- Small provider Economy Energy falls from third to bottom place in 12 months
- Big Six supplier SSE comes top as best-rated energy provider on the market
- Customer service, switching systems and transparency of bills are considered
- The Citizens Advice data analyses 18 of the biggest energy providers
Small energy provider, Economy Energy, has taken the wooden spoon in the latest supplier ratings data from Citizens Advice.
The provider’s ratings have fallen from third place at the end of last year to the bottom spot for the period between April and June this year.
The data looks at 18 of the biggest energy suppliers on the market and gives each a score based on factors including customer service and how clear the bills are.
Small energy provider Economy Energy falls from third to bottom place in 12 months
Economy Energy received an average score of 2.2 in the latest ratings table, followed by Extra Energy in the second-to-last spot with an average rating of 2.55 and then Co-operative Energy with 2.95.
The small energy firm consistently offers some of the cheapest deals available – but this appears to have had a knock-on effect on its customer service.
An Economy Energy spokesman, said: ‘We are disappointed with our position considering our commitment to providing excellent customer service.
‘We have recently made the strategic decision to move our customer call centre from India back to the UK as we aim to bring the best experience to our growing customer base across the country.
‘The new £4million centre in Coventry now employs 150 people and gives us the best platform to engage and meet the demands of our customers.
‘We also continue to invest in our digital proposition to bring more choice and flexibility, with over 40,000 customers now using our top-up app, and thousands more benefiting more from our online account offering.’
|Rank||Supplier||Star rating out of five|
|=11||E (Gas and Electricity)||3.25|
|=14||Green Star Energy||3.1|
|Source: Citizens Advice, 02/10/2017|
At the other end of the scale, Big Six provider SSE topped the table with an average score of 4.5, followed by Ecotricity and First Utility with scores of 4.4 and 4.1 respectively.
Of the Big Six energy providers, after SSE in the top spot EDF came in fourth place with an average score of four and British Gas was in eighth place with a score of 3.7.
Scottish Power was the worst-performing of the major providers, in the fourteenth spot with an average score of 3.1, closely followed by Npower in eleventh place and Eon in tenth.
The online rating system uses a score of one to five and looks at how well the firm deals with complaints, the number of switches it successfully carries out within 21 days, the quality of the firm’s customer service system and how clear its bills are to understand.
The data also takes into account if the energy firm has signed up to the Switch Guarantee which commits firms to switching customers within 21 days.
Tony Keeling, chief operating officer for SSE’s Retail business, said: ‘The energy market is getting more competitive every day.
‘As a large, established player we have to work hard to earn the loyalty of our customers and we hope this latest report shows that smaller doesn’t always mean better when it comes to your choice of energy supplier.
‘Our customer service team cares about our customers, works incredibly hard and I’m very happy to see their efforts being recognised in this way.’
The table from Citizens Advice is published every quarter and includes energy firms with at least 150,000 customers.
It’s produced with data from a number of sources including a survey of 8,000 people along with information from Ofgem, the Energy Ombudsman and Energy UK.
The charity told us it had changed the methodology used for the 8,000 survey for the latest results to include vulnerable customers and to make sure the consumer base of people it surveys changes from quarter to quarter.
Top player: Big Six supplier SSE comes top for the best-rated energy provider on the market
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice said: ‘Shopping around can help people get a better deal on their energy bills.
‘The Citizens Advice comparison tool gives people a way to view tariff prices alongside an assessment of the supplier’s customer service – and has already helped thousands of people to find the right deal for them.’
Mark Todd, spokesperson for Energyhelpline, added: ‘Often small suppliers with very low prices can struggle in terms of service.
‘This can be due to the inflow of customers and problems getting lots of them on board in a short space of time.
‘Service levels differ widely across energy suppliers but reputable price comparison services will show you this typically as a star rating.
‘At Energyhelpline we use a star rating system based on the Citizens Advice survey and other factors such as the opening hours of the supplier’s call centre and the cost it is to call.
‘By switching wisely energy customers can find good service and a really low price. Don’t despair, both are still possible.’
Fight back with our Energy Switch Club
An increasingly popular way to get cheaper bills is to sign up for a collective switch, where suppliers fight for your business. You can register for the next Energy Switch Club from This is Money now.
As well as joining our no-obligation collective energy switch, where we will use people power to demand a better deal direct from the suppliers themselves, registering for free can also enter you into our prize draw to win £10,000, enough money to cover your bills for 10 years.
Anyone who registers for free for the Energy Switch Club between September 19 and October 16 is automatically entered into the prize draw. This only requires your email address and a few basic details and there is no obligation to switch if you do sign up.
For full details on how to register, see our article on how to slash your gas and electricity bills AND get the chance to win 10 years of free energy.
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online