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7 December 2020

Scottish Power

Scottish Power, owned by Spanish energy firm Iberdrola, supplies gas and electricity to more than five million homes and businesses in the UK. Should you switch so it supplies yours?
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SI
Sarah Ingrams

Scottish Power generates its own electricity, largely through renewable sources. Over the past couple of years it has closed its coal-fired power stations and sold off its gas plants. 

It now claims it will be the first big company to generate only renewable electricity, and that this will happen ‘very soon’. Scottish Power was already the largest producer of wind energy in the UK, generating more than 2,000MW. Iberdrola Group operates 40 wind farms across the UK, most of which are onshore. 

It’s also building two new wind farms, the first of which will start generating later this year.  

Is Scottish Power cheaper than your current energy deal? Use Which? Switch to compare gas and electricity prices.

Scottish Power customer score

Scottish Power came joint 33rd out of 35 British energy companies, as rated by 7,355 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey. It shares its position with Spark Energy.

Scottish Power is the lowest ranked of the big traditional energy companies. Only small supplier Together Energy finished with a lower score. This is the closest to the bottom of the table that Scottish Power has ever finished in our survey.

Scottish Power score breakdown

The graphic below shows the breakdown of its score from our latest survey.

Scroll down to find out how Scottish Power fares on complaints handling, how quickly it responds to customers and what customers think of its prices.

Find out how Scottish Power compares with other energy companies – click to see the full results of the best and worst energy companies.

Which? verdict on Scottish Power

This is the first time that Scottish Power has ranked lowest of the big energy companies.

Scottish Power’s customers rate its bills, customer service, digital tools and value for money as poor. The only aspect for which it scored better was complaints handling, earning a 'fair' rating based on customers’ feedback.

Although customer feedback in our survey indicated that the way it handles complaints is the best aspect of its service, official data shows that it solved a lower percentage of complaints within two days than any of its big rivals in the first half of last year.

It resolved less than 45% of complaints in two days during this period. The best companies manage more than 80%, but lowest-scoring firm Together Energy managed less than a quarter.

Some customers are willing to put up with more basic customer service for the right price. But Scottish Power is poor value for money, according to customers in our survey.

It sells several fixed deals, including some which give a donation to Cancer Research UK, as well as online-only tariffs and deals including boiler cover. Its electric vehicle tariff has lower rates overnight to charge your car. You must have an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle registered at your supply address to qualify.

On the plus side, Scottish Power has shown big improvements in its call waiting times since 2019, according to our latest snapshot investigation into how long energy companies keep customers waiting. In September and October 2020 we called 31 energy firms 12 times each, on different days and at different times of day.

Last year Scottish Power was the slowest to answer the phone, with a median average wait time of 21 minutes 24 seconds. This year, it was the 8th fastest to answer, keeping customers holding a mere 2 minutes 28 seconds on average. 

This was significantly faster than the average wait time across all providers (5 minutes 57 seconds).

It was even faster for live chat, taking only 40 seconds to answer on average, although the service wasn't available a few times we tried. This makes it the third fastest responder using this medium.

Pros: One of the fastest to respond on live chat in our snapshot investigation

Cons: Slow to respond to complaints

Scottish Power electricity sources

See how much money you can save on your energy bills. Use Which? Switch to find the cheapest gas and electricity.

Scottish Power in the news

2020

December: Scottish Power took on Yorkshire Energy's 74,000 domestic customers after the small supplier stopped trading.

November: Scottish Power is being investigated by energy regulator Ofgem over whether it broke rules around its obligations to install smart meters in homes in 2019.

November: Scottish Power announced plans to nearly double its renewable generation. It said this means it will build new solar and wind power and batteries.

2019

July: Scottish Power announced that it lost 120,000 customers in a year, so it now supplies around 4.75 million customers. 

April: Scottish Power raised prices for the 900,000 customers on its standard variable tariffs. Direct debit customers paid £117 more per year, based on a medium energy user. Customers with prepayment meters paid £106 more per year.

2018

September: Scottish Power was investigated for how it handled customer complaints, Ofgem revealed. 

June: Scottish Power customers on its standard variable tariff saw their bills increase by 5.5% on average. It blamed higher wholesale costs, the cost of upgrading meters and delivering electricity from low-carbon sources. 

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