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Economy Energy and Spark Energy at the bottom of Citizens Advice customer service table

8 December 2017

Economy Energy has finished bottom of the  Citizens Advice’s league table of energy suppliers for the second consecutive quarter.

The company received a score of 1.8 out of 5 for its customer service for the period from June to September 2017.

Spark Energy dropped 11 places in the rankings to join Economy Energy at the bottom of the league table, coming 18th out of the 19 companies featured. It received a score of 1.85 out of five for customer service, down from a score of 3.7 for the previous quarter.

First Utility rose to the top of the table with a score of 4.4.

Citizens Advice developed the star rating system to help people find the right energy supplier for their needs. Suppliers are awarded a score out of 5 stars based on a combination of 5 factors, including how complaints are dealt with, and how highly customers rate the supplier’s customer service.

Economy Energy customers reported problems to Citizens Advice including billing errors when they switched supplier, and with being unable to contact the company.

One Economy Energy customer came to Citizens Advice after five months of trying to contact the company to get an accurate bill.

Spark Energy customers also reported billing issues to Citizens Advice as well as problems with how the company collects debts.

One person came to Citizens Advice after receiving a bill of £1,500 from Spark for a property they had moved out of.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“When it comes to customer service, some energy suppliers appear to be getting worse rather than better.

“It’s encouraging that some companies have made improvements in how they treat their customers, but we’re concerned that customers are still being let down through inaccurate billing or aggressive debt collection practices.

“Energy companies must do more to improve their offer to to consumers. This means dealing with complaints effectively, being easy to contact, and being clear in the bills they send customers.

“Anyone having problems with their energy supplier can use the Citizens Advice energy comparison tool to find the right deal for them in terms of price and customer service.”

The ratings for July to September 2017 were:

Supplier

Star rating July to September 2017

First Utility

4.4

EDF Energy

4.2

Flow Energy

4.15

Utility Warehouse

4.15

Ovo Energy

4

Ecotricity

3.9

British Gas

3.75

E.On

3.6

E (Gas and electricity)

3.5

SSE

3.4

Scottish Power

3.1

npower

3.1

Green Star Energy

3.05

Utilita

3.05

Co-operative Energy

2.85

Extra Energy

2.55

iSupply

2.25

Spark Energy

1.85

Economy Energy

1.8

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice compares energy suppliers' customer service by looking at information from a number of reliable sources. Information about complaints comes from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, the Energy Help Unit and Energy Ombudsman. Information on customer service and billing comes from the GFK Energy 360 market research survey. Information on switching comes from Ofgem and suppliers. Information on the Switch Guarantee comes from Energy UK. Energy suppliers are given a score out of 5 for each category. 1 is poor and 5 is excellent. Suppliers then receive an overall star rating out of 5. Not all categories are equal with some counting more towards the final score than others. Further information on the methodology can be found here.
  2. Please note that the information on switching performance has been changed (in line with Ofgem's approach) since the last release. All switches are now measured from the date the contract was entered into, rather than the relevant date specified in licence (SLC 14A).
  3. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  4. The national charity Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer body for energy customers in Great Britain.
  5. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  6. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  7. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  8. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  9. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.
  1. Citizens Advice compares energy suppliers' customer service by looking at information from a number of reliable sources. Information about complaints comes from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, the Energy Help Unit and Energy Ombudsman. Information on customer service and billing comes from the GFK Energy 360 market research survey. Information on switching comes from Ofgem and suppliers. Information on the Switch Guarantee comes from Energy UK. Energy suppliers are given a score out of 5 for each category. 1 is poor and 5 is excellent. Suppliers then receive an overall star rating out of 5. Not all categories are equal with some counting more towards the final score than others. Further information on the methodology can be found here.

  2. Please note that the information on switching performance has been changed (in line with Ofgem's approach) since the last release. All switches are now measured from the date the contract was entered into, rather than the relevant date specified in licence (SLC 14A).