Smaller energy suppliers have happier customers (and it helps if they’re green too)

January 11, 2012

As British Gas and Npower are fined £4.5 million for poor customer service, we take a look at the energy suppliers who are doing a better job. Which leads us onto another question – are environmentally friendly suppliers more customer friendly too?

It’s not been a great week for the big six. Which? today revealed that British Gas and Npower have been fined £4.5 million in total – £2.5 million and £2 million respectively – by Ofgen for their poor handling of customer complaints. Both were found in breach of regulations which set out how energy companies should handle customer complaints – of which there were many.

Which? Energy Expert Sylvia Baron says: ‘A Which? investigation has found that a staggering four million complaints were received by the six biggest energy companies last year.’

It’s not all bad news though. The consumer website also published a table rating energy suppliers according to their customer satisfaction ratings. And while the big names languished close to the bottom, the five top spots were all claimed by smaller firms. In first place was renewable electricity supplier Good Energy, followed by Utility Warehouse, Ecotricity, Ovo Energy and Ebico.

The results suggest that, if you’re unhappy with your current supplier, there’s never been a better time to switch. It’s also interesting that, despite occupying a relatively small corner of the market, renewable energy suppliers feature heavily in the customer satisfaction list.

Good Energy has established itself as the only UK energy supplier that can guarantee 100% renewable sources, Ecotricity has been supplying green electricity since 1996 and Ovo Energy offers customers a Green Payment Plan using renewable energy. Do green companies care more about individuals?  Is there a correlation between looking after the planet and looking after your customers? It certainly looks that way.

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