Energy company reviews
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Tonik Energy invites customers to ‘be part of the green energy revolution’ with prices that don't cost the earth. Should you switch to Tonik?
Tonik Energy promises customers cheaper bills and greener energy. It says its ambition, from when it started in 2016, is to halve customers’ energy bills in the next five years by helping them produce their own energy.
Tonik sells only 100% renewable electricity tariffs. Plus customers can choose to include 10% green gas in their tariff – this is produced from animal and vegetation waste.
Its greenest tariff offsets the carbon of the remaining 90% of its gas. Tonik Energy does this by investing in carbon reduction projects.
Tonik Energy also promises to ‘connect members to new technologies and innovative ways to power their homes’.
It says it’s creating a virtual power plant by bringing together a group of members who generate, store and sell renewable electricity to one another and the grid.
Besides gas and electricity, Tonik sells solar pv panels, home battery storage from Tesla and chargers for electric vehicles.
Based in Birmingham, Tonik also gives customers information on their energy use and how to save.
It pays 3% interest on customers’ credit balances up to £1,000.
Read on to find out how Tonik’s customer service compares or compare gas and electricity prices with Which? Switch to see if it can save you money on energy.
Tonik Energy customer score
Tonik came joint 14th out of 35 energy companies rated by 7,355 members of the public in the annual Which? energy companies customer satisfaction survey.
It shares its position with Utility Warehouse, with good ratings from its customers on most aspects we asked about.
Tonik customer score breakdown
The graphic below shows the breakdown of Tonik’s scores from our latest survey.
Find out how Tonik Energy compares with other energy companies included in our survey. See the full results of the best and worst energy companies 2020.
Which? verdict on Tonik Energy
Tonik Energy is included in our results for the second year and seems to be reasonably well-liked by its customers. It didn’t rank as highly as last year though, when it finished in joint fourth.
It still ranks well above the traditional biggest big energy firms though, although slightly below newcomer giant Ovo Energy.
Tonik Energy customers’ feedback revealed that its service is good in all the areas we asked about, apart from digital tools.
Customer service was praised by members and achieved four stars overall. Only top-ranked firm Octopus Energy managed to get a higher star rating for customer service.
However when we included Tonik in our snapshot investigation into customer waiting times, it was not among the fastest to pick up the phone.
It took nine minutes 23 seconds on average, while the fastest firm took just 38 seconds. But customers weren’t left waiting as long as those phoning Scottish Power – they faced a wait of more than 21 minutes on average.
Since Tonik didn’t offer live chat, we timed its email responses instead. Again, it wasn’t the fastest to respond. It took nearly four days on average to get a reply, compared with just a few hours’ wait from fastest firm So Energy.
Tonik Energy often sells cheap tariffs and value for money was also rated a good four stars by its customers. In fact, no company in our survey achieved a higher star rating for value for money.
Customers were impressed with the accuracy and clarity of Tonik’s bills. It achieved five stars for bill accuracy, better than jointly ranked Utility Warehouse.
Digital tools to help customers monitor their account and energy use are also good, according to Tonik Energy’s customers. Customers’ feedback placed it on a par with other digitally focused competitors including Bulb, Octopus and Powershop.
We didn’t get enough responses from Tonik Energy’s customers to rate its complaints handling. However we can get an idea from data shared with energy regulator Ofgem. This shows that Tonik received few complaints from its customers in the first half of last year.
However it was among the slowest to resolve them, managing three in 10 or fewer on the same or next working day. The best firms solve 80% or more in the same time. Even after eight weeks, it had resolved three quarters or fewer.
Pros: Customers consider the accuracy of its bills excellent, it pays 3% interest on credit balances on some tariffs
Cons: Not the fastest to pick up the phone or answer emails, according to our snapshot
Tonik electricity sources
Tonik Energy in the news
June: Tonik Energy claimed to be the first UK energy supplier to install the Tesla Powerwall home battery in consumer homes.
February: Tonik Energy announced an increase to the price of its standard variable tariff (Life Energy) by 14% from 1 April. This was the date that Ofgem increased the price cap allowing energy companies to charge customers more.
Customers paid £144 extra per year and the tariff cost £1,192 per year for a medium energy user. It was still less than the maximum permitted by the cap though.