In this week’s “Meet the small suppliers”, we talk to Spark Energy, one of the UK’s most popular independent energy suppliers. Launched in 2007, Spark Energy specialises in providing energy for the rental market, but has since expanded and now also provides tariffs for private homes.
Although the supplier admits it hasn’t always got things right when it comes to dealing with customer complaints, it is confident it has markedly improved in this area and has recently joined the Institute of Customer Service.
Three guiding principles
The independent supplier operates under three principles, namely the “Customer Promise”, “Price Guarantee” and “Better than the Big Six”.
The Customer Promise refers to Spark Energy taking care of the fiddly bits related to setting up your supply when you first move in. Their Price Guarantee states that you’ll never pay more than the average, annual dual fuel bill as published by Ofgem.
Finally, the Better than the Big Six pledge promises better customer service than that on offer from the largest energy providers. In Spark energy’s words: “With us, there’s less talk, more action, and there’s always someone at the end of the line when you call or online when you click.”
Spark Energy talks about working with landlords and tenants, improving customer service and challenging the big six
We asked Spark Energy’s Scott Mackay, Director of Brand Experience, a bit about the company’s past and future plans
Can you tell us a bit about how Spark Energy came into existence?
Scott Mackay: Spark launched in 2007 with an aim to improve the energy experience of tenants, landlords and letting agents. Our founders are from that market and knew that those customers suffered with high prices and low service because the big guys didn’t focus on their needs.
Since then we’ve provided good value energy to over 400,000 tenants, we work with the UK’s top letting agents and now employ nearly 250 people. We are based in the Scottish Borders and about 80% of our customers in England.
What sets Spark Energy apart from the other suppliers out there?
SM: We’re niche focused so we do things differently and we try harder. We haven’t always got it right, but our focus now is on providing customers with a five star service. Our call waiting times are amongst the best and nine out of 10 complaints are resolved within 24 hours. Our Price Guarantee means prices and always fair, simple and competitive – for example we have the cheapest variable product in the energy market today and no tie-ins or exit fees on any of our tariffs.
We believe that different is good and while we can’t fix all of the energy industry’s issues, we do give customers our best prices from day one. We also remove as much hassle as possible and will then be there for them within seconds when they have a question, an issue or need to make a change. We can also constantly improve and this is something we are proud of.
Can you describe Spark Energy’s philosophy in one sentence?
SM: We’ll continue to challenge the norm and provide tenants with good value energy and better customer satisfaction than the big six.
If you are interested in switching to Spark Energy, we recommend running a quick price comparison to find out how much a switch could save you.