UK’s worst energy suppliers named: Should you switch?

UK's worst energy suppliers revealed

Economy Energy has been named the worst energy provider by the latest Citizens Advice survey.

The Citizens Advice star rating system scores energy firms against five criteria including:

  • Complaints ̶ how well energy suppliers handle customer complaints;
  • Ease of switching ̶ the number of switches the supplier successfully carries out within 21 days;
  • Ease of contact ̶ how highly people rate their supplier's customer service;
  • Bill clarity ̶ how easy people find it to understand their bills;
  • Switch Guarantee ̶ whether the supplier is signed up to the switch guarantee that commits them to switching a customer within 21 days.

Economy Energy only managed to rack up a star rating of 2.2 for its service between April and June this year, falling dramatically from the previous quarter's third place score of 3.85.

SSE led the way in this quarter's figures, scoring and impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars, closely followed by Ecotricity on 4.4.

First Utility made the biggest improvement, with a score of 4.1 up from 2.9 stars.

Here are the full results of the latest Citizens Advice survey, starting with the best performers this quarter:

Supplier

Star rating January to March 2017

Star rating April to June 2017

SSE

4.4

4.5

Ecotricity

4.44.4

First Utility

2.94.1

EDF Energy

3.754

Utility Warehouse

3.43.9

Flow Energy

3.93.85

Spark Energy

2.33.7
British Gas

3.7

3.7

Ovo Energy

3.13.7

E.ON

3.153.65

Utilita

3.143.25

Npower

33.25

E (Gas and Electricity)

4.1

3.25

ScottishPower

3.15

3.1

Green Star Energy

2.853.1

Co-operative Energy

2.62.95

Extra Energy

2.052.55

Economy Energy

3.85

2.2

Source: Citizens Advice

Ofgem satisfaction survey

Ofgem produces quarterly complaints statistics about the largest, medium-sized and small-sized energy firms.

The latest figures broadly reflect the findings of the Citizens Advice survey, with Ecotricity attracting the fewest complaints (32 per 100,000) in the second quarter of the year.

However, large independent supplier Utilita had the most complaints for the second quarter in a row with 6,005 per 100,000 recorded.

Below is a table showing how all the suppliers fared:

Supplier

Q1 2017 complaints per 100,000

Q2 2017 complaints per 100,000

Ecotricity

32

30

Green Star Energy89

43

Flow Energy

43

58

Economy Energy

59

64

Ovo Energy

79

79

Good Energy

81

101

Spark Energy

105

108

Extra Energy

371271

Utility Warehouse

1,073742

Co-operative

691

786

First Utility

2,0521,182

British Gas

1,463

1,393

npower

2,2001,986

SSE

1,929

2,079

E.ON

2,250

2,211

EDF Energy

2,438

2,356

ScottishPower

2,493

2,623

Utilita

5,685

6,005

Source: Ofgem

Which? energy survey

In January, npower come bottom of the annual Which? energy company satisfaction survey for the seventh year running.

The survey asked nearly 9,000 energy customers to rate suppliers on a variety of factors including customer service, value for money and accuracy of bills.

Each supplier was then given a customer score based on their overall satisfaction rating and the likelihood of being recommended to a friend.

The average customer score was 56%, but npower scored just 44%.

Extra Energy customers were the next most fed up (49%) which matches up with the Citizens Advice and Ofgem findings, followed by Scottish Power (50%) and Co-operative Energy (54%).

Apart from EDF, which scored 55%, the other 'Big Six' suppliers either matched or just beat the average customer score. SSE and British Gas hit 56% while E.ON managed 57%.

The best performer was Ovo Energy for the second year running, which achieved a customer score of 78%.

Here's how the all the suppliers stacked up:

Source: Which?

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Carol Sandford, 72, called 118 118 from her mobile phone unaware of the charges involved. Calls to the number cost £1.88 per call and there is also a £2.57 per minute charge from landlines. TalkTalk raises this to £5.68 for the first minute and £3.28 per minute after that. TalkTalk told Carol the charge £81.12 charge was correct but luckily 118 118 were kinder, offering to repay the charge in full. Read the full story here.
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George MacIntosh, 73, was charged a staggering £200 for premium-rate gambling texts he didn't intend to sign up for. Unfortunately this wasn't a scam but a legal service from a company called Zamano. It seems the retired vicar had accidentally signed up after responding to an initial text from the company. Read the full story here.
Philip Groves was amazed to receive a £1,411 bill from Vodafone last year for his 10-year-old daughter Trinity's phone. It turns out Trinity had watched 28 hours of instructional loom band videos on YouTube, assuming her phone was using wifi. But the wifi had cut out, leaving her phone using the data allowance at it's highest rate. Vodafone refused to cancel the bill and threatened legal action. Read more here
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