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Small energy providers outperform big six in customer survey

Small energy suppliers have beaten the so-called Big Six in a customer satisfaction survey by consumer group Which?.

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Around 8,000 energy users across the UK were surveyed about their provider on issues such as value for money, customer service and accurate billing.

 

Which? rated 30 energy companies in England, Scotland and Wales, covering more than 90 percent of that market, as well as six of the seven companies in Northern Ireland.

 

The top five were small suppliers: Octopus Energy, Robin Hood Energy, So Energy, Ebico and Tonik Energy.

 

The big six – British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE – were in the bottom third of the table.

 

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of products and services, said: “Our survey shows the importance of value for money and good customer service: energy suppliers delivering both to their customers tend to be thriving, while the big six and other poorly ranked firms are paying the price for not giving customers what they want.

 

“All energy companies should be working to give their customers competitive prices and excellent customer service.

 

“If you’re not getting a good deal, you should look to switch, as you could potentially save over a hundred pounds and get a much-improved service.”

 

Octopus Energy, which supplies around 400,000 homes, was rated as good or excellent value for money by nine in 10 customers and 96 percent of its customers gave it the same rating for online customer service.

 

At the other end of the spectrum, Solarplicity – which was surveyed by Which? for the first time – was the worst energy firm according to its customers, with an overall score of 44 percent.

It was the only provider to receive one-star ratings in the survey, which it got for bills, customer service online and on the phone, handling complaints and helping customers understand and reduce their energy use.

 

Spark Energy is the second-lowest-ranked firm, although its customer score is eight percentage points higher than Solarplicity’s. In November 2018, it was bought by Ovo Energy, which could have an impact on customers’ experiences.

 

Economy Energy and Extra Energy were also included in our survey – and scored poorly – before they stopped trading. Economy Energy was 29th, with a 53 percent customer score. Extra Energy was jointly in 26th with a 56 percent customer score.

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