Press release:

Customer satisfaction increases as Octopus Energy voted ‘Supplier of the Year’ in Uswitch Energy Awards

  • Octopus Energy takes the ‘Supplier of the Year crown from OVO Energy, as well as scooping three other category wins
  • Bulb finishes runner-up overall, on top of four category wins
  • British Gas is named ‘Large Supplier of the Year’
  • For the first time, households with Smart Meters report greater levels of satisfaction than those with traditional meters – but satisfaction with Smart Meter installations declines
  • Energy customers left unimpressed with supplier efforts to help them go greener, and the rewards and incentives they are offered

Octopus Energy has won the prestigious ‘Supplier of the year’ award for the second time in three years in the Uswitch.com annual Energy Customer Satisfaction Report. The challenger supplier also took home the ‘Best Customer Service’, ‘Best Online Experience’, and ‘Easiest to switch to’ awards, plus four runner-up spots, as the company continues to disrupt the energy market.

Surveying 17,000 energy consumers, the independent awards are the largest of their kind in the retail energy industry, and rank 17 energy suppliers in 15 categories — from customer service to value for money, green services to smart meter installation.

Overall runner-up Bulb Energy is hot on Octopus’ heels, scooping four category wins including ‘Best Value for Money’ and ‘Best Deals for You.’

Octopus and Bulb scored 92% and 91% respectively for overall customer satisfaction. Average customer satisfaction rose across the board, for the first time in three years, to an average of 75% compared to 72% in last year’s survey.

British Gas has been voted ‘Large Supplier of the Year’ by their customers, as well as landing five further gongs in the large supplier category, including ‘Best App’, ‘Best Rewards’, and ‘Best Account Management.

The results are less positive for the Big Six as a block however, with all six anchored at the bottom of the table. Npower has once more ranked the lowest for overall customer satisfaction after Outfox the Market took that spot in 2019. Four of the large suppliers have registered an overall decline in customer satisfaction, but SSE saw a very small increase while Large Supplier winner British Gas saw its score increase by nearly 4%.

Last year’s winner OVO Energy has fallen to fourth position for overall customer satisfaction. However, customers still voted the firm number one in four categories including ‘Best Meter Reading Services’, ‘Best Smart Meter Experience’ and ‘Best Account Management.’

Bulb and Tonik Energy have taken the top two spots when it comes to offering the most attractive green deals, while E.On has been voted Best Large Supplier in the category. Overall however, energy customers registered low levels of satisfaction with efforts by their suppliers to help them go green (35%) and cut energy use (39%).

Meanwhile, there is some light at the end of the Smart Meter tunnel. For the first time, energy customers who have a smart meter have said they are more satisfied overall than those on analogue meters. However, there remains a warning note for suppliers installing Smart Meters: satisfaction with the Smart Meter installation process has declined to 67% on average, down five per cent since last year.

Full details of the results can be seen on the Uswitch Energy Awards guide page.

Rik Smith, energy expert at Uswitch.com said: “The clear winners here are the innovative challenger brands who are putting their customers at the centre of everything they do.

“These disruptive suppliers have started to dominate the Uswitch energy awards in the same way that they’ve been wrestling control of the British energy market away from the big boys. It’s clear evidence that what bill payers want most, alongside great value deals, is excellent customer service.

“If you’re not getting the service you deserve, or are fed up about how much you’re paying, you can take the power into your own hands and find yourself as much as £400 better off as well. By voting with your feet and moving supplier, you’ll be able to find better service, a better deal, and a host of other options such as green electricity, advice on saving energy, and online account management.”

Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy, said: “We’re so happy to be named Supplier of the Year by Uswitch. Everyone at Octopus has worked hard to keep delivering the stellar service we’re known for, and I’d love to thank our team and our customers for this massive accolade.

“Octopus’s technology has enabled us to grow rapidly to well over a million customers whilst improving service, and driving a cheaper, cleaner energy system.

“Thanks to companies like Octopus and Uswitch, the UK has one of the most innovative, dynamic energy markets in the world, helping reduce bills and carbon emissions at the same time”

Dave Kirwan, Managing Director of UK Home at Centrica (owner of British Gas), said: “We are on a journey to transform our business and genuinely put the customer back at the heart of what we do. We still have much to do – but this award recognises that we are listening to our customers and moving in the right direction. Our customers tell us they want a range of different tariffs and products – whether that be something competitively priced that includes boiler cover, or something that gives them peace of mind that all their energy comes from renewable sources. They also want online services that are easy to use and great customer service, and we are ensuring we invest in these areas to meet our customers’ ever-evolving needs.”

Hayden Wood, Co-founder and CEO of Bulb, said: ‘Our members are central to everything we do at Bulb, so we’re honoured they’ve voted us one of the top suppliers in the UK. We’re now helping over 1.6 million households to lower their bills and reduce their carbon emissions. By combining affordable, renewable energy with great service, we’re showing that people don’t have to compromise to make a sustainable choice.’

Table One: Overall customer satisfaction results

Source: Uswitch.com

Table Two: Uswitch Energy Award winners 2020

Source: Uswitch.com

— ends —

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors

The Uswitch Energy Customer Satisfaction Report (CSR) is an annual online survey carried out by YouGov on behalf of Uswitch, between 25 October and 15 November 2019. The CSR has taken place since 2006, providing thirteen years of insight into the customer satisfaction of the UK energy market. The CSR aims to independently ascertain what energy consumers think of their supplier(s) in a variety of areas. It also asks more general questions regarding their attitudes to the energy industry, the technology they use and how they switch. Consumers were asked to give their opinions regarding satisfaction with their supplier(s) across 15 categories. The Supplier of the Year Award is given to the supplier with the best score for Overall Customer Satisfaction.

The overall survey sample size was 16,986 energy customers. 17 energy suppliers were reported on, having met the minimum sample size of 150 customer responses.

Categories are judged as follows:

  • Supplier of the Year: based on customer scores for overall customer satisfaction with their supplier
  • Best Value for Money: based on customer scores for the value of money they receive from suppliers
  • Best Customer Service: based on customer scores for the customer service provided by suppliers, including the variety of methods available to contact them, the ease of contacting them, range and quality of information, the time taken to respond to any queries, the speed of query resolution, the satisfaction with the outcome of queries, etc
  • Most Likely to be Recommended: based on customer scores on whether they would recommend their supplier to family and friends
  • Best Online Experience: based on customer scores for online services provided by suppliers, including ease of use, range and quality of the services available, availability of smartphone services, reliability, etc
  • Best App: based on customer scores for mobile or tablet apps provided by suppliers, including ease of use, design and functionality
  • Best Rewards: based on customer scores for incentives or rewards schemes provided by suppliers, including the value and range of rewards, ease of redeeming rewards, etc
  • Best Energy Saving Support: based on customer scores for energy efficiency services provided by suppliers, including the quality of information provided to help reduce the amount of energy you use, the knowledge and helpfulness of their staff, the value and range of energy efficiency measures available and the flexibility and ease of any installations, etc
  • Best Account Management: based on customer scores on how easy suppliers make it to manage their energy account, including the ease of speaking to someone, sending you meter reading reminders, being quick to generate updated bills when you supply new meter readings, allowing you to control your direct debit and amount etc
  • Best Smart Meter Experience: based on customer scores for satisfaction with smart meter installations
  • Easiest to Switch to: based on customer scores for the transfer process to their current supplier
  • Best Meter Reading Services: based on customer scores for meter reading services offered by their supplier, including the frequency of readings, the flexibility with regard to time of day the reading is made, friendliness of readers, the option to submit your own meter reading, etc
  • Best Billing Services: based on customer scores for billing services offered by their supplier, including the accuracy of bills, the clarity of the information, estimated consumption, the frequency and timeliness of bills, etc
  • Best Deal For You: based on customer scores on whether their supplier is ensuring they are on the best of their deals
  • Best Green Services: based on customer scores for green services offered by their supplier, including the availability of green products, the overall communication about green issues to you, the investment in renewable or low carbon energy sources, etc

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