Boost supplies pay-as-you-go customers only, and says its ‘mission is to make PAYG energy fit around your life’. It currently serves more than 350,000 homes.
Customers with smart meters can top up via a smartphone app. Those currently on Boost's PAYG+ can also schedule automatic top-ups, put money aside for winter and track their energy use in the app but Boost is in the process of moving its customers over to PAYG Smart, which has a new app that doesn't give you these extra features.
It offers 50% renewable electricity, and its tariffs have no exit fees.
Boost came joint-18th out of 25 energy companies rated by 7,460 members of the public in the annual Which? energy companies customer satisfaction survey.
Customers weren't particularly impressed with any aspect of Boost's service, although they rated it higher for value for money than all the traditional big firms and had some positive things to say about how it deals with complaints.
When I've had to call them, they were quick to deal with any issues.
They are fair to their customers.
The graphic below shows the breakdown of Boost’s scores from our latest survey.
It’s the third time we’ve been able to include Boost in our annual energy company survey. It gets a fair rating from its customers on most measures.
Boost's customers gave it three stars for bill accuracy, customer service, how it handles complaints and value for money - it doesn’t promise big savings, but ‘to be 100% here for you’. It received just two stars for bill clarity.
Parent company Ovo also got a fair three-star rating for value for money.
In the first half of last year, Boost received an above-average number of complaints from its customers, according to energy regulator Ofgem’s data, compared with the other firms included in our survey. In fact, it had the highest proportion of customers in our survey saying they had experienced problems in the previous 12 months at 44%.
However, it was among the best for resolving complaints quickly. It solved 88% on the same or next working day and an impressive 99% within two months.
I have an app that breaks down my usage and explains what I use.
I don't understand my bill at all.
Despite Boost’s positive record for resolving complaints, it has some work to do around picking up the phone promptly. It was the slowest of the firms included in our September 2020 snapshot investigation into customer waiting times, taking more than 40 minutes on average for a human to answer the phone.
One caller was on hold for 2 hours 39 minutes and four more were on hold for over an hour.
The average median wait time for all 31 companies we called was 5 minutes 57 seconds. The fastest firm – Together Energy – managed to pick up in 51 seconds on average.
When we tried to contact Boost by online contact form, we only twice received a response within seven days (our cut off period).
Pros: Quick to resolve complaints
Cons: Slow to pick up the phone or answer emails in our snapshot investigation
Yes. Boost only supplies customers with prepayment meters. You can join Boost whether you have a traditional pay-as-you-go meter or a smart one. Some smart meters will lose their smart features when you switch - Boost says it will check if you have a compatible smart meter before you switch.
If you don't already have a smart prepayment meter, Boost is installing them. It'll mean you can top-up using its app, as well as at PayPoint shops. The app also lets your schedule automatic top-ups.
You'll get an in-home display which will alert you when your credit is running low.
If you run out of credit between 4pm and 10am weekdays, at the weekend or on a bank holiday, your power won't be cut off.
Boost offers emergency credit so your energy supplies don't cut off if you can't get to the shop. Smart PAYG+ customers automatically get emergency credit when theirs gets too low. If you don't use the Boost app (smart PAYG standard customers) you'll need to activate your emergency credit on your in-home display. Traditional meter customers can access it via their meter.
You'll pay back any emergency credit you've used when you next top-up.
Around half of the electricity Boost sells is matched with renewables. It doesn’t generate any itself or buy any directly from renewable generators.
January: The energy regulator Ofgem appointed Ovo Energy and Boost to take on the customers of Economy Energy when it ceased trading. Boost took on Economy Energy's prepayment customers.
Buys renewable electricity directly from generators?