Small energy companies
By Sarah Ingrams
Article 16 of 20
Spark Energy formed in 2007. It focuses on meeting the needs of the rental market: letting agents, landlords and tenants.
Spark Energy is a small independent supplier and provides services for more than 350,000 customers. Spark Energy is growing fast and prides itself on being the only energy company built around the rental market.
It also offers phone and broadband services for tenants.
Should you switch to Spark Energy? See how its prices compare with the rest of the market by using Which? Switch to find the cheapest gas and electricity.
Spark Energy customer score
Spark Energy came joint 12th out of 23 energy companies rated by 8,917 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey – the biggest of its kind.
Spark Energy customer
"They do what is needed and don't overcharge, but there are no frills"
The table below shows the breakdown of Spark Energy's score from our latest survey.
|Spark Energy 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 37 Spark Energy customers.)
We didn't have enough responses from Spark Energy customers to be able to provide a rating to 'Bills (accuracy and clarity)'.
Find out how Spark Energy compares with other energy companies – click to see the full results of the best and worst energy companies.
Which? verdict on Spark Energy
Spark Energy provides a number of tariff options for gas, electricity and dual fuel.
Although Spark came 12th in our survey, it is among the lower-performing small suppliers. Just two thirds (66%) of Spark's customers told us that they were satisfied with it as a supplier. On average, 85% of small suppliers' customers say they're satisfied with their supplier. For the Big Six, the average percentage who are satisfied is 77%.
We had mixed comments from customers about Spark Energy's customer service. One said that its staff 'never got back to me when they said they would.' Another Spark Energy customer said: 'when I had a problem, I was assured it would be dealt with but there was an issue with information being passed on.'
We had mixed comments about Spark Energy's customer service.
But someone also said that customer service was 'helpful and polite.'
When we put all of the energy companies' phone lines and online response times to the test in our snapshot customer waiting investigation, it took us nearly five and a half minutes on average to get through to Spark Energy. This put it in the slower half of companies.
It was much faster at responding to our live chat messages, in just 31 seconds on average.
Pros: We found Spark provides clear information on its bills and website.
Cons: It is one of the worst performing small suppliers.
Spark Energy fuel mix
Where Spark Energy gets its fuel:
- 47% Coal
- 27% Natural gas
- 12% Renewables
- 8% Nuclear
- 6% Other
(Note: This information was correct January 2017.)
Spark Energy in the news
On 16 February 2015, the regulator Ofgem announced that its investigation into Spark Energy found that the supplier was in breach of nearly 10 of its licence conditions. For example, the regulator found that Spark wrongly stopped customers switching to other suppliers, transferred customers when it shouldn't have, and fell short of billing and complaints handling standards. The failings largely occurred between June 2010 and October 2013. and Spark paid £250,000 for its breach to Citizens Advice.
Paying too much for energy? Use Which? Switch to find the cheapest gas and electricity.