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24 January 2021

People's Energy

People’s Energy says it ‘puts people and planet first’, promising customers 75% of its profits and selling mostly renewable energy. But what do those customers think of its service and prices?
Peoples energy company main 485603
SI
Sarah Ingrams

People’s Energy launched in 2017 after raising more than £500,000 through crowdfunding. Based in East Lothian, it now has around 200,000 customers and says it has started to pay back the 2,200 people who helped to fund its setup.

Customers get 75% of People’s Energy’s profit – once it’s making one – which you’ll receive as a cash payment into your energy account.

People’s Energy says that its tariffs are among the lowest for households.

Most of the energy it sells is renewable, which People’s Energy backs by buying certificates for renewable power from energy buyer and trader Smartest Energy. See below for more about where its energy comes from. 

It says it will soon be offering a 100% renewable energy tariff – including 'green' gas – to domestic customers. One is already available for business customers.

It cannot install prepayment meters yet or support smart meters in prepayment mode.

In December 2020, all People's Energy customers were hit by a data breach, although no financial details for domestic customers were accessed by the hackers. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more on this.

Read on to find out how People’s Energy matches up to more established energy firms.

Compare gas and electricity prices using Which? Switch to see if you could save money with People’s Energy.

People’s Energy customer score

People’s Energy came fourth 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.

Very easy to deal with. All issues sorted within a suitable timeframe.

People's Energy customer

They've been excellent so far.

People's Energy customer

People’s Energy score breakdown

The graphic below shows the score breakdown for People’s Energy in our latest survey. Scroll down to read our verdict on the firm, and to find out more about its prices.

Find out how People’s Energy compares with other energy firms in our guide to the best and worst energy companies.

Which? verdict on People’s Energy

People’s Energy is a relative newcomer to the market, making it into our survey for the second time this year. Feedback from customers revealed that they’re impressed, especially with the accuracy of its bills.

The company gained the highest, five-star, rating for bill accuracy, although six other firms included in our survey scored the same.

Customers were not quite as delighted with the clarity of its bills, although it still got a respectable four-star rating for this.

Only one company – Outfox the Market – achieved the highest five-star rating for value for money this year. People’s Energy equalled the next best firms on this measure with four stars, suggesting that its customers are content with its prices.

Some of its tariffs were among the cheapest on the market for medium energy users in the first half of 2020 but it became less competitive in the second half of the year. 

We didn’t get enough responses for People’s Energy to calculate a star rating for its customer service or how well it handles complaints but in our survey 90% of its customers said they'd had no problems with the provider in the last 12 months, making it one of the best for this.

They send me an email monthly asking me to input my meter readings on their site. Within 12 hours I have my bill and when I check it it's always accurate.

People's Energy customer

They were the cheapest at the time and have been really good.

People's Energy customer

Although it received one of the highest customer scores, it was below average in our procedures assessment so can't be a Which? Recommended Provider.

When we included it in our September 2020 snapshot investigation into customer waiting times, it took an average of 5 minutes 59 seconds to answer the phone – very similar to the median average time across all 31 companies we called (5 minutes 57 seconds).

It was a little slower than the overall average to respond to a live chat query, taking 4 minutes 29 seconds compared to 3 minutes 6 seconds – the average for the 18 companies we contacted this way.

Pros: Customers think the accuracy of its bills is excellent

Cons: Doesn’t supply customers with prepayment meters

People’s Energy electricity sources

People’s Energy in the news

People's Energy in 2020

December: On 16 December 2020 a data breach affected all of People's Energy's customers. An entire database was stolen by hackers, including information on former customers. 

Stolen data included names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, People's Energy account numbers, tariff and energy meter details but no financial information for domestic customers was accessed. Online account numbers were also not accessed.

People's Energy tried to contact all present and past customers. You can contact it on 0131 378 2357 or at helpline@peoplesenergy.co.uk if you're concerned that you were affected. 

If you're worried that your details were compromised, be wary of unexpected phone calls, emails or fake 'customer support' messages popping up on social media about the breach as scammers may try to take advantage of it. It's also worth keeping an eye on bank accounts and credit reports. 

Find out more about your rights if your personal data has been lost in a breach.

People's Energy in 2019

December: People’s Energy cut its gas prices by 8% on the last day of the year, lowering the bills of around 26,000 customers.

It said that the average home will save around £30 a year as a result.

Want to find out which energy firm is the cheapest for you? Use Which? Switch to compare gas and electricity prices.

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