Small energy companies
By Sarah Ingrams
Article 4 of 20
Ecotricity is a small, environmentally focused UK energy company, founded in 1995. Ecotricity says its mission is to change the way electricity is made and used in Britain.
Ecotricity was the first company to offer ‘green electricity’ made from renewable sources. In 2010, Ecotricity started to offer ‘green gas’, which is biogas generated from agricultural and food waste.
It has no shareholders and uses its profits to fund the building of new green-energy projects.
Find out how Ecotricity's prices compare with the best deals on the market by using Which? Switch to compare gas and electricity tariffs.
Ecotricity customer score
Ecotricity came sixth out of 23 energy companies rated by 8,917 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey – the biggest of its kind.
"Local call centre, simple billing"
The table below shows the breakdown of its score from our latest survey.
|Ecotricity survey results|
|Area of performance||Star rating|
|Customer service and complaints handling|
|Value for money|
|Bills (accuracy and clarity)|
|Helping you to save energy|
(Survey: October 2016, responses of 41 Ecotricity customers.)
Find out how Ecotricity compares with other energy companies – click to see the full results of the best and worst energy companies.
Which? verdict on EcotricityEcotricity receives low numbers of complaints and customers are happy with how it handles complaints. It offers one tariff for gas and electricity, and its electricity is 100% renewable – it generates the equivalent in renewable energy that its customers take out of the national grid.
Ecotricity's electricity is 100% renewable.
Ecotricity invests in windmills, solar panels and is building ‘green gas mills’ to generate gas by fermenting grass.
If you have an electric vehicle, you could be eligible for a discount on your electricity bill. Ecotricity has also built electric vehicle charging stations around the country as part of its Electric Highway, which is free to use if you have an electric car.
When we went undercover to investigate energy companies’ customer waiting times,  Ecotricity was one of four companies to take longer than a week, on average, to respond to our email or online form enquiries.
It was far faster (5m22s on average) to get through to a human on the phone to customer services, though other companies are much more prompt to pick up. Fastest phone-answering supplier, Bulb Energy, took just 27 seconds on average to answer our calls.
Pros: It provides 100% renewable electricity and 5% green gas, plus it’s innovating on renewable energy generation and cars.
Cons: More expensive than market leaders
Ecotricity fuel mix
Where Ecotricity gets its fuel from:
- 100% Renewables
(Note: This information was correct in January 2017.)
Ecotricity in the news
In November 2016, Ecotricity proposed a plan for making 'green gas' from grass, presented as a sustainable alternative to fracking. It won planning permission to build its first Green Gasmill in Hampshire.
Ecotricity announced on the 12 February 2016 that it was cutting its customers' bills by 7% on 1 April, which Ecotricity said would save the average customer £50 a year. As Ecotricity had only one gas tariff, that meant all its customers benefited.
In January 2015, the supplier announced that it would make a 6.1% cut to its gas bills from 1 May. On average, it claimed, this would give customers an annual saving of £42.
The company has no shareholders; instead it says it uses profits to fund the building of new sources of green energy. Ecotricity says it has an ethical pricing policy, offering just two tariffs, putting all customers on the latest best price and charging no exit fees.
Ecotricity has the lowest number of complaints per 1,000 customers in the industry, and has done so for the past five years.
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