Npower and British Gas worst for customer serviceBig six energy suppliers even worse than banks

24 September 2009

Electricity pylon

Unlike gas, mains electricity is available almost everywhere in the UK

Npower has come bottom for customer satisfaction in the latest Which? Switch survey, with British Gas only slightly better.

The big six suppliers of gas and electricity - Npower, British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon Energy, Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern Energy - received some of the worst customer satisfaction scores Which? has seen overall this year. 

Npower came last in the survey for the third year running, scoring a paltry 28% for customer satisfaction. British Gas scored just 38%.

Consumers can see what tariffs are available from all energy suppliers at Which? Switch.

Smaller energy companies

The satisfaction scores the big six suppliers received were even lower than those notched up by banks in a recent Which? customer satisfaction survey. 

Smaller energy providers did much better, with Utility Warehouse scoring 75% and Ebico scoring 66%.

For customer scores for all the major energy suppliers see the full Which? ratings for energy companies. 

Bills confusing

Our latest research also unearthed examples of confusing energy bills.

Which? submitted a selection of energy bills to the Plain English Campaign. The bills were described as being peppered with ‘goobledygook’. 

Terms such as ‘calorific value’ and ‘normal primary units’ were just some of the jargon found on the bills, and one even used a minus sign for a credit amount.

Gas and electricity bills need to be clearer

Around a quarter of Which? members surveyed for the research said they found their gas and electricity bills hard to understand.

Martyn Hocking, editor of Which? magazine, says: 'When you hear the term ‘calorific value’ you’re more likely to think about a diet than your energy bill, but this is the kind of language that’s being bandied about. This makes it a struggle for customers to understand their bills.

'Consumers aren’t going to be able to reduce their energy use or find the best deal if they don’t understand what’s going on. Bills need to be much clearer, and better customer service from the energy companies wouldn’t go amiss either.'

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