Energy company reviews
By Sarah Ingrams
Article 9 of 34
Ebico is a not-for-profit energy company that supplies more than 60,000 households. It says its mission is to help those affected by fuel poverty.
Ebico presents itself as an ethical company with excellent customer service. Founded more than 20 years ago, it’s one of the oldest smaller energy firms.
Based in Oxfordshire, Ebico has no shareholders, and the profits it makes are given to projects that help people affected by fuel poverty via its charity, Ebico Trust.
It also says it sells ‘attractively priced plans’ for those who spend a lot of their money on energy.
Its tariffs include a fixed deal with no daily standing charges or exit fees, called Ebico Zero. This means you only pay for the gas and electricity you use (although you must use at least £52 of electricity and £104 of gas per year to qualify).
All its tariffs include 100% renewable electricity.
Energy company Robin Hood Energy supplies energy to Ebico customers and provides customer service.
You can find out how Ebico's prices compare with your current deal – use Which? Switch to find the cheapest gas and electricity.
Ebico customer score
Ebico came second out of 35 energy companies rated by 7,355 members of the public in the annual Which? energy supplier satisfaction survey – the biggest of its kind.
Perhaps surprisingly, Ebico’s customer score is much higher than that of Robin Hood Energy, which provides gas, electricity, customer service and account management to Ebico customers.
Ebico score breakdown
Below we show the breakdown of Ebico's score from our latest survey. Keep reading for our expert verdict on Ebico, and to find out why its customers rated it as they did. You can also find out more about Ebico's fuel mix.
Find out how Ebico compares with other energy companies – click to see the full results of the best and worst energy companies.
Which? verdict on Ebico
Ebico customers were very positive about their experiences with the supplier this year, with 92% saying they were satisfied with the firm.
This far exceeds the average across all firms included, with three quarters of customers saying they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their energy company.
Ebico’s highest star rating was for the accuracy of its bills. It got a full five-star rating in this area, although so did 11 other suppliers included in our survey.
Customers weren’t quite as positive about how clear and easy to understand Ebico’s bills are, although no supplier managed to get a full five-star rating for this.
Ebico achieved a very respectable four stars for every other aspect of its service that we received enough responses to rate, including customer service, value for money and digital tools.
Customer service is provided by Robin Hood Energy, which, unsurprisingly, also achieved a ‘good’ rating. However, Robin Hood Energy's customers were less satisfied with its service overall than Ebico's.
In our snapshot investigation into energy companies' customer waiting times, Ebico took less than a minute to answer the phone on average, putting it among the fastest firms.
It was similarly responsive by email, taking just 43 minutes to respond on average – although one company (So Energy) was even speedier, replying in just 29 minutes on average.
Ebico gets a good four-star rating for value for money, along with around half of the firms included in this year’s survey. However, none achieved a five-star customer-service rating, while the poorest-performing firms gained just two stars.
Ebico Zero - probably Ebico’s best-known tariff - has one unit rate, no exit fees and no standing charge. This is a very simple tariff structure, and means you only pay for what you use, which may help to explain why Ebico gets a good star rating for value for money.
The company scored a respectable four out of five stars for its digital tools. Although we found it tricky to find answers to some common questions online, customers commented on being able to submit meter readings online.
Unfortunately, we didn't receive enough responses to rate Ebico's complaints handling.
However, data from energy regulator Ofgem revealed that it gets an average number of complaints per 1,000 customers, when compared with other companies included in our survey.
It was faster than average to resolve them, though: in the first six months of last year, it sorted out three quarters on the same or next working day. This is a big improvement on its complaints resolution the previous year, when it solved just a quarter of problems in two working days.
Pros: Simple unique tariffs, quick to answer the phone and emails in our snapshot investigation
Cons: Less customer service on social media than competitors
Ebico electricity sources
Ebico in the news
April: Ebico increased prices by £169 a year for customers on its standard variable tariff when the government raised the price cap on energy bills.
Customers’ bills increased 16% over a year. However, Ebico’s standard variable tariff was still cheaper than the maximum permitted by the price cap (by £27 a year).
The same month, Ebico announced that it had invested more than £1.4m into projects to help fuel poverty since 2009.
March: Ebico increased the price of its Ebico Zero tariff. This added an extra £60 to customers' annual dual fuel bill, on average (a 5% increase).
It said: ‘Over the past few months the wholesale cost of both gas and electricity have been rising, and we are now being forced to increase the price.’ Customers on other Ebico tariffs were not affected.