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16 July 2021

Ecotricity

Ecotricity is a small, environmentally focused energy company. It claims to be Britain’s greenest energy company, selling 100% renewable electricity and ‘vegan’ energy.
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Which?Editorial team
Ecotricity main 485631

Ecotricity was the first company to offer ‘green electricity’ made from renewable sources. In 2010 it started offering ‘green gas’, which is biogas it generates from grass. 

It offsets the carbon emissions from the rest of its gas supply making it carbon neutral. A few years later, in 2013, it launched a 100% green electricity tariff for all its customers. 

It now claims to offer ‘vegan energy’, which it explains means that no animals or animal by-products are involved in the production of its electricity and gas.

Ecotricity is a not-for-dividend company and uses its profits to fund the building of new green-energy projects, its opposition to fracking and its network of electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

Find out how Ecotricity's prices compare with the best deals on the market. Use Which? Switch to compare gas and electricity tariffs.

Ecotricity customer score

Ecotricity came in 14th place out of 25 energy companies rated by 7,460 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey. 

It beat all of the traditional big energy companies but has moved down the ranks from joint-seventh place last year and is now in the bottom half of the table. 

The price feels a little high but I am willing to pay more for green energy.

Ecotricity customer

When I had a problem its staff were kind and helpful.

Ecotricity customer

Ecotricity score breakdown

Below we show the breakdown of Ecotricity's score from our latest survey. Scroll down to read our expert verdict and find out more about Ecotricity's bills and what its customers think of its service. You can also find out what fuel mix Ecotricity uses in comparison with the UK average. 

Find out how Ecotricity compares with other energy companiessee the full results of the best and worst energy companies.

Which? verdict on Ecotricity

Ecotricity offers one tariff for gas and electricity for direct debit customers, one for pay-as-you-go and one for EV owners. It sells 100% renewable electricity – it says it generates about 20% of it itself – and carbon neutral gas. About 5% of its gas is 'green' and it says it invests in carbon reduction schemes to offset the carbon in the rest of the gas it sells. 

Ecotricity invests in windmills and solar panels, and says it will begin building its first ‘green gas mill’ in Berkshire in 2021 to generate gas by fermenting grass and straw.

If you have an electric vehicle, you could be eligible for a discount on your electricity bill. Ecotricity has also built electric vehicle charging stations around the country as part of its Electric Highway, which let you charge at half the price of the normal rate if you're a Ecotricity energy customer. See our round-up of the best electric cars.

Ecotricity's biggest selling point is its green energy, according to customers who noted this when justifying its tariff prices. One customer explained 'they are not the cheapest supplier overall, but they have a fair price for renewable energy'. That's perhaps why value for money was rated a poor two stars out of five. 

I send in a reading so I know my bill is up to date but I don't always understand the billing.

Ecotricity customer

No one answers the phone.

Ecotricity customer

Ecotricity’s best rating was for its bill accuracy, which was rated four stars out of five by its customers. In fact, two fifths of respondents said this was 'excellent', compared with a third on average across all companies included in the survey. It only received three stars for bill clarity though.

Its customers also gave it an overall three-star rating for customer service. 

In our latest snapshot investigation into energy companies' call waiting times, Ecotricity kept callers on hold for an average of 14 minutes 6 seconds, which was significantly slower than the median call waiting average time of 5 minutes 57 seconds. 

But there were several others that had longer waiting times, including British Gas (23 minutes 32 seconds) and Boost (40 minutes 58 seconds).

Ecotricity was the slowest company of the 12 we contacted by email or online form to give a human response, taking 4 days 21 hours on average.

Ecotricity received a slightly above-average level of complaints among the companies included in our research in the first half of 2020 and resolved only 21% of them within two working days. The best companies managed to resolve 90% or more in that time. 

In our survey, it was among the companies with the highest levels of customers who said they had experienced problems with their energy provider in the previous 12 months, at 37%.

Unfortunately, we didn't receive enough responses to rate Ecotricity’s complaints handling. 

Pros: It's investing in green gas generation and electric cars

Cons: Expensive compared with other suppliers 

Can I join Ecotricity with a prepayment meter?

Yes, Ecotricity supplies customers with smart and traditional prepayment meters. 

You can top-up smart prepayment meters using Ecotricity's app or website, as well as at PayPoint outlets like traditional pay-as-you-go meters.

Ecotricity gives a £5 buffer of emergency credit if you run out and can't get to the shop to top-up. You can access it via your in-home-display (if you have a smart meter) or using your prepayment meter. You'll pay it back when you next top-up.

If you have a smart meter, you can also get 'friendly credit'. This is to help you avoid your gas or electricity cutting off when Ecotricity is closed. You can check the times it's available on your meter.

Ecotricity electricity sources

Ecotricity in the news

Ecotricity in 2020

November: Ecotricity founder Dale Vince's first book was published. In Manifesto he talks about his life and his passion for sustainability. The company ordered four electric cars from Peugeot to add to its fleet. 

September: The Sunday Times PwC Top Track 250 league table placed Ecotricity as one of the 250 leading mid-market private companies in the UK. It was ranked 111th.

April: Ecotricity's Electric Highway EV charging network was found to be the worst charging network in the UK by a survey of EV owners carried out by Auto Express and came bottom in all four categories: charging cost, charging speed, ease of use and reliability.

February: Despite an increase in turnover, Ecotricity failed to turn a profit in the 2018-19 tax year.

Ecotricity in 2019

September: Ecotricity increased the cost of charging on its Electric Highway EV network by 30%. Prices rose from 30p/kWh to 39p/kWh.

May: After declaring a climate emergency, Ecotricity announced its commitment to become a carbon-neutral business by 2025.

Fed up with high bills and slack customer service? Use Which? Switch to find the cheapest gas and electricity tariff.