Robin Hood Energy Review
Named after the legendary hero of Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood Energy is a not-for-profit energy supplier.
No directors. No bonuses.
All the profits are reinvested back into the company and community.
By nicking customers from the Big Six, and cutting their bills, Robin Hood aims to take from the rich and give to the poor.
Launched by Nottingham council in 2015, it’s the first energy company to be owned by a local authority.
Customers benefit from competitively priced tariffs and no exit fees.
The council promises to save customers an average of £237 a year on bills; the best way to find out if you could save money is by comparing energy suppliers free online.
Despite being run by the local authority, tariffs are available to anyone in the UK.
Robin Hood is certainly unique, but is it any good?
Let’s review Robin Hood Energy and find out if switching will make you one of the merry men.
Robin Hood Energy tariffs
The general consensus is that Robin Hood’s tariffs are cheaper than the Big Six, but not the cheapest on the market.
A big plus is that Robin Hood does not charge exit fees for any tariffs.
Currently, the two main plans are:
Standard variable tariff costing an estimated £934 a year for a four-bed house in north London.
A one year fixed option costing an estimated £890 a year for the same property as the Evergreen estimate.
It’s worth noting the Prime tariff featured in Which?’s top five cheapest energy deals for September 2015.
You can take out the tariff as either gas or electricity or dual fuel. Payment is taken by direct debit.
Robin Hood also has a prepayment tariff, Evergreen PAYG, and an Economy 7 plan.
With the market’s cheapest tariffs tending to be around £850, Robin Hood’s options are, while decently priced, not the most cut-rate on offer.
But if you live in the East Midlands, it’s highly likely you will get an even better deal.
Average tariff prices in the East Midlands are £87 cheaper since Robin Hood launched; and the region has climbed from seventh to first place for price competitiveness throughout England.
In a trial of 300 Robin Hood customers, the average saving was £237 a year - so you may well be able to save a few bob switching to them.
There's only one way to find out...
Alongside buying in gas and electricity from the market, Robin Hood generates power from solar panels, waste food plants and, interestingly, Nottingham city’s incinerator.
Whilst this bodes well for any eco-conscious energy consumer, we really won’t know how green Robin Hood are until it publishes its fuel mix disclosure.
It’s not due to do this until summer 2017.
Robin Hood acknowledges that, because it buys a lot of its energy from the market, its supply “may not always be as green as we would like.”
The Robin Hood website is a little clunky.
There’s a hell of a lot of information and, in many parts, it’s not clearly laid out at all.
Like most suppliers, Robin Hood provides an online portal that allows customers to manage their accounts online 24/7.
A neat payment section of the website allows you to pay off a bill pretty easily.
Top Tip: By managing your account online and going paperless, Robin Hood promise an annual discount of £22.50 per fuel.
Robin Hood Energy customer service
As with many smaller suppliers, it can be difficult to know how effective its customer service is.
Robin Hood are no different.
We do know that between October and December 2016, Robin Hood Energy received 386 complaints per 100,000 customers, just 7% of which were resolved within one working day.
Robin Hood stacks up fairly well against its smaller rivals.
In the same period, Spark Energy (850), Good Energy (410), Green Star Energy (1190), Economy Energy (510) and Flow Energy (480), all received more complaints per 100,000 accounts.
Ecotricity was the best-performing smaller supplier, receiving just 290 complaints per 100,000 customers.
These providers, however, are so small that it would be wrong to draw too many conclusions from complaints data.
The big question is: as they grow, can small providers maintain a good level of service? Will Robin Good Energy's reviews start to sour? Only time will tell.
The main cause of complaints about Robin Hood were inaccurate and delayed billing, blamed on changes to a management system, pay-as-you-go issues, smart metering and meter readings, and registration.
Robin Hood offer a UK-based call centre, available on 0800 030 4567, and customer service are also available on email.
You can make a complaint about Robin Hood Energy using A Spokesman Said’s free tool.
Making a payment to Robin Hood Energy
Robin Hood bills customers monthly – not quarterly – meaning you can stay on top of your energy consumption.
You can pay using all the usual methods: Direct Debit, payment on receipt of bill, cheque, cash at the Post Office or credit and debit card.
The company offers paperless billing to help cut your bills down and protect the environment.
And there’s a real focus on helping customers struggling to pay their energy.
If you’re in financial difficulty, Robin Hood will help you pay off what you owe in manageable instalments.
Following the success of Robin Hood Energy, new London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged in his manifesto to establish a London equivalent called Energy for Londoners.
Our Robin Hood Energy review verdict:
* Billed monthly so you know exactly what you are spending!)
* Flexibility: no cancellation fees and no tie-in to any contract
* Not-for-profit company with a genuinely ethical mission
* Tariffs not the cheapest on the market
* Fuel mix unlikely to be eco-friendly
* Unclear how good customer service is
Image Credit to environmentaljournal.com
ARE YOU BEING RIPPED OFF BY YOUR ENERGY PROVIDER?
Our customers save an average of £380 using our price comparison tools.