Customer satisfaction awards 2012

Who won the 2012 uSwitch Energy Awards?

2012 has seen the uSwitch customer satisfaction overall award winner change for the first time in its history, but who has pipped SSE?

The latest independent Customer Satisfaction Report from uSwitch reveals a 4% increase in the number of consumers satisfied with Britain’s big six energy suppliers, despite winter price hikes and a year of turbulence in the energy market.

Click to see the winners of the most recent uSwitch Energy Awards 2013

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But it’s not good news for all suppliers. In a shock result, eight-times winner SSE is no longer Britain’s best energy supplier as E.ON storms into 1st place. While Britain’s worst supplier, npower, now barely satisfies half of its customers (52%):

Overall customer satisfaction

  1. E.ON

    73.5%

  2. SSE

    72.3%

  3. Scottish Power

    70.2%

  4. EDF Energy

    65.1%

  5. British Gas

    65.0%

  6. npower

    51.8%

  7. Average: 66.3%

E.ON has finally knocked SSE off the top spot after nipping at the supplier’s heels for the last few years. E.ON has performed exceptionally strongly this year, boosting its number of customers satisfied by 10% year-on-year, taking it to a credible 74% satisfied.

Its simplified tariffs and prices, commitment to helping customers find the best deal for their needs, plus its beefed up reward scheme with Tesco Clubcard have paid dividends this year, with E.ON coming top in the following categories: ‘Value for Money’, ‘Best Deal for You’, ‘Billing Services’, ‘Online Services’, ‘Reward Schemes’ and ‘Energy Efficiency’.

npower were this year's weakest performers, coming last in ten of the twelve categories.

ScottishPower has regained lost ground this year, moving back up into 3rd place for overall satisfaction after sliding down to 4th last year. A healthy 70% of customers are satisfied with it – 9% more than last year.

ScottishPower has also shown some strong improvements in key areas: this year there has been an 11% increase in customers who would recommend it, a 10% increase in customers who are satisfied that it offers value for money and a 9% increase in those who are satisfied that it has them on the best deal for their needs.

British Gas is the only other supplier to lose ground this year, slipping from 3rd to 5th place for overall customer satisfaction. However, 65% of its customers were still satisfied, 4% more than last year, and its downward slide owes more to other suppliers’ strong performance rather than any particularly poor performance of its own.

That said, Britain’s biggest supplier’s performance is lacklustre in the following key areas: ‘Most likely to be Recommended’ where it fell two places to 4th, ‘Value for Money’ where it claimed 5th place and ‘Best Deal for You’ where it remained in 5th place(see 'Individual awards' below).

EDF Energy has started to claw its way back up the satisfaction leagues after its large tumble last year from 2nd to 5th place.

This year sees it improve by moving up one into 4th place with 65% of customers satisfied. However, this still leaves it with 10% to go before it gets back to its 2010 high of 75% satisfaction.

Individual awards

This year's awards not only saw E.ON claiming top spot overall, but also claiming six of the individual award spots. But they didn't have things all their own way:

Most likely to be recommended

  1. SSE

    55.1%

  2. EON

    54.8%

  3. Scottish Power

    50.9%

  4. British Gas

    48.9%

  5. EDF Energy

    47.3%

  6. npower

    31.0%

  7. Average: 48.0%

SSE are still the best energy supplier in terms of customers most likely to recommend for the ninth year in a row. What's more, they improved by 3.2% from last year's score of 51.9%.

Value for money

  1. E.ON

    53.8%

  2. SSE

    52.5%

  3. Scottish Power

    51.9%

  4. EDF Energy

    50.0%

  5. British Gas

    46.3%

  6. npower

    36.8%

  7. Average: 48.5%

Not only did E.ON win the 'value for money' category, they also jumped a massive 10.8% from last year to pip SSE to the post.

Best deal for you

  1. EON

    49.8%

  2. EDF Energy

    48.7%

  3. SSE

    44.6%

  4. Scottish Power

    44.0%

  5. British Gas

    39.0%

  6. npower

    30.3%

  7. Average: 42.7%

EDF Energy moved from 3rd to 2nd in ‘Best Deal for You’ after seeing a 13% improvement. This reflects the popularity of its Blue + Price Promise plan and its unique price promise to customers.

Customer service

  1. SSE

    59.9%

  2. E.ON

    58.6%

  3. British Gas

    56.3%

  4. Scottish Power

    56.2%

  5. EDF Energy

    52.2%

  6. npower

    38.5%

  7. Average: 53.6%

SSE has come top for best energy supplier in terms of customer service for the ninth year in a row.

Billing services

  1. E.ON

    72.2%

  2. SSE

    70.3%

  3. British Gas

    68.6%

  4. Scottish Power

    68.0%

  5. EDF Energy

    61.9%

  6. npower

    51.4%

  7. Average: 70.3%

Once again E.ON have pipped SSE to the post, despite SSE improving their score from last year. E.ON jumped 4.5% compared to SSE's 0.5% improvement.

Meter services

  1. SSE

    65.2%

  2. EON

    62.0%

  3. British Gas

    61.5%

  4. Scottish Power

    53.9%

  5. EDF Energy

    52.7%

  6. npower

    50.1%

  7. Average: 57.6%

Despite climbing two places with a 1.8% E.ON couldn't beat SSE in our meter services category. The big losers were ScottishPower whose 53.9%, while enough for fourth, was 7.7% lower than their score last year.

Online services

  1. E.ON

    65.6%

  2. Scottish Power

    64.7%

  3. British Gas

    62.2%

  4. EDF Energy

    56.3%

  5. sse

    53.2%

  6. npower

    48.1%

  7. Average: 58.4%

While all but one supplier (npower) improved in this category, E.ON once again led the way by improving the most (4.8%). The real winners though were EDF Energy, who despite coming fourth improved by two places with a 12.3% improvement on last year's poor showing.

Reward schemes

  1. E.ON

    41.3%

  2. British Gas

    41.0%

  3. sse

    27.1%

  4. npower

    20.7%

  5. EDF Energy

    16.0%

  6. Scottish Power

    13.4%

  7. Average: 26.6%

Our reward schemes category was only ever about two suppliers, with E.ON and British Gas both streets ahead of their rivals, but it was E.ON and their Tesco Clubcard points who triumphed overall.

Green services

  1. EDF Energy

    20.8%

  2. E.ON

    20.0%

  3. British Gas

    19.5%

  4. SSE

    17.4%

  5. Scottish Power

    13.2%

  6. npower

    12.4%

  7. Average: 31.3%

EDF Energy have also clearly benefited from its sponsorship of the Olympics and the way it was able to use this to boost awareness of its green credentials by taking top spot in the Green Services category. Tellingly all six suppliers' scores dropped in comparison to last year.

Energy efficiency

  1. E.ON

    39.9%

  2. British Gas

    37.8%

  3. SSE

    31.6%

  4. EDF Energy

    29.9%

  5. Scottish Power

    26.7%

  6. npower

    21.7%

  7. Average: 31.3%

E.ON triumphed in this year's new category with a score of 39.9%.

Transfer process

  1. Scottish Power

    80.6%

  2. E.ON

    76.4%

  3. SSE

    75.5%

  4. EDF Energy

    73.5%

  5. npower

    70.1%

  6. British Gas

    68.1%

  7. Average: 74.4%

ScottishPower ruled supreme in the world of transfer process. The supplier has started offering customers easy access to data about their energy consumption history, making it easier to switch.

How we conducted our survey

This survey conducted by YouGov online between 8 and 14 November 2012.

A total of 5,071 UK energy customers took part in the survey. Customers were asked their opinions on a wide range of issues relating to satisfaction with their energy suppliers. The figures have been weighted.

Customers with two suppliers were asked to provide their level of satisfaction separately for gas and electricity, dual fuel customers were only asked to rate their supplier once.

The customer satisfaction scores were then calculated as follows (“Supplier A” used as an illustrative example). Sum the total number of gas and electricity customers who were very or fairly satisfied with the service provided to them by Supplier A, then divide by the total number of Supplier A’s gas and electricity customers who answered the question. A Dual Fuel response is classed as both a gas and an electricity response.

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