information is there and customers should have no problem navigating it.

We particularly like the ‘Service Status’ section, which keeps customers up to date on any problems the company is experiencing.

Find out if you could save money switching to Green Star by performing an energy comparison now. 

 

Green Star Energy customer service

When it comes to customer service, our review found standards at Green Star are slipping. 

Its 60-strong team man UK-based call centres in Milton Keynes and Cork and answer the phone in under a minute – impressive!

But between October and December 2016, Green Star received 119 complaints per 10,00 customers, ranking it as the worst performing small supplier for complaints received.

In the same period, Ecotricity received 29 complaints per 10,000, Spark Energy fielded 85 per 10,000, Good Energy just 41, Economy Energy 51 and Flow Energy 48. 

Green Star was also found to be poor at resolving complaints: just 28% were sorted by the end of the next working day. Only Flow Energy performed worse, resolving just 16% within a day. 

The most common Green Star complaints are sales & registrations, customer service and billing.

A Spokesman Said users have highlighted problems such as incorrect direct debit payments, inaccurate bills and problems getting credit refunded.

UPDATE: In September, Donna Minto claimed Green Star was using underhand sales techniques to gain new customers.

She told us: "My dad has slight dementia, so still lives at home by himself and my sister and I check on him numerous times a week. One of green star energy reps knocked on his door (even though it says no cold calling) and convinced him to swap suppliers and give him his card details.

"Fortunately we intercepted the paperwork and cancelled the contract. This is not the way to do business. Send letters and offers, or advertise locally so that people can choose to switch suppliers. Don't convince elderly people on their door step to do it."

Use A Spokesman Said’s free tool to make a complaint about Green Star Energy.

 

Making a payment to Green Star Energy

As with most providers, Direct Debit remains the recommended way to pay Green Star for your energy; the company claims it could save you £34 a year.

Green Star still accepts cheques, BACS payments, prepayment metres, credit or debit card transfers and even cash.

It has also set up a Post Office service allowing customers to pay at their local branch using cards.

Top Tip: Watch out for the 2.5% surcharge if you’re paying using credit card.

 

Recent news

On 21 April, Green Star Energy rolled out a voice response and automated payment technology to give customers a 24-hour meter reading and payment service.  

Customers can make card transactions themselves, freeing up Green Star’s agents to deal with more complex issues.

 

Our verdict

Pros:

* Eco-friendly supplier that is committed to providing low carbon energy
* Well-designed website that helps customers monitor usage and make payments
* Competitively priced tariffs

Cons:

* Costly exit fees for leaving a contract
* Concerns that as the company grows customer service will decrease in quality

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