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What do you think about your energy supplier?

We’ve published the results of our annual energy satisfaction survey – once again finding that the Big Six energy suppliers aren’t up to scratch. So, is your energy supplier one of the best or one of the worst?

In our latest energy company satisfaction survey we asked 8,902 people about their experiences with their energy suppliers. And once again we’ve found that the smaller energy companies are topping the table for customer satisfaction. There’s a distinct gap in customer satisfaction between them and the Big Six (those are Npower, British Gas, Scottish Southern Electric, Eon, EDF Energy, and Scottish Power).

Does size matter?

Overall the average customer score for satisfaction from their energy company was just 53%. But, smaller companies certainly seem to be leading the way.

OVO Energy once again came out on top with an 82% satisfaction score, and were closely followed by Good Energy with 81%.

Nicki told us that her experience with a smaller energy company has been positive:

‘They are always friendly and helpful – unlike my experiences with other suppliers. I haven’t had any problems, I like the app and that they are using more sustainable energy where possible.’

The Big Six companies continue to lag behind the small companies, with none featuring in the top group of our survey. Disappointingly Npower have come last for the sixth year running with a 41% satisfaction rating.

In response to our findings, Npower’s Managing Director, Simon Stacey said:

We’re really disappointed to see these results. We have been focussing our efforts on improving our overall customer service and we are seeing results improve in some key areas as this report shows. For example, complaints have dropped by nearly 70% compared to last year. We recognise we still have a huge amount of work ahead of us to do and we’re absolutely determined to get it completed as fast as we can.

Interestingly, what we found was that almost nine in ten of the people we surveyed remain customers of the Big Six suppliers, and only one in ten having switched energy provider in the past year.

As a customer of larger suppliers, Sandra shared with us her experience with us:

‘I switched in 2014 from Npower to Eon. The process was difficult, and I had to submit meter readings on 4 occasions before the switch went through. Npower was a nightmare – up until the end of July I was still receiving estimated bills.’

We need a fix

In 2015 our research found that household energy bills should be reduced to reflect the lower wholesale energy costs. And then again, last week we saw in the news that wholesale gas and electricity had fallen by nearly a third in a year, yet energy companies have failed to lower bills in response. So far we’ve only seen British Gas cut prices in the last six months, but this was just 5%.

As Sean from Aberdeen put it:

‘Consumers consistently pay a ridiculous amount of money for gas and electricity, allowing energy suppliers to make record breaking profits, yet when there are reductions in the cost of energy production suppliers never pass savings on to consumers.’

With the current cold weather, people paying over the odds for their energy on top of poor customer satisfaction in the Big Six suppliers, we need to fix the broken energy market. If the Competition and Market Authority’s energy market inquiry is to be a success it has to set out proposals that will address the appalling levels of customer service, switching and value for money.

It’s time for these energy companies to up their game and provide the service their customers deserve. If you agree that with us then back our campaign today.

So over to you, what have your experiences been like with your energy supplier?


“Sign our petition for fair energy prices”. I want fair energy prices but I also want to know what “fair prices” should be. Clearly as raw fuel prices fall I’d expect my energy bill to follow, but I want to know by how much. As fuel is only 42% of the typical dual fuel bill, we need to look hard at other other components and see whether they are fair, including government-imposed costs, smart meters and so on.

In a nutshell, I think to pursue this campaign Which? should assess just what are fair prices for gas and electricity. We can then judge whether we are being overcharged, and by how much.

Which?, I think your campaign needs to be supported by more information. You need to put in some groundwork. Or work with Ofgem to set down some benchmark figures.


Hi Malcolm,

Thank you for your response. We think the energy market in the UK is broken and needs to be urgently fixed that’s why we are calling on the Competition and Marketing Authority to deliver a fairer energy market for all.

Millions of people are paying over the odds for their energy and there are too many people on poor value standard tariffs. In the last decade energy bills have risen by a shocking 73%, and in July the CMA themselves found that energy bills, on average, are 5% more expensive then they need to be. This to us, is unfair.

In a more competitive energy market then we would expect to see prices falling as wholesale costs fall. This is backed by our own research from February last year which found that energy bills should have been up to £145 lower than they actually were. One year on, with wholesale prices even lower, it raises big questions about whether bills should have dropped even further.

With everyone’s help and support we can keep pushing the regulator, the CMA as well as energy companies to deliver fair prices for the public.


James, I agree with all you say about a fairer market. But these are sentiments. What I was asking for were concrete proposals from Which?, and Ofgem, as to the detail of a fair market. I’d like to see :
– a proper analysis of the market to determine what unit prices should be, based on wholesale prices, transmission costs, government levies, reasonable profit margin and so on. This might be a range of prices but at least would give consumers a guide to whether their costs are fair, taken in conjunction with customer service, green energy and so on.
– I’d like fixed price tariffs abolished – most no longer carry penalties – and use a basic variable tariff and, for very low users, a two tier tariff. If all users were persuaded to move from the existing standard tariff to a fixed price one, the price of the latter would have to rise substantially to maintain profitability so it would only be a short term fix
— a thorough investigation of standing charges to see if they are appropriate and, if so, what they should be based on. I believe that the costs that are not dependent upon consumption should be paid by all consumers. They all depend equally upon their supply connection being maintained, reading their meter and administering their account is not affected by consumption, and smart meters (damn them) will cost all equally. But they must be kept to the essentials only, all suppliers should apply them on a common basis, and they should be approved by Ofgem.

I want to see proper proposals that can be discussed, not just a wish to see “lower” and “fairer”. It will require some work.


I switched to Ovo recently and have no cause for complaint. The fact that it is a smaller company appeals to me because I am increasingly dissatisfied with large companies.

When I left Scottish Power I had to push them to refund the credit on my account, but they only refunded part of the balance and I now have a second cheque to pay in. Despite providing regular readings, Scottish Power put my direct debit payments up and down and never even sent an email when they increased the dd by 40% when I had a healthy credit balance. Before Scottish Power, I was with e.on but they kept putting up my payments even though I had a large credit balance. At least they informed me before making changes.


Same thing happened to me with SP wavechange -using the money “kept ” by them in high interest banks ,never got it all back also . Just transferred from BG last month to eco -Co-op so still too early to judge them.

Levity says:
19 January 2016

I’m now with OVO Energy. Although my credit balance has built up, they pay 3% interest on it and refund it quickly when requested, so I am not unhappy about it.


The Opposition sees nationalisation as the way out of this situation, providing greater accountability, lower prices and better service with security of supply. I don’t recall those features in the 1980’s just before the gas and electricity markets were privatised.

As Malcolm says above, loading government levies and charges onto consumer bills has distorted the cost of energy. Take those away and it would be so much more transparent and better comparisons could be made.

I think there is a natural inertia with switching to a small company. For such an essential commodity where reliability of service is paramount people are reluctant to put their faith in small suppliers.


I would be a bit mixed on this subject
I am well old enough to remember the 70s and 80s and where I am utility privatisation has done nothing good.
I think we’re back with advantages for the many. Those of us who live in the sticks quite simply dont have as much choice
A bit like middle England more of less abandoning Royal Mail because they can get a parcel delivered for 22p less elsewhere but come to the long deliveries who gets lumbered with the same parcel,,,,,, Royal Mail who are delivering for a loss, literally. If BB cannot deliver it and make money just shove it at RM and RM have no choice
I would not like to see nationalisation of everything but the utilities yes. Water. Electric yes. Phone no, although as BT owns and monopolizes nearly all the lines so maybe why not. No one could call the phone or broadband a modern wonder of privatisation when one company own’s all the lines and that same company sold off its mobile network years ago only now to be buying EE/Orange to become Caesar of our telecoms network again. Sell,,,,,, buy,,,,,, dividends,,,,,,,??? And my internet. At 5/30 this eve it was taking circa 45 secs to open a new page.
Rural broadband is rubbish. Privatisation is great, who’s paying for the rural broadband upgrades that never arrive. Everyone, the tax payer. Privatisation, rubbish
British Steel, no thanks. British Leyland, what a disaster. Coal, no thanks, far too dirty anyhow.
As to being connected via a small company???
The elec grid is the elec grid. The gas grid is the gas grid. Large company, small company the supply comes via the one and same grid.
Swapping from Scottish Power to CO=OP whatevername does not change the wires or pipework, simply the bill and the rate. Maybe the meter but not always
There are many who dont have much choice and where that is the case there is barely a real noticable difference if one sits down with a calculator. I dont need and app to count kwh V Pence


I think the concern over switching to a small company is not over the reliability of supply but whether it will be able to maintain higher standards of customer service than the big firms and whether it will be able to continue offering lower tariffs. So far the signs are that they can and these concerns might therefore be misplaced.


I think John you are in the three storey house as you are in a fairly built up area and you want a simple home life with as little breakdowns as possible
I do not begrudge your wants or needs for all my rural disadvantages I choose to live where I am but I could be easily started about services as we have rubbish services
I think that referring to small companies is perhaps an oversight
If any company is able to enter mainstream elec/gas it is far from small in real terms. It may be far from as large as the big six but the big six have been shown to be far from perfect especially as there is a difficulty in being an oil boiler man, a gas boiler man, a combi boiler man, and tahst before we add the dryers, cookers and dear knows what else
Given the choice I favour the smaller local business’s for these services rather than the multinationals


We actually live in the country with deer roaming around the houses and our outlook is water meadows. E.On have served us well since we moved here and there is no reason to change at the moment. I have no qualms myself about the small energy companies. Some of them, like Ebico, contract a larger company [SSE Southern Electric] to undertake their billing; I am not up-to-date on Ebico but they used to be good for low consumption [because they had no standing charge] but not good for average and higher consumption because as a consequence their unit rates were high. They seem to be popular with second home owners for obvious reasons.


Dee I have not given up on your rotten broadband . The latest info is that EE is testing and rolling out 4G broadband which gives 24Mb download /20Mb upload in rural Cumbria ,for example . A special hi-gain router is required -£30/month with 20 G allowance. I think you said you have a bad mobile signal as well so this might not work for you and as you are not in a village you cant take part in the action group that helps those with rubbish speeds in rural areas not covered by the roll out . Its called Community Fibre Partnership and your village can buy fast broadband. I think you said you had woods round you and you had a weak mobile signal its a pity ,still trying to work out a solution for you.


I switched to Sainsbury Energy in May 2015 after using Which? comparison site. So far so good as my monthly dd has reduced: my only comments are that they do not send a quarterly email request for meter readings and their bill is rather complicated. Have previously got £150 from the Energy waller from Scottish Power’s poor treaTMENT.