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Best and worst energy companies

Energy companies: Which? Recommended Providers

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Energy companies: Which? Recommended Providers

Energy companies strive to earn Which? Recommended Provided status. Find out what it takes to become an energy WRP, plus which energy firm won our award in 2018.

Which? Recommended Provider for energy status is only awarded to those companies which we’re confident meet the highest standards, are loved by their customers and don’t overcharge them.

It’s not easy to achieve. If no companies live up to our high standards, we’re not afraid to leave the industry empty-handed. In 2017 there were no energy WRPs.

Read on to find out which company is a Which? Recommended Provider for energy in 2018, how we assess companies for the award, and which companies narrowly missed out this year.

Which? Recommended Provider for energy 2018

Octopus Energy is this year’s energy Which? Recommended Provider. It was the only company to pass all of our tough assessments (more about these below).

Customers are more likely to rank Octopus Energy’s bills excellent than customers of any other energy supplier, and it has one of the lowest numbers of complaints (and resolves them fast). 

Find out more in our dedicated Octopus Energy review.

Who came close?

Utility Warehouse was the closest contender. It’s this year’s top-scoring company in our energy customer satisfaction survey and passed almost all of our assessments. However, it scored below average in our procedures and practices assessment, so it misses out on WRP status. 

It’s already a WRP for broadband and mobile, though.

Flow Energy finished in second place in our satisfaction survey. Though it matched Octopus Energy’s customer star ratings, it scored below average on our performance assessment (including 2017 waiting times and complaints).

PFP Energy’s customer score is the same as Octopus Energy’s in our survey. But, like Utility Warehouse, it also scored below average in our procedures and practices assessment so is not a WRP.

Utilita missed out on WRP status for falling short of the average in our procedures and practices assessment. Neither it nor Utility Warehouse offered a tariff in the cheapest part of the market for their customers (at the time of our pricing analysis).

Which? Recommended Provider criteria

Our energy satisfaction survey is the first piece in the puzzle for aspiring Which? Recommended Providers. Companies must achieve among the highest scores, based on feedback from their customers. See the full results of our energy satisfaction survey 2018.

In addition to the satisfaction survey results, we also carried out a comprehensive analysis of energy companies' procedures, practices and prices. We award Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) status to those companies which pass all of our criteria so we're confident that they're the best of the best and won't let you down.

To be rated as a Which? Recommended Provider, an energy supplier needs to:

  • Be in the top group of companies rated the highest by their customers.
  • Have no fines or sanctions brought against them by, or make redress payments in arrangement with, regulatory bodies, such as Ofgem and the Advertising Standards Authority, in the past year.
  • Follow procedures and practices that we think are in the best interest of the consumer. We scored energy companies against a set of 36 criteria that cover the main elements of the consumer journey including: complaints processes, billing, customer service and account management.
  • Be better than average on performance for call and online waiting times, and complaints. This is based on our 2018 snapshot investigation into energy company waiting times and the number of complaints companies receive and how fast they resolve them.
  • Pass our final price analysis. Energy firms must have a variable or fixed tariff in the cheapest part of the market for low, medium and high users for the average user across Great Britain. They also must not have a variable or fixed tariff in the most expensive band.

Previous energy WRPs

Flow Energy and Ovo Energy are the only other two energy firms to have been Which? Recommended Providers. Both received the award in 2016, but Ovo Energy lost it again when it raised its prices. Ovo Energy was also our very first WRP in 2015. There were no WRPs for energy in 2017.

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