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Solarplicity promises ‘simply lower energy bills’. Find out if Solarplicity delivers on this and whether it’s the right energy firm for you.
Solarplicity, formerly called LoCO2, says it makes it easy to get cheaper energy bills, greener energy and deal with its friendly, caring staff.
It promises that its prices will always be lower than the Big Six energy companies and doesn’t charge exit fees on its tariff.
Solarplicity also offers 100% renewable electricity tariffs - it says the energy is generated from biofuels, wind, hydropower and solar power.
Between February and late May 2019, Solarplicity was banned from taking on new customers by energy regulator Ofgem. This was owing to its poor customer service and switching processes. It will start taking on customers again from 5 August: read on to find out what Solarplicity's customers think. Or compare gas and electricity prices to see if you can get a good-value energy deal with another firm.
Solarplicity customer score
Solarplicity was the lowest-ranked energy firm in our latest survey, which includes 30 energy companies.
Its overall customer score was eight percentage points less than the next lowest-scoring. It was 36 percentage points behind the top-scorer, Octopus Energy.
Solarplicity was the only company to score just one star for its customer service online and on the phone, complaints handling, and its efforts to help customers understand and reduce their energy use. In fact, Solarplicity is the only company to get a one-star rating at all.
Read on to find out more about why Solarplicity's customers don't recommend it.
Solarplicity score breakdown
The graphic below shows the breakdown of Solarplicity’s scores from our latest survey.
Find out how Solarplicity compares with other energy companies included in our survey. See the full results of the best and worst energy companies 2019.
Which? verdict on Solarplicity
This is the first year we’ve had enough responses from Solarplicity customers to include it in our survey – and it’s the worst-rated supplier.
Half of its customers rated phone and online customer service either poor or very poor. Three quarters told us that it’s poor or very poor at dealing with complaints.
Plus it resolved only 14% of complaints within 48 hours in the first three months of 2018. The best firms for complaints-handling resolve 90% or more in this time.
Based on our survey results, Solarplicity needs to do more if it wants to impress its customers:
- 58% of Solarplicity's customers said they had a problem with it in the past two years
- 25% is the average across all companies.
Most commonly, customers said their problems were with customer service or the firm's website.
Customers were most positive about it being value for money; it scored three stars out of five for this, which is reasonable but not outstanding. The best firms are rated five stars by their customers.
Perhaps customers see value for money as its best aspect because it has offered some cheap deals over the past year. However, its standard tariff, which you’re moved onto if you do nothing when your deal ends, has been one of the priciest at times.
Two of Solarplicity’s energy deals come with energy-saving LED light bulbs. Its smart fixed tariff gives customers a £25 discount for having smart meters installed.
Though customers didn’t rate its overall phone or online customer service well, it was fast to answer the phone and to respond to emails in our snapshot undercover investigation into energy companies' waiting times in September 2018.
Pros: Offers some cheap deals
Cons: Customers rate its customer service and complaints handling poorly
Solarplicity electricity sources
Solarplicity in the news
May:Ofgem announced that it would not confirm the provisional order against Solarplicity because the firm had either achieved the targets set by Ofgem, or they are in progress.
Ofgem said: ‘Solarplicity’s performance has improved since the issue of the provisional order and it has agreed to a range of ongoing measures’.
However, Solarplicity is still not permitted to take on any new customers until 5 August 2019. After this it can only take 200 new customers per week under Community Energy Schemes.
It’s also not allowed to increase direct debits for customers in vulnerable circumstances or use debt collectors to pursue them until it has completed its Vulnerable Customers Policy (expected to be June).
Solarplicity is still breaking a rule about protection for customers who have difficulty paying. It should offer people the option to pay their energy bills by deducting them at source from social security benefits. On 22 May, it did not offer this but has promised that it will start offering this and tell its customers.
Earlier in the month, Solarplicity was ordered to pay outstanding money owed to Feed-in Tariff generators by energy regulator Ofgem. Generators can include homeowners with solar pv panels. Solarplicity must pay all money owing by 16 May, make future payments on time and not give preference to certain FIT generators.
This is the second provisional order Ofgem has issued against Solarplicity in 2019.
February:Solarplicity was banned from taking on new customers for three months from 22 February. Ofgem said it must improve its poor customer service and switching process before being allowed to accept new customers again.
It is also banned from increasing direct debit payments for customers who are in vulnerable situations.
Ofgem will monitor its progress. If Solarplicity doesn’t improve, ultimately it could lose its license to sell gas and electricity.
Find out more about what Solarplicity must do to improve.