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Small suppliers dominate the uSwitch Energy Awards 2014

New survey reveals a gap between customer satisfaction levels amongst customers of the big six and small suppliers

OVO Energy took the crown in this year's edition

OVO Energy took the crown in this year’s edition

This year’s uSwitch Energy Awards mark the first time small suppliers have been thrown into the mix and the results are staggering. Ovo Energy and First Utility, the UK’s two largest independent suppliers, have come first and second in terms of overall customer satisfaction rating.

The two small suppliers scored an average rating of 83% across all categories, with Ovo Energy topping 10 of the 12 award categories, including value for money, customer service and billing. In contrast, the average satisfaction rating for the big six was 69%.

The 2014 Energy Awards are the ninth annual independent survey of more than 5,000 energy customers carried out by YouGov for uSwitch*.

OVO Energy takes the crown

Independent supplier OVO Energy topped the overall customer satisfaction table with an average score of 86%. This figure represents the highest rating since the survey was first run nine years ago. First Utility, the largest small supplier in the UK, came in second place, with an average rating of 79%.

E.ON, the highest rated big six supplier, came in third with an average score of 76%. Each of the big six saw their overall satisfaction scores increase compared to last year, with the exception of ScottishPower, which dropped by 3%. npower came last with a score of 58%.

Overall supplier performance

Overall customer satisfaction 2014

Position Energy company

Overall customer satisfaction

Change from 2013

1 Ovo Energy

86%

n/a*

2 First Utility

79%

n/a*

3 E.ON

76%

+5%

4 EDF Energy

73%

+2%

5 SSE

72%

+2%

6 British Gas

70%

+3%

7 Scottish Power

64%

-3%

8 Npower

58%

+1%

Ovo Energy and First Utility are included in this year’s results due to the number of their customers in the sample meeting the minimum requirement for the first time

Source: uSwitch.com

‘Results prove that smaller providers are setting a high bar’

Speaking on the results, Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch said: “These results prove that smaller providers are setting a high bar when it comes to customer satisfaction. It’s encouraging to see the big six continuing to move in the right direction, but it’s hugely disappointing that so many of their customers remain dissatisfied.

“Suppliers offering good customer service and low prices will continue to steal customers from their competitors and this is exactly what competition is all about. The results are a wakeup call to suppliers to do a lot more to stop consumers leaving in droves.

“Today’s report also underlines the fact that people should not put up with bad service, poor value for money or uncompetitive prices. It’s never been simpler to switch and in fact consumers consistently rate suppliers’ transfer processes very highly.”

*Survey conducted by YouGov between 17th and 27th October 2014 amongst 5,262 UK energy consumers (aged 18+). Customers were asked their opinions on a wide range of issues relating to satisfaction with their energy suppliers. The figures have been weighted.

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