Energy company reviews
By Jade Harding
Article 3 of 33
Bristol Energy says it aims to always offer you the cheapest tariff possible. But is Bristol the best energy company for you?
Bristol Energy is a small gas and electric provider supplying the national domestic and business market. It is the first energy company to be entirely owned by a city council. This means there are no stakeholders or investors.
The ethos of the firm is: ‘Simple. Fair. Transparent’. This covers reinvesting money into fighting against fuel poverty, increasing renewable energy generation and helping Bristol’s communities.
Bristol Energy offers eight simple tariffs at competitive prices, including a green option that provides 100% renewable electricity from local sources - these can all be managed through an online account.
It began trading in 2016, so this is only the second time it has been included in our annual energy company satisfaction survey.
Will Bristol Energy give you the best energy deal? Use Which? Switch to compare electricity and gas prices to find the best deal for you.
Bristol Energy customer score
Bristol Energy was ranked 8th out of 30 energy firms rated by 7,429 members of the public in the annual Which? energy supplier satisfaction survey.
It beat all the Big Six energy firms, plus well-known medium-sized suppliers First Utility and Sainsbury's Energy.
Bristol Energy score breakdown
Below we show more details about Bristol Energy’s score from our latest survey. Scroll down to find out more about what it's like to be a Bristol Energy customer, and to see what goes into its fuel mix.
Find out how Bristol Energy compares with other energy companies – click to see the full results of the best and worst energy companies.
Which? verdict on Bristol Energy
Bristol Energy is ranked 8th in our annual satisfaction survey – which means it made it into the top ten companies included in the survey this year.
This relatively new firm provides gas and electric and claims to be getting ‘greener as they grow’ - it currently offers 51% renewable electricity as standard. You can opt for the green tariff for 100% renewable electricity.
Bristol Energy offers the Warm Home Discount; a national scheme that gives a £140 payment to those struggling to pay their energy bills. It's a compulsory scheme for large energy companies, but some smaller firms - including Bristol - also offer it.
As it is a local company, Bristol Energy aims to help local businesses and charities, while also offering face-to-face services to Bristolians living nearby.
Bristol Energy customers gave it the highest rating, five stars, in our survey, which reflects the company's promise to 'keep prices as low as they can'.
It offers a variety of payment options, including direct debits, PayPoint and prepayment meters, as well as a discount for paperless billing.
Customers of the small firm also like its bills, rating both accuracy and clarity four stars out of five. One customer said: ‘Everything is simple’. Its efforts to help customers understand and reduce energy use were also acknowledged: 'They send letters with advice'.
Bristol Energy customer service
Both customer service online and over the phone were rated highly in our survey, too. In fact, the online service received an impressive five stars out of five. Phone customer services also scored well, receiving four stars, with 92% of customers rating it either excellent or good. One customer offered particular praise in this area: 'Polite and helpful, and answer your questions efficiently'.
Bristol Energy says ‘exceptional customer service’ is at the heart of its mission.
Pros: Face-to-face service for local customers, customers like its prices and online customer service
Cons: Other companies are rated better for accuracy of bills.
Bristol Energy fuel mix
Bristol Energy in the news
February:From 1 April, customers on Bristol’s standard variable tariff will pay £101 extra per year (based on a medium user). The firm is raising its prices by 9%.
January:Bristol Energy reported a loss of £11.2 million for the last financial year. But also announced it had quadrupled it turnover the same period, from £13.6m to £52.3m.
December:In December the Managing Director of Bristol Energy, Peter Haigh appeared in Westminster to give a speech. He vowed to place a cap on default bills, stating: ‘We passionately believe in the ethical retailing of energy’.