Energy companies reviewed: Scottish Power

Scottish-Power logo

Scottish Power is part of the Iberdrola Group, a Spanish company that operates in 40 countries. It is one of the UK’s largest energy companies, supplying energy to around 5.2 million customers. 

Scottish Power generates its own energy too, through coal, gas and hydro-electric power stations.

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

The supplier comes 17th out of 18 energy companies rated by 9,404 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey - the biggest of its kind.

Very difficult to even contact them

Scottish Power customer

The table below shows the breakdown of its score from the survey carried out in September and October 2014, which included the responses of 974 Scottish Power customers. Find out how Scottish Power compares with other energy companies in best and worst energy companies.

Scottish Power survey results
Area of performanceStar rating
Customer service
Value for money
Bills (accuracy and clarity)
Dealing with complaints
Helping you to save energy
Customer score41%

Scottish Power energy prices

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 Scottish Power’s prices changed over a three-year period.

Scottish Power in the news

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%.

On 4 March 2015, Scottish Power was hit with a 12-days 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.

Scottish Power had the joint lowest number of complaints received per 1,000 customers in the final quarter of 2012 of the big six, 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.


Call waiting times for Scottish Power customer service average half-an-hour

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.

Which? verdict

Scottish Power has had a hard year. It came last in our call waiting investigation, with an average waiting time of 30 minutes for customer service, but only a minute for its sales line. It was told by Ofgem to improve the way it treats customers and reduce the number of outstanding bills it hadn’t sent, or face a sales ban. And the number of complaints it receives is steadily going up.

However, it offers one of the cheapest fixed deals on the market.

Pros: Competitive fixed deal, no exit fees

Cons: Poor customer service

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