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Big Six 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 5m homes and businesses in the UK – should you switch so it supplies yours?

Scottish Power generates its own energy through coal, gas and hydro-electric power stations, and says it’s committed to delivering a sustainable, greener energy future.

Scottish Power is the largest producer of wind energy in the UK, generating more than 1,600MW. Iberdrola Group operates four offshore wind sites, plus more than 30 onshore wind farms across the UK. It says it’s leading the UK in developing electricity generation from onshore wind.

Is Scottish Power cheaper than your current energy deal? Use Which? Switch to compare gas and electricity prices.

Scottish Power customer score

Scottish Power came joint 26th in our survey of 31 British energy companies’ customers, as rated by 8,761 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey. It shares its position with British Gas.

‘Customer service is not a forte of Scottish Power. It isn't awful – they deal with questions efficiently, but not necessarily in great detail.’

Scottish Power customer

Scottish Power score breakdown

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

Scroll down to find out how Scottish Power fares on complaints handling, where it sources its fuel and what customers think of its prices.

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 has risen above its bottom-three placing last year. This year it finishes joint with Britain’s biggest energy firm, British Gas.

Despite its improved position, Scottish Power’s customers rate its complaints handling among the worst of any energy firm in our survey. Just over half (52%) ranked how it deals with complaints good or better – compared with 60% on average across companies.

‘They keep asking the same questions and we go round and round in circles. Then they give me the wrong information.’

Scottish Power customer

It’s no surprise that Scottish Power is one of just two companies in the Which? survey to score two stars for complaints handing. The other is Npower.

Customers weren’t particularly positive about its value for money, either. Its standard tariff isn’t the priciest of the Big Six firms’ standard tariffs, but one of its fixed tariffs is among the priciest deals available on the market at the moment*.

‘Like all energy companies, Scottish Power charges too much and makes too much profit while consumers struggle to pay their bills.’

Scottish Power customer
*(As of 4 January 2018.)

Scottish Power launched PowerUp in 2017, which it says ‘transforms the way you buy energy’. Customers can buy ‘bundles’ or ‘packages’ of energy upfront, which are designed to last for a specific time period (based on their previous consumption). 

Buying for a longer period will save you money, Scottish Power says. There are no standing charges.

Scottish Power customer service

In the first half of 2017, Scottish Power received the second-highest level of complaints. It also wasn’t the fastest to resolve them, managing to sort out less than 75% of them within two days.

‘I had some issues with my account & it took ages to get a response to my problem.’

Scottish Power customer

But in our snapshot investigation into how long energy companies keep customers waiting, for the third year running Scottish Power was the fastest of the Big Six to pick up the phone. Customers had to wait just 3min 29sec on average. 

This is much slower than non-Big-Six firm Affect Energy (10 seconds) but a fraction of the 27min-plus average wait with Spark Energy.

It was also the fastest to respond to live chat messages in our snapshot investigation, taking just 10 seconds on average.

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, receives lots of complaints

Scottish Power fuel sources

Scottish Power energy prices

The graph above shows how Scottish Power’s variable (also known as standard) tariff, its priciest tariff and its cheapest tariff compared with the cheapest tariff on the market over the last two years. 

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, especially one with a different supplier. Often, Scottish Power has sold a tariff pricier than its standard deal so check carefully if you’re considering fixing your prices for a long period.

Scottish Power customers on its standard variable will see bills increase by 5.5% on average from 1 June 2018. It blamed higher wholesale costs, the cost of upgrading meters and delivering electricity from low-carbon sources.

It also increased the price of its variable tariff in March 2017. The 7.8% rise affected around 1.1m customers. Again it blamed rising wholesale costs, the cost of decarbonising electricity generation and installing smart meters

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

2018

September: Scottish Power is being examined by the regulator for how it handles customer complaints, Ofgem revealed.

February: Around 200,000 customers left Scottish Power in 2017, the firm announced, leaving it with around 5.1m customers. It also announced a 50% drop in earnings for its generation and supply business.

2017

October: Scottish Power said that from next year it will stop rolling customers onto standard tariffs when their fixed deals end. Instead, customers will be offered new fixed-rate energy tariffs.

September: Scottish Power came 93rd in a Which? survey of the 100 best and worst big brands for customer service, with a customer service score of 68%.

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