Energy companies reviewed: Scottish Power
Scottish Power is part of the Iberdrola Group, a Spanish company that operates in 40 countries. Scottish Power generates its own energy, too, through coal, gas and hydro-electric power stations, and says it's committed to energy sustainability.
It's the largest producer of wind energy, creating more than 1,600MW, which according to Scottish Power is enough energy to power Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh combined.
See how Scottish Power compares on price with your current deal by finding the cheapest gas and electricity with Which? Switch.
Scottish Power customer score
Scottish Power comes second to last in our survey of 22 British energy companies, when rated by 8,902 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey - the biggest of its kind.
Scottish Power customer
Difficult to contact
The table below shows the breakdown of its score from the survey carried out in October 2015, which included the responses of 846 Scottish Power customers.
Find out how Scottish Power compares with other energy companies - click to see the full results of the best and worst energy companies.
|Scottish Power survey results|
|Area of performance||Star rating|
|Value for money|
|Bills (accuracy and clarity)|
|Dealing with complaints|
|Helping you to save energy|
Which? verdict on Scottish Power
Scottish Power's customer satisfaction score has slightly improved from last year's 41% to 44% this year. But it's stayed near the bottom of the table for a number of years now.
It came last in our call-waiting investigation at the end of 2014, with an average waiting time of 30 minutes for customer service, but only a minute for its sales line. This year, it's improved dramatically to an average of two and a half minutes, which puts it seventh out of 22 energy companies.
In September 2015, Scottish Power came last in a Which? survey of 100 best and worst brands for customer service with a customer service score of 59%.
When we asked for comments on Scottish Power, a lot of its customers said how it is easy to give meter readings, which they are encouraged to do, and the bills are therefore accurate. One Scottish Power customer said: 'Scottish Power sends me an email to ask for meter readings... it calculates whether I'm paying enough or too much for my monthly direct debit.'
People also commented on how it's not always easy to get through to Scottish Power on the phone. But that when they do, complaints are dealt with relatively swiftly.
Pros: Scottish Power’s complaints line is open until 8am-10pm on weekdays, and 8:30am-6pm on Saturdays. We rated it highly in our policy assessment criteria for clarity and accuracy of bills and how it deals with complaints
Cons: Poor customer service
Scottish Power fuel mix
Where Scottish Power gets its fuel from:
- 46.4% Coal
- 30.3% Gas
- 20.0% Renewable
- 2.3% Nuclear
- 1.0% Other
(Note: This information was correct as of January 2016.)
Scottish Power in the news
On 4 March 2015, Scottish Power was hit with a 12-day sales ban after failing to resolve customer complaints, and missing Ofgem's targets to sort them by the end of November. Scottish Power was also warned to improve the speed of answering customer calls and reduce the amount of late bills.
On 22 October 2013, Scottish Power was fined £8.5m by the regulator Ofgem for providing misleading information through its doorstep and telesales agents between October 2009 and January 2012. If you think you might have been affected, you could claim compensation by calling Scottish Power on 0800 074 0362.
Only two days later, it announced an average price rise of 8.6%, effective from 6 December.
Of the 'big six' suppliers, Scottish Power had the joint lowest number of complaints received per 1,000 customers in the final quarter of 2012, according to data published in February 2013. It had an average of 14, along with competitor SSE.
However, 68% of its complaints were resolved the same day or the next working day, compared with 75% of SSE’s. All of the big six suppliers published the comparable data following changes made by Ofgem, after Which? campaigning.
In 2012, Which? praised Scottish Power for helping customers compare prices more easily by giving them better access to their up-to-date energy usage history. Customers with an online account can use Scottish Power's website to request the data, which they receive in a spreadsheet.
We were pleased to hear that Scottish Power decided not to pursue the development of its venue sales - where energy advisers use supermarkets or shops to sign up new customers - following discussions with Which?. We have concerns about how some of these sales are taking place and have asked all energy suppliers to review their practices. Scottish Power responded very positively.
In May 2014, Scottish Power had to pay £750,000 following an investigation by the regulator Ofgem, which found that the supplier did not have a robust process in place to assess the cost of different payment types. This means that some customers might have been overcharged for paying with a certain payment method.
Scottish Power energy prices
On 3 February 2016, Scottish Power became the third energy firm out of the Big Six to announce a gas price reduction as a response to falling wholesale gas prices. The 5.4% cut will see customers saving on average £32 a year on their gas bill. The price cuts take effect from 15 March 2016.
Following the fall in wholesale energy prices, on 20 January 2015, Scottish Power announced a 4.8% price cut with effect from 20 February. The cut is equivalent to a £33 reduction to the average annual gas bill.
Scottish Power raised gas prices by 8.5% and electricity prices by 9% in December 2013.
It was the fourth energy company to announce price rises in October 2012, introducing average increases of 7% for both gas and electricity prices. Back in January 2012, it was the last of the ‘big six’ suppliers to announce it would lower gas prices by 5%.
The graph below shows how the cost of Scottish Power’s standard (also known as variable) tariff changed over a three-year period.