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1 October 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 is 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.

Customers weren’t particularly positive about Scottish Power's customer service, either. This was borne out in our snapshot investigation into how long energy companies keep customers waiting, where Scottish Power was the slowest company to answer the phone. It took 21mins 24secs on average – a disappointing change from previous years, when it picked up the phone more quickly than all its big rivals.

The fastest firm in our snapshot investigation, So Energy, took just 38 seconds to answer the phone on average.

So if you need to get in touch with Scottish Power in a hurry, try live chat instead. It was much faster, taking just 50 seconds, on average, to respond.

Although it seems to offer fast-response live chat, customers didn’t rate its digital tools highly overall.

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.

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

Cons: Slowest firm to pick up the phone in our snapshot, 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

July: Scottish Power announced the loss of 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.

September: Scottish Power was examined by the regulator for how it handles 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.

February: Around 200,000 customers left Scottish Power in 2017, the firm announced, leaving it with around 5.1 million customers. It also announced a 50% drop in earnings for its generation and supply business.