E.on Energy Review
Eon is one of the dreaded Big Six energy suppliers.
We say dreaded because in truth few people have got much great to say about the giant utility companies.
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And Eon is one of the largest, supplying around five million customers, both homes and businesses.
The problem for consumers is that when a company is this big – any company – you’re going to get an awful lot of results if you just Google
“Eon complaints” or similar.
Just by the nature of their very size, they’ll have some unhappy customers – so you learn nothing.
So, we’ll try and take a somewhat more useful look in our Eon review.
The company was known as Powergen until 2007, when it changed its name to Eon.
Powergen started life in 1989 as a government owned public limited company.
It’s now wholly owned by the German giant Eon AG and it’s the UK’s second-biggest generator of electricity and owns coal, gas, oil, CHP, as well as wind and biomass power stations around the UK.
Before we take a closer look at Eon, see if you could save money switching by comparing energy suppliers.
Eon and Age UK scandal
Eon hit the news in a negative way early in 2016 when the Sun newspaper reported that Age UK was pushing expensive tariffs to the elderly in a tie up with the company.
Five days after the story broke, Eon and Age UK said they were going to temporarily stop offering the tariff to new and renewing customers.
On 19 April 2016, Ofgem announced it had decided there is 'no case to open an investigation'.
But it also said it had written to all suppliers to tell them 'that relationships with charities and other trusted organisations require appropriate oversight.'
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd ordered energy regulator Ofgem to investigate after it was revealed Eon's Age UK Fixed 2 Year paperless tariff – marketed to the over 60s – was £938 a year for an average user, considerably more expensive than its cheapest tariff, which was £769.
How is Eon rated by customers?
So, so is the answer to that one.
It limped in at number 14 overall out of 23 energy customers in a Which? survey of almost 9,000 energy customers, the biggest of its kind.
"No poor experience but no outstanding service either" an Eon customer is quoted as saying in a review.
It was scored a solid but unspectacular three stars out of five in all categories by a survey of 1,111 of its customers – that’s customer service, value for money, accuracy and clarity of bills, how it deals with complaints, how it helps customers save money.
Overall, it’s score was a completely middle-of the-road 57%.
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Eon customer service
Tests show that Eon is getting better at keeping customers on hold for less time.
Which? said it took an average of 7.24 minutes to reach the company in September and October 2015 – down from 11 minutes the previous year.
Between January and March 2017, Eon received 2,250 complaints for every 100,000 customers, meaning it performed better than EDF Energy (2,438 complaints per 100,000 accounts) and Scottish Power (2,493), but worse than British Gas, SSE and Npower.
When compared to its Big Six rivals, Eon reviews in middle of the road.
It resolved a solid 67% of complaints within one working day.
EDF billing and payment errors, such as customers being owed credit by the supplier, were the most common sources of EDF complaints.
You can contact Eon's customer service on 0345 052 0000 or, if you're unhappy with Eon, make a complaint or write a review about Eon on A Spokesman Said.
Update: On September 22, Eon agreed to pay £1.2m to its customers and £1.9m to energy charities because it failed to compensate customers when its staff missed appointments.
Is Eon Energy cheap?
It’s good to know how a company will respond when things go wrong, but what potential customers, particularly those looking to save money on energy bills, most want to know about is price.
Energy tariffs are changing all the time, and it’s always hard to say this company is cheaper or more expensive than another.
Deals come onto the market and are taken off – that’s why it’s always so important to use a comparison tool after reading our Eon review.
But what we can say is that Eon is definitely NOT one of the cheapest energy companies around –research over a two-year period shows savings could be made by switching to other companies’ offerings, either other companies’ variable tariffs (the most expensive rate you’ll pay), or fixed-rate deals.
In April 2017, Eon raised prices by 8.8%, the second biggest hike of all the Big Six, which added £97 on the typical dual-fuel customer's yearly bill.
Eon's standard tariff costs an average of £1,057 a year, roughly £180 pricier than the market's cheapest deals.
However, it does offer fairly competitive dual-fuel tariffs and offers a tariff for the over 60s with no exit fee and fixed prices for two years.
This isn't the cheapest price around, but it’s cheaper than its standard variable rate.
We’d advise shopping around.
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How renewable is Eon's energy?
Customers nowadays are increasingly choosing green energy tariffs.
Eco-conscious households like to choose a company that’s doing its bit for the environment and all energy providers must provide information on the fuel types they use to produce the energy they take to market.
Here’s the breakdown from Eon, with the UK average in brackets:
* Coal: 18.7% (17%)
* Gas: 32.4% (32.3)
* Nuclear: 12.8% (23.7)
* Renewables: 29% (24)
* Other: 7.1% (2.5)
On its site, Eon claims it has:
* Invested in more efficient forms of electricity generation
* Upgraded stations and closed older coal plants
* Started work, with partners, on building the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm
* Almost completed work on the Isle of Grain gas-fired CHP, which is one of the world’s most efficient power stations
* Become the first company to test a Pelamis P2 wave power device in UK waters
* Contributed to research into more advanced methods to reduce carbon emissions.
Switching to E.ON
If you’ve used our comparison tool and Eon’s come out on top, then you need to know about the switching process.
As ever, it is nowadays simplicity itself to switch. Ofgem rules mean that companies have to streamline the process allowing customers to shop around with ease and get the best deals without any fear that they will end up in a mess.
You don’t even need to tell your existing supplier you’re leaving, your new provider – in this case Eon – will do it all for you.
Even so, many customers will have lots of questions and, like all big providers, Eon has a comprehensive and clear guide and FAQ section here.
Read more: How to switch energy supplier.
A Spokesman Said’s verdict
* Responsive to wholesale energy price changes, in the customer’s favour.
* Loyalty scheme is a bonus – but our view is that the best price nearly always trumps all.
* Only OK customer service rating.
* Even if they do offer a deal you really like, it’s definitely necessary to shop around when it ends – they’re by no means the cheapest on the market.