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Energy company reviews

Scottish Power

By Sarah Ingrams

Article 5 of 6

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Scottish Power

Scottish Power is owned by Spanish energy firm Iberdrola. Scottish Power supplies energy to more than five million homes and businesses in the UK.

Scottish Power generates its own energy through coal, gas and hydro-electric power stations, and says it’s committed to energy sustainability. 

It’s the largest producer of wind energy in the UK, generating more than 1,600MW. This is enough energy to power Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh combined, according to the company.

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Scottish Power customer score

Scottish Power comes 21st in our survey of 23 British energy companies’s customers, as rated by 8,917 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey – the biggest of its kind.

‘It does deal with problems – but rather slowly’

Scottish Power customer

The table below shows the breakdown of its score from our latest survey. 

Scottish Power’s customer score is among the lowest in our survey, but scroll down to find out how it fares on complaints handling, and what customers think of its prices.

Scottish Power survey results
Area of performance Star rating
Customer service and complaints handling
Value for money
Bills (accuracy and clarity)
Helping you to save energy
Customer score 50%

(Survey: October 2016, responses of 844 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.

Which? verdict on Scottish Power

Scottish Power’s customer score is among the lowest in our survey. There haven’t been significant improvements since last year, when it ranked second from bottom.

Nearly a sixth of Scottish Power customers think it’s poor value for money. One customer told us that it’s ‘the same as the other energy companies – far too expensive’. Another simply said it was ‘poor value’. Its standard tariff was often the priciest of the Bix Six energy suppliers over the past year.

Other customers felt Scottish Power hadn’t helped them to save energy. As one said: ‘It hasen’t done anything proactive, or given advice or tips on how to save energy’. But another told us ‘I don’t think Scottish Power does any more or any less than any other company.’

Scottish Power customer service

In the first half of 2016, Scottish Power had quite a high level of complaints, although it resolved around three quarters on the same or next working day.

‘Scottish Power gets some things right first time, but others need several attempts. This has been the case since I first signed up’

Scottish Power customer

In our survey, people’s views on Scottish Power’s complaint handling were mixed. Some found staff ‘polite and helpful’, but others told us about long waits to get problems sorted. 

But in our snapshot investigation into how long energy companies keep customers waiting on the phone, Scottish Power was the fastest of the Big Six to pick up the phone. Customers had to wait just under four minutes on average. This is much slower than Ebico (21 seconds) but a fraction of the 14-minute average wait with small supplier Green Star Energy

Pros: Fastest of the Big Six to answer calls to its customer services, offers call-back service for customers calling at busy times

Cons: Customers consider it poor value for money, standard tariff was often among the priciest over the past year

Scottish Power fuel mix

Where Scottish Power gets its fuel from:

  • 36% gas
  • 34% coal 
  • 26% renewable 
  • 3% nuclear 
  • 1% other.

(Note: This information was correct as of January 2017.)

Scottish Power energy prices

The graph below shows how Scottish Power’s variable (also known as standard) tariff and its cheapest fixed tariff compared with the cheapest fixed tariff on the market over a two-year period. 

If you were a Scottish Power customer and on its variable tariff, you could have saved a lot of money if you’d switched to a cheaper energy deal. 

 Graph comparing Scottish Power's standard tariff with its cheapest

(Data correct as of 15 November 2016. Prices were taken at points in time and are not an average.)

See how much money you can save on your energy bills. Use Which? Switch to find the cheapest gas and electricity.

Scottish Power in the news

2017

February: Scottish Power announced a 7.8% price hike on its variable (also known as standard) tariff, which will affect 1.1 million of its customers from 31 March 2017. Scottish Power blamed 'rises in energy wholesale markets and compulsory non-energy costs', adding that this included costs for decarbonising electricity generation and installing smart meters

2016

April: Scottish Power was fined £18m by regulator Ofgem for inadequate call handling, complaint resolution and billing. Its poor customer service resulted in more than a million complaints between June 2013 and December 2015. The money will be paid to vulnerable Scottish Power customers that were affected by its poor customer service, and also to charity.

2015

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%.

March: 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.