Birmingham-based E says it focuses on keeping its costs down so that its 300,000 customers pay less.
It also promises to make things ‘simple and straightforward’ for customers.
Customers pay for their gas and electricity in advance, using a key for electricity and a card for gas. As well as topping up at a retailer or Post office (for gas only), customers with smart meters can also top up online, via E’s mobile app or by phone or text message.
E gives £50 loyalty credit to prepayment-meter customers who keep their gas and electricity supply with it for 12 months. But if you do want to switch, E doesn’t charge exit fees.
Keep reading to find out how E matches up to other brands, including prepayment specialists, on prices and customer service. Plus find out why it has been in trouble with energy regulator Ofgem on more than one occasion.
E came joint-20th out of 25 energy companies rated by 7,460 members of the public in the annual Which? energy companies satisfaction survey – the broadest independent view of energy companies available.
Since changing to E I'm spending less than with my previous supplier.
It's not the cheapest but it is OK, reliable and I am used to it.
The graphic below shows the breakdown of E’s score in our latest survey. Scroll down to read our verdict on this energy firm, and to find out more about its prices.
We've included E in our energy companies survey for the second time this year. It’s had shaky results once again, finishing in the bottom quarter of suppliers based on the feedback gathered from its customers.
It gained a ‘good’ rating on one of the five aspects of service included in our survey and ‘fair’ ratings on two. However, it achieved just two stars on the remaining two measures.
E received its highest rating for the way it handles complaints with four stars. It also gets relatively few complaints per 1,000 customers and resolves 88% within two days, according to data from energy regulator Ofgem for the first half of last year. It resolved all of its complaints within eight weeks.
On the other hand, it was among the companies with the highest proportions of customers who had experienced problems in the previous 12 months - 36% said they had.
E’s three-star rating for customer service equals that of brands that get far higher scores overall. The data behind its rating reveals that 77% of customers in our survey considered its customer service to be good or excellent. While this seems respectable, the best brand for this managed 96%.
[E's customer service staff] try to find out what problem you have and put you through to people that can help.
I don't understand the bill - it could be clearer.
E scored better for dealing with complaints than jointly ranked EDF Energy but worse for bill accuracy and clarity. Customers were particularly unimpressed when we asked them how clear and easy E’s bills are to understand.
Although E says it focuses on saving customers money, those in our survey considered it poor for value for money, rating it at just two stars. Many other firms were considered good value for money, although only one achieved the full five-star rating this year.
The company was also part of our snapshot investigation into energy companies’ customer response times. It was reasonably quick to pick up the phone, doing so in 3 minutes 42 seconds on average which was faster than the median average response time for all providers we called, which stood at 5 minutes 57 seconds.
It was the fastest company to respond to email queries too, taking only 45 minutes to reply.
Pros: Quick to answer the phone in our snapshot investigation
Cons: Value for money and bill clarity are nothing special
Yes, E only supplies customers with prepayment meters.
Top-ups are at PayPoint, Payzone or Post Office for gas, and PayPoint or Payzone for electricity.
It offers friendly credit, so you won't lose electricity if you run out of credit in evenings (8pm - 8am) or on Sunday. You can access emergency credit on your meter if you run out of gas or electricity and can't get to the shop to top-up. You'll pay back any credit you've used when you next top-up.
E is now installing smart prepayment meters. With one of these you can top up using its mobile app, text, by phone or online as well as at a shop.
E's electricity fuel mix is 3.5% renewable, 9.8% nuclear, 74.5% gas, 6% coal and 6.2% other fuels.
The UK average fuel mix is 40.3% renewable.
When we asked E, alongside other energy firms, to tell us more about its renewable electricity and sustainability it said it was not in a position to provide information about this.
March: E is paying around 21,000 of its customers a total of £73,000 after overcharging them when they switched supplier or tariff between 2013 and 2020. It was one of 18 energy firms found by regulator Ofgem to have failed to uphold these rules. Over 1 million customers were affected.
E’s affected customers will receive £3.49 each, on average.
January: E reported a loss of £4.7m after making a £1.4m profit the previous year, blaming an increase in the energy price cap in 2019.
May: Ofgem fined E £650,000 for anti-competitive practices. The regulator said that it had an agreement with Economy Energy preventing the two firms from targeting each other's customers in face-to-face sales for several months in 2016.
Software and consultancy firm Dyball Associates helped the company. Anthony Pygram, director of conduct and enforcement at Ofgem, said that this left ‘some customers potentially worse off by being unable to access deals from the other supplier'.
January: After Economy Energy’s collapse, Ofgem ordered E to stop switching former Economy Energy customers to it.
Economy Energy had agreed to sell 30,000 customers to E, but then it went bust and all its customers were moved to Ovo Energy.