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Customer satisfaction is a big thing to consider when deciding which energy company to go with. If you choose a company that has a good track record when it comes to customer satisfaction, you are more likely to enjoy a stress-free and all-round better experience when it comes to managing your energy supply. Whilst many people’s first concern when choosing their energy supplier is how much they are going to be paying for gas and electricity, customer satisfaction also ranks highly in people’s concerns.
Here we examine which companies get the most positive feedback from their customers. We will also look at the companies who are rated the lowest. The results are quite surprising, with many of the Big Six suppliers ranking very poorly for customer satisfaction. The best results for customer service have gone to some of the smaller energy suppliers.
The results are based on the latest Which? Energy Survey, conducted at the end of 2020. This is the biggest survey of its kind, rating 25 different companies with data gathered from over 7,000 UK energy customers. The survey looks at five different categories:
Here we look at the best energy companies in 2021:
The best energy supplier for 2021 as rated by customers is Outfox the Market. The small energy supplier, one of the cheapest on the market, received five stars for both bill accuracy and value for money. It was the only supplier to receive five stars in two categories. It also received four stars for bill clarity and customer service, achieving an overall customer satisfaction score of 82%. Outfox the Market was only founded in 2017, but is committed to a green world and only provides 100% renewable electricity sourced from offshore wind farms.
Octopus Energy was rated the second-best energy supplier this year, despite topping the charts in the two previous years. The supplier received five stars bill and a respectable four stars for every other category (bill clarity, customer service, complaints handling, and value for money). It received an overall customer score of 80%. The company was only launched in 2016 but has already attracted over 1.5 million customers, gaining an average of around 30,000 customers a month. It offers customers a wide range of tariffs, including an electricity deal using 100% renewable energy. Its deals are also some of the cheapest in the UK, and switching is made easy as none of their tariffs charge exit fees.
Avro Energy was rated as the third best energy supplier for 2021, scoring five stars for both bill accuracy four stars for each other category. It received an overall customer score of 76%. The supplier was founded in 2015 but has grown steadily to attract almost 100,000 customers. It offers low-cost gas and electricity tariffs, and is in fact one of the cheapest energy suppliers in the UK. There are also no exit fees should you wish to switch supplier.
In 4th place was People’s Energy, another small supplier selling 100% renewable electricity. In the survey it received five stars for its bill accuracy, four stars for bill clarity and four stars for value for money, receiving an overall customer score of 75%. The firm, based in East Lothian, promises to give its customers 75% of the profits it makes – either through bill reductions or credit on customers’ energy accounts.
Pure Planet came in fifth, scoring five stars for bill accuracy and four stars in other categories, receiving an overall customer score of 74%. The firm was launched in 2017 and is digital-only – meaning no paper bills and no customer support over the phone. However, this hasn’t impacted its overall customer satisfaction ratings, and it also sells 100% electricity and carbon-neutral gas.
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Here we look at the worst energy companies for 2021:
Npower was rated as the worst energy company out of a total of 25 suppliers in the latest Which? survey. It was only one of three firms that received just one star for a category, all for value for money. It got just two stars for bill clarity and complaints handling, and three stars for both bill accuracy and customer service. It received an overall customer score of just 54%. The Big Six supplier currently has around 3.6 million customers in the UK.
Scottish Power was rated the second worst energy supplier for the second year running. Receiving just one star for value for money, it received three stars for bill accuracy but just two stars for each other category. It received an overall customer score of 55%. One of the Big Six energy suppliers, Scottish Power provides gas and electricity to over 5 million homes and businesses in the UK. The company had the highest number of complaints out of any of the major energy suppliers last year, although they also had the quickest response times of the Big Six. Scottish Power has recently sold its gas plants and closed its coal-fired power stations, now supplying the majority of its energy from renewable sources.
SSE was rated as the joint third worst energy supplier for 2021. It scored three stars for its bill accuracy, but just one star for value for money, and two stars for every other category. It received an overall customer score of 60%. However, with SSE’s customers being taken over by Ovo Energy last year, who incidentally finished much higher up the rankings in 8th place, some might expect customer service and overall customer satisfaction with the supplier to improve in the coming years.
Also ranked as the joint third worst energy supplier was another from the Big Six, this time Eon. Although it received a respectable four stars for its bill accuracy and three stars for bill clarity, customer service and complaints handling, it received just two stars for value for money, with an overall customer score of 60%. Despite these sub-standard scores, Eon continues to be one of the most popular energy companies in the UK with around 3.8 million domestic customers.
Making up the five worst energy companies in the UK for 2021 is yet another Big Six member, EDF Energy. Coming in at joint 20th out of 25 suppliers, it received an overall customer satisfaction score of 61%, slightly beating Eon despite scoring the same for each category. Another major player in the UK energy market, French-based firm EDF Energy currently manage around 5.7 million customer accounts.
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Once again, the Which? Energy Survey has revealed that the Big Six energy companies are some of the worst performing when it comes to customer service and value for money. British Gas and EDF Energy were the best rated out of the Big Six, but still only received a customer satisfaction score of 62% and 61% respectively, both coming in near the bottom of the end of the table.
Since competition in the UK’s energy market was opened up, many smaller suppliers have challenged the major firms. Apart from a couple of exceptions, smaller suppliers are consistently rated higher for customer service and value for money. Nearly all of the cheapest gas and electricity tariffs can be found with the smaller companies. To see how much you could save, use our energy price comparison service to see a list of the best energy suppliers and their cheapest tariffs. It only takes a few minutes, and you can switch today to start saving money for tomorrow.