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“Big gap” in standards of customer service from energy companies says Citizens Advice

25 September 2019

The latest energy star rating table from Citizens Advice, the official consumer watchdog for energy, shows a big gap between the best and worst firms.

Among the common problems faced by customers of suppliers at the bottom of the rankings were:

  • Billing issues - incorrect and late final bills, not receiving any bills, inaccurate bills

  • Debt and disconnection issues, including aggressive debt collection practices
  • Problems with prepayment meters, including credit refunds

  • Metering issues - faulty meters, incorrect numbers registered to property

Citizens Advice is urging people to shop around carefully when looking for an energy supplier. The charity recommends comparing companies’ customer service performance as well as prices. 

Thirteen domestic energy supply companies have gone out of business since November 2018. Six suppliers have failed so far this year - affecting more than 300,000 people.

Star rating data:

The Citizens Advice star rating table assesses a wide range of customer service indicators, including accuracy of bills, call waiting times, and complaint handling.

The results (for the period April to June 2019) include 39 suppliers with 99% market coverage.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“There is still a big gap between those firms who provide an excellent service to consumers, and those who are letting people down.

“Attention-grabbing low tariffs can be a good deal, but we recommend looking deeper than just the headline price when shopping around for the best energy deals. 

“We’ve seen six energy suppliers go bust this year. In our experience, when a company is struggling, customer service is often the first thing to suffer.“

Supplier

Star rating April to June 2019

Stars

Breeze Energy

4.80

SSE

4.60

Igloo Energy

4.40

So Energy

4.40

Engie

4.25

EDF Energy

4.15

E (Gas and Electricity)

4.00

Green Network Energy

3.95

British Gas

3.85

Octopus Energy

3.75

Bulb Energy

3.75

npower

3.65

Yorkshire Energy

3.60

ESB Energy

3.55

Affect Energy

3.50

Avro

3.50

Utility Warehouse

3.40

People's Energy Company

3.40

Shell Energy

3.40

Utility Point

3.35

E.ON

3.35

Co-Operative Energy

3.35

Pure Planet

3.25

ScottishPower

3.20

Good Energy

3.05

Bristol Energy

3.00

Ovo Energy

3.00

Together Energy

2.90

iSupply

2.85

Tonik Energy

2.85

Flow Energy

2.85

PFP Energy

2.65

Robin Hood Energy

2.55

Outfox The Market

2.50

Ecotricity

2.20

Green Star Energy

2.15

TOTO Energy

2.10

Utilita

1.95

Nabuh Energy

1.90

Notes to editors

  1. Eversmart Energy scored 2 and would have come third from bottom if they had not ceased trading earlier in September. Our response to the announcement can be found here.
  2. Solarplicity scored 2.9 and would have come joint 27th if they had not gone out of business in August. Our response to that announcement is here.
  3. Cardiff had too few customers to be included in the star rating table.
  4. Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  5. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
  6. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
  7. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
  8. Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  9. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  10. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 to talk in Welsh.
  11. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  12. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.