Electricity and gas are essential services, but that doesn’t mean you should put up with poor service.
Our annual UK energy satisfaction survey covers 16 suppliers in Great Britain.
It captures the experiences of more than 8,000 energy customers who tell us what they really think of the service they receive. This gives you the inside track on finding the very best energy companies you can rely on and avoiding those you can't.
As well as rating the traditional big energy suppliers – British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, SSE and Scottish Power – we also investigate ever growing firms such as Ovo Energy and Octopus Energy and the smaller and medium-sized companies. This includes suppliers such as Utility Warehouse and Shell Energy.
This year, only one energy company impressed us enough to earn our prestigious award, wowing their customers with top-notch service and delivering against our stringent assessment criteria. This firm is .
We’ve included the results from our customer survey, carried out in October 2021, which covers everything from statement clarity to value for money. However, it's important to note that our survey was put out too early to capture most customer's experiences if their firm went bust.
The table also reveals the results from our unique procedures assessment. We use this to compare companies’ approaches to service, including opening hours, accessibility, exit fees and complaints data.
Bulb was in special administration at the time of writing. However, it is operating ‘as usual’ for customers for the time being. If a special administrator is chosen to run your firm (as with Bulb), nothing changes immediately. The company should run as usual until it’s restructured, sold or customers move to another firm.
When we ran our research, British Gas also had a new digital brand, British Gas Evolve, launched in 2020. There was little to separate them in our survey besides value for money, where the newer brand had the edge. But on 26 November 2021, British Gas Evolve changed its name to British Gas. British Gas explained ‘customers have told us that British Gas is a name they know and trust’ and that nothing would change for customers besides the name. All customers will be moved to the same new platform and services will be digital-first.
To be the best of the best and become a Which? Recommended Provider, a company must not only be among the highest scorers in our annual customer satisfaction survey, but they must also score above average in our unique procedures assessment.
Combined, these two pieces of research cover procedures as well customer feedback on statement clarity, payment accuracy, customer service and value for money.
We also continually review and improve our criteria so we can be confident we're assessing the measures most important to customers.
To become a Which? Recommended Provider, an energy supplier must:
We did not include a pricing analysis this time around given the lack of cheap deals being offered by energy firms in the current market. In previous years, energy firms had to have a tariff in the cheapest part of the market for low, medium and high use for the average user across Great Britain, and not have had a variable tariff in the most expensive band.
Octopus Energy tops the table, moving up from second place last year.
Taking into account other factors we look at, including an assessment of their procedures, is this year’s only Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) for energy. This is the fifth consecutive year that Octopus Energy has been named a WRP.
It achieved the highest rating for payment accuracy and had lots of customers who had no problems whatsoever in the last 12 months. In fact, out of all the suppliers in our survey, it had the highest proportion of customers who rated all four measures as 'excellent'.
Price is the most important consideration for most people when choosing a new energy supplier, according to our survey, so it’s no surprise that the highest-scoring energy companies are considered good value for money by their customers.
Price isn’t everything though – and being rated good value for money by customers doesn’t mean an energy supplier is the cheapest on the market. Octopus Energy doesn't always offer the cheapest deals but customers still rate it good value for money, indicating that it demonstrates its value in other ways.
Eon Next was the lowest-scoring company in our latest survey, finishing in last place. This was the first time Eon Next has been included in our survey as it only launched in 2020.
Shell Energy also scores poorly. This is a notable drop from last year, when it was ranked 17th out of 25 energy companies.
Our survey continues to show the importance of value for money. Eon Next was the only provider in our survey to be rated very poor for value for money, getting just one star out of five. While for the customers that told us they were 'very dissatisfied' with Shell Energy, price was an issue.
Both fared poorly for customer service too, with two stars apiece. Unfortunately, these weren't the only suppliers to receive such a low rating though. Boost, British Gas, EDF, SSE and Eon also got two stars, while Scottish Power was the only company to get just one star.
Six energy firms have traditionally dominated the market for decades, four of which still supply more than half of energy customers today – British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon and Scottish Power. SSE used to be among them but the brand is now owned by Ovo. Npower was also part of the big six but it ceased trading in 2019 and is now owned by Eon Next. These firms consistently rank in the lower half of our table.
is the highest-rated of the traditional big firms this year, in ninth place. That said, its customer score is little different to EDF Energy, Eon, SSE and Scottish Power. Customers evidently find there’s little to choose between them.
However, the dominance of the traditional big firms has been tested in recent years. Ovo Energy is now the second-largest supplier and scores far better, finishing joint second overall.