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Small is beautiful! 2018's best and worst energy companies revealed – are you with one the best … or worst?

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Jan 17, 2018

Smaller energy companies tend to have the most satisfied customers

In the largest survey of its kind, Npower once again has the great honour of ranking as the UK’s worst energy supplier.

The rest of the Big Six energy suppliers also slipped down the rankings. 

And Utility Warehouse is this year’s top-scoring supplier in a survey of 9,000 energy customers by consumer group Which?

(But Utility Warehouse’s rank isn’t all it seems – see why below).

The survey quizzed customers of 31 energy companies across the UK, asking them what they thought of the service they receive from their supplier.

Small is best

The most striking thing is that the Big Six are doing worse in terms of customer satisfaction and the smaller companies are gaining ground.

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Researchers found only a third of Big Six customers (32%) are very satisfied, compared with 52% of medium energy companies’ customers, and 45% of smaller suppliers’ customers.

Along with Utility Warehouse, Flow Energy, Octopus Energy and PFP Energy also rank well. 

Utility Warehouse tends to be good so long as you lump all utility services together and include broadband and phone. 

NOTE: Also, very importantly, Utility Warehouse recruits some of its customers to sell the company to others, so these people have a massive incentive to big up the company. Remove these customers from the equation and the top suppliers are:

  1) Flow Energy

        2) Octopus Energy

   3) PFP Energy

     4) Utilita

Utility Warehouse came in at fifth.

Price matters

Customers say price is the most important factor when they pick an energy supplier.

Here are those companies scoring a customer satisfaction rating of over 70%

  • Utility Warehouse
  • Flow Energy
  • Octopus Energy
  • PFP Energy
  • Utilita
  • Avro Energy
  • Bulb Energy
  • Ovo Energy
  • Ecotricity
  • So Energy
  • Bristol Energy

Npower has the lowest customer score, with Spark Energy and Extra Energy taking the other bottom three positions.

Npower’s customers have scored the company worst year after year, but this time other firms’ scores are closer to it.

Spark Energy occupied 12th position overall last year but is 30th this year.

Npower and Spark Energy have the joint-largest percentage of very dissatisfied customers (5%).

The best firms have 0%.

A third of Extra Energy’s customers said it was poor at handling complaints. And official data shows the company resolved less than half of the complaints it received on the same or next working day in the first half of 2017. 

The Big Six energy companies are rubbish!

The biggest six energy firms all sit in the bottom third of the table, ranked by their customer scores.

None of them score above average (though EDF Energy and Eon do score the average).

Besides Npower, Scottish Power and British Gas are also ranked in the bottom five energy companies.

ALL RAISED THE PRICES OF THEIR STANDARD VARIABLE TARIFFS OVER THE LAST YEAR – THAT’S THE RIP- OFF TARIFF YOU PAY IF YOU DO NOTHING WHEN YOUR OLD FIXED DEAL ENDS.

The full results of the survey can be found here

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