Energy companies rated
Good Energy and Ecotricity are the top energy suppliers, according to the 2014 Which? Switch energy satisfaction survey, followed by Utility Warehouse, Ebico and Ovo Energy.
The results show that small providers are streets ahead of Britain's six biggest energy suppliers, British Gas, EDF, Eon,Npower, SSE and Scottish Power. Npower languished at the bottom of the table with a customer satisfaction score of just 31%.
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Which? satisfaction survey 2014 results
Our Which? Switch survey rates 20 UK gas and electricity suppliers through the biggest publicly available survey of its kind. It gathers opinions from more than 8,500 energy customers and rates energy suppliers on a range of measures including customer service, value for money and accuracy of bills.
Each energy supplier receives a customer score based on their overall satisfaction and the likelihood they would recommend it to a friend.
|2014 energy companies satisfaction survey|
|Supplier||Customer service||Value for money||Bills (accuracy and clarity)||Complaints||Helping you save energy||Customer score|
|England, Scotland and Wales|
|1. Good Energy||82%|
|3. Utility Warehouse||75%|
|5. Ovo Energy||73%|
|6. The Co-operative Energy||64%|
|8. First Utility||58%|
|9. Marks and Spencer Energy||51%|
|10. Spark Energy||48%|
|11. Sainsbury's Energy||n/a||45%|
|13. EDF Energy||44%|
|14. Scottish Power||41%|
|16. British Gas||39%|
|1. Budget Energy||n/a||63%|
|3. Power NI||n/a||45%|
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Customer score combines overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend. Weighted overall average is 49% (weighted to market share of each energy company).
Sample sizes: Good Energy (65), Ecotricity (65), Utility Warehouse (129), Ebico (98), Ovo Energy (148), The Co-operative Energy (148), Utilita (33), First Utility (131), M&S Energy (108), Spark Energy (62), Sainsbury's Energy (55), Eon (1,107), EDF Energy (856), Scottish Power (846), SSE (1,112), British Gas (2,279), Npower (892), Budget Energy (39), Airtricity (94) and Power NI (147).
Good news for small energy suppliers
Though smaller gas and electricity companies generally do better than household names, Spark Energy doesn't do as well as the other smaller suppliers. It received the lowest rating of all companies (alongside Npower) for how it deals with complaints, with only one star, and on customer service with only two stars. I
But satisfaction with the smaller players isn't enough to pull the average overall satisfaction above 41% - one of the lowest of all sectors covered by Which? surveys.
Other small companies, including Green Energy UK, GreenStar Energy and LoCO2 Energy did not make it into our table because we received too few responses from their customers.
Bad news for energy giants
Of the big six energy suppliers, Eon come first with a customer score of 45%, while Npower comes last with only 31%.
You can find further information about how each company did in the survey by looking at our energy suppliers section, or choosing a company name from the menu on the left of this page.
What about Northern Ireland?
Northern Ireland's results are presented separately in the table. It is worth noting that the market is different in NI, hence why the results are presented separately.
The energy market in NI was only recently opened up to competition and is a regulated market. Power NI powers most homes in Northern Ireland. Airtricity, owned by SSE, is getting more and more customers and does better than Power NI in our survey. Budget Energy, a new entrant in the NI energy market, scored best in our survey with a customer score of 63%.
Star ratings explained
We provide each company with a star rating for each measure. One star is the worst and five stars the best. The more stars a company has, the better. We looked at four core areas of satisfaction.
- Customer service: how well customers feel they are treated overall.
- Value for money: how the supplier is rated for value for money.
- Bill accuracy and clarity: how the energy supplier is rated for the accuracy of its bills, and the ease of understanding energy bills from that supplier.
- Complaints: how the supplier deals with customer's complaints.
- Helping you save energy: the supplier's efforts to encourage customers' to be energy efficient.
The customer score combines overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending to a friend.
The supplier star rating for customer service is shown against each tariff on the Which? Switch results page, so that you can take this into account when comparing energy prices.
Our customer research
In October and November 2013 we surveyed 8,525 UK adults, who pay for their household energy, about their experience with their gas and electricity suppliers.
The percentage customer satisfaction score is based on the responses consumers gave for both overall satisfaction and their likelihood to recommend the energy supplier to a friend. Both questions are given equal weighting, and only those giving a valid response to both questions are included in the analysis. The responses are analysed and scaled to give a rating from 0-100%.
What's different about Utility Warehouse?
While Utility Warehouse (UW) scores highly in our survey, it is worth mentioning that it operates a different marketing model from other suppliers. UW makes use of distributors (or agents) who receive commission for signing up new customers.
38% of respondents in our survey admitted to either being an agent for UW or receiving a discount for recommending someone else. They tended to rate UW slightly higher than other customers. If we took those these ‘agents’ out, UW’s customer score would drop to 66%, falling into sixth place.
Cut your energy bills with Which? Switch
The average saving when switching gas and electricity is £234 - compare gas and electricity tariffs now to find the best deal for you.
This figure is the average estimated annual saving for customers who applied to switch suppliers through Which? Switch between 1st October 2013 and 31st December 2013.