What are energy supplier complaints? They're essentially any contact from a customer who is not satisfied with any part of their service, from hard-to-understand bills to switching issues to technicians not arriving in a timely manner for a home visit. We've researched the market to learn which energy suppliers get the least and most complaints, as well as which complaints are most common.
- Rates of energy supplier complaints
- Top 5 complaints
- How to make a complaint about your energy supplier
Energy Supplier Complaints
In the most recent quarter, energy supply companies averaged 1,519 complaints per 100,000 customers. However, the rate of complaints is quite different depending on the size of the supplier. The "Big Six" (SSE, EDF Energy, British Gas, npower, E.ON and ScottishPower) have the highest complaints rates, with 1,718 complaints per 100,000 customer accounts in Q4 2019. The sweet spot seems to be medium-sized companies, which had only 951 complaints per 100,000 customers during the same time period.
Average Energy Company Complaints
|Average Energy Supplier Complaints, by size||Complaints resolved by next working day (%)||Complaints received per 10,000 accounts|
|Average complaints rate||1,519|
Another important metric is how quickly complaints are resolved. Generally speaking, just over half of complaints are resolved by energy company by the next working day. Medium-sized companies are slightly better than small and large companies in this metric, however, with 57.1% of complaints resolved by the next business day.
Best and Worst Complaints Rates
The level of service varies quite dramatically from company to company, with the worst energy suppliers having complaints rates 200X that of the best energy suppliers. For example, Zebra Energy, Green Energy UK and Zog Energy had the lowest complaints rates in Q4 2019 with only 50 complaints per 100,000 customers. At the other end of the spectrum, Nabuh Energy had a complaints rate of 11,550 per 100,000.
Energy Company Complaint Rates, by company
|Rank (1 = least complaints)||Energy Company||Size||Complaints received per 100,000 accounts Q4 2019|
|2||Green Energy UK||small||50|
|4||Go Effortless Energy||small||80|
|20||Gulf Gas & Power UK||small||700|
|22||Green Network Energy||medium||851|
|28||British Gas||big six||1,092|
|31||Robin Hood Energy||small||1,480|
|35||Scottish Power||big six||1,793|
|40||EDF Energy||big six||2,341|
|43||Green Star Energy||small||4,660|
Best and Worst Complaints Resolutions
How quickly do energy companies resolve customer complaints? Many issues are simple to fix—perhaps a question about a bill or meter reading—and should be taken care of with a simple call to customer services.
The Big Six supplier with the worst resolution rate is Scottish Power, which only resolved 40% of customer complaints by the next working day. The Big Six supplier with the best resolution rate is E.on, with a 69% next-day resolution rate.
While Nabuh Energy ranked last for reported complaints, they ranked 1st in terms of addressing issues with 98% of complaints resolved by the next working day. We looked at their complaints page to see what's behind these numbers and found that 44.6% of complaints related to customer set up for new accounts, such as receiving and using their prepayment keys and cards. So while a high proportion of customers have an issue, problems appear to be resolved quickly and mostly occur just at set up.
Energy Company Complaint Rates, by company
|Rank (1 = least complaints)||Energy Company||Size||Complaints resolved by next working day (%)|
|15||Green Star Energy||small||67%|
|16||Robin Hood Energy||small||62%|
|20||Gulf Gas & Power UK||small||56%|
|25||EDF Energy||big six||53%|
|31||British Gas||big six||46%|
|32||Green Network Energy||medium||42%|
|35||Scottish Power||big six||40%|
|38||Green Energy UK||small||34%|
|44||Go Effortless Energy||small||0%|
Top 5 Complaints
What are the most common complaints people have with their energy supplier? We took a look at the top 5 most common complaints from the Big Six energy suppliers to see what goes wrong for customers most often. The top 5 most complaints at the end of 2019 from the Big Six providers were:
- Billing and meter readings: This metric captures how easy or difficult it is for customers to understand their bills (e.g., layout and content of the bill, amount outstanding, etc.).
- Metering: Metering complaints can arise when a technician is late or unable to attend a home visit appointments to read or change a meter (e.g., install a smart meter), whether due to bad weather, road traffic delays; or if they don't have the right equipment to finish a job.
- Payments: Payment complaints can relate to direct debit or prepayment meter payment queries, such as the size of the bill, the method of payment, a change in consumption or personal circumstances, or following a price change.
- Customer Service: This metric captures customer service experiences when speaking with call centre agents about services and products.
- Change of Supplier: Complaints related to setting up new accounts, for instance when a customer switches provider.
The most common gas and electricity supplier complaints vary from company to company, however. Energy suppliers are supposed to list their top 5 complaints on their websites for customers to see. While not all companies do this, the Big Six do—here are the top 5 complaints for the Big Six energy providers so you can compare:
|Top 5 Complaints (Q4 2019)||British Gas||EDF||E.on||nPower||SSE||Scottish Power|
|Bills and meter readings||13%||44.4%||22.8%|
|Metering (Inc Prepayment)||15%||17%||9.2%||6.5%||17%|
|Change of Supplier||7%||2%||4%|
How to complain about your energy supplier
To make a complaints about your energy supplier, call, email or go to their website to find an online complaints form. Below we've listed complaints numbers and email addresses for dozens of popular UK energy suppliers, listed by alphabetical order:
|Energy Supplier Customer Complaints||Contact Numbers|
|Avro Energy||0330 058 2005||[email protected]|
|Bristol Energy||0808 281 2222||[email protected]|
|British Gas||3332029532||[email protected]|
|Bulb||0300 303 0635||[email protected]|
|Daligas||0800 111 4568||[email protected]|
|E||0333 103 9575||[email protected]|
|Ecotricity||0345 555 7 100||[email protected]|
|EDF Energy||0333 200 5100||[email protected]|
|ENGIE||0800 170 1112||[email protected]|
|Entice Energy||0330 403 0040||[email protected]|
|Eon||0345 052 0000|
|ESB Energy||0345 60 70 372||[email protected]|
|Foxglove Energy||0800 017 9896||[email protected]|
|GnERGY||01252 494141||[email protected]|
|Go Effortless Energy||03333 444109|
|Good Energy||0800 254 0000||[email protected]|
|Green Energy UK||01920 486156||[email protected]|
|Green Network Energy||0800 520 0202||[email protected]|
|Green Star Energy||0800 012 4510||[email protected]|
|Gulf Gas & Power UK||0800 830 3670|
|Igloo Energy||0333 405 5555||[email protected]|
|iSupply Energy||0330 202 0298||[email protected]|
|Nabuh Energy||0330 0414 902||[email protected]|
|nPower||0800 316 9328||[email protected]|
|Octopus Energy||0808 164 1088||[email protected]|
|Orbit Energy||0333 103 8277||[email protected]|
|PFP Energy||01772 395777|
|Robin Hood Energy||0800 030 4567||[email protected]|
|Scottish Power||0800 027 0072||[email protected]|
|Shell Energy||0330 094 5800||[email protected]|
|So Energy||0330 111 5050||[email protected]|
|SSE||0345 026 2658||[email protected]|
|Together Energy||3331501699||[email protected]|
|Tonik Energy||0333 344 2686||[email protected]|
|Utilita||0345 2072 000||[email protected]|
|Utility Point||03455 57 78 78||[email protected]|
|Utility Warehouse||0333 777 0 777|
|Yorkshire Energy||1134510700||[email protected]|
|Zebra Energy||0161 498 8100||[email protected]|
|Zog Energy||[email protected]|
If you have complained to your energy supplier and you're unhappy with their decision or you haven't been given a decision in 8 weeks, you can make a formal complaint to the energy ombudsman.
Additionally, you can contact Citizens Advice at any point in the complaints process—they have lots of information on their website and even have a helpline you can call for assistance (08082231133).