Which are the best and worst energy suppliers for customer service?
Research by the watchdog found a quarter of suppliers failed to achieve even half marks when assessed for a range of customer service indicators, including numbers of complaints, call waiting times, and how easy it is to switch.
Small provider Nabuh Energy came bottom of the table scoring just 1.65 out of 5 stars, followed by Eversmart Energy and Utilita, which both received 1.8 stars (see below for full table).
At the other end of the table, ‘big 6’ giant SSE took first position with a score of 4.6, followed closely by new suppliers Affect Energy and Breeze, which received 4.5 stars and 4.45 stars respectively.
While the data proves some new providers have got customer service right, too many are unprepared for the demands of the market, Citizens Advice said.
Ten domestic suppliers have gone bust in the last 18 months, three in the first three months of this year alone – affecting nearly 300,000 people.
New regulations for firms who want to set up as energy suppliers coming into force at the start of next month, but too many existing companies are still struggling to provide a decent level of customer service, the watchdog said.
“Today’s rankings continue to show a number of firms struggling to deliver acceptable standards of customer service.” said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.
“The new rules which come into force next month will oversee new firms setting up as energy suppliers to make sure they’re fully prepared. But there also need to be stricter ongoing requirements and monitoring to tackle existing companies who are not serving their customers well.
“The energy supply market is not the free-for-all it once was. But there is still a big gap between those firms who provide excellent customer service, and a significant proportion who are letting consumers down.”
The research included 39 suppliers with 99 per cent market coverage.
Citizens Advice said it dealt with nearly 1,000 calls about problems with the five suppliers at the bottom of the table from January to March this year
Some of the most common issues were: sudden increases in direct debits, problems with prepayment meters and inaccurate bills.
Supplier and Rating for January to March 2019
Affect Energy 4.5
Breeze Energy 4.45
So Energy 4.3
Igloo Energy 4.3
EDF Energy 4.15
Yorkshire Energy 4.15
Octopus Energy 4.05
British Gas 3.9
Bulb Energy 3.85
Green Network Energy 3.85
Bristol Energy 3.5
Shell Energy (formerly First Utility) 3.4
Pure Planet 3.25
Utility Warehouse 3.05
Utility Point 3
Good Energy 3
Flow Energy 3
E (Gas and Electricity) 2.88
Ovo Energy 2.8
Together Energy 2.7
Robin Hood Energy 2.65
Tonik Energy 2.65
Co-Operative Energy 2.55
PFP Energy 2.55
Avro Energy 2.35
Green Star Energy 2.3
Outfox The Market 2.1
TOTO Energy 2.1
Eversmart Energy 1.8
Nabuh Energy 1.65