Revealed: the best and worst energy suppliers for customer service

Which energy firms are the best and worst for customer service? Citizens Advice has ranked them and reveals that customer service ratings across the industry are among “lowest ever”

Hand holding a lightbulb above table with bills and money on it
Citizens Advice has ranked 16 major energy firms from best to worst
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The UK’s biggest energy providers have been ranked from best to worst for customer service.

According to the charity Citizens Advice, the ratings across the energy industry are among the lowest ever. 

The revelation comes as more customers may be looking to switch energy suppliers amid the new energy price cap change that comes into play next week (1 July). 

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

It said that customer service ratings in the first three months of this year have fallen by 10.5% compared to the same period in 2021.

The charity has seen record numbers of people asking for help with energy bills this year, which continues to be the biggest issue that people are seeking advice about.

“It's completely unacceptable that energy companies are failing to give their customers proper support,” said Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice.

“Citizens Advice has long called for Ofgem to be given stronger powers to hold suppliers to account on customer service. That must include tackling the complaints backlog before next winter.”

The next energy price cap will come into effect on Monday, 1 July, lowering average variable bills by 7% compared to the April price cap. The average dual-fuel bill for a household with typical usage will drop to £1,568 a year.

But Moriaty says this is “cold comfort” for the record numbers seeking help with gas and electricity issues. “The next government must introduce better targeted energy bill support for those struggling to keep the lights on or cook a hot meal.”

So, which are the best and worst energy suppliers for customer service? And how do you complain about rubbish service? Plus, if you want to find a better energy provider, our tips to help you switch.

Worst energy suppliers for customer service 

EDF and Utilita have been named as the worst energy suppliers for customer service in Citizens Advice’s league table.

EDF was one of the highest scoring suppliers this time last year, but has fallen to the bottom after its average call waiting times jumped from just under a minute to over five minutes in less than a year. 

Utilita has improved since last quarter, but remains one of the lowest rated suppliers.

EDF scored just 2.06 stars out of five, while Utilita received 2.08 stars. British Gas was third worst out of the 16 energy firms, scoring 2.39 stars.

The charity complies the table using information from the Citizens Advice consumer service, the Extra Help Unit, Energy Ombudsman and Energy UK. 

Citizens Advice found that EDF had a call centre wait time of five minutes and one second. Utilita had a wait time of four minutes and 58 seconds, while British Gas’s wait time was about three and a half minutes.

EDF received 64.6 complaints per 10,000 customers to Citizens Advice, Advice Direct Scotland and the Energy Ombudsman between January and March this year.

Utilita had 150.4 per 10,000 customers, while British Gas received 109.4.

Best energy suppliers for customer service

At the other end of the table, Ecotricity has been crowned the best energy firm for customer service. 

It scored 3.77 stars. Outfox the Market took second place (3.31 stars) and Ovo Energy took third place (3.27 stars).

Ecotricity impressed with its average call centre wait time of just 37 seconds. In terms of complaints, Citizens Advice recorded this as 26.6 per 10,000 customers.

Outfox the Market had 21.3 complaints per 10,000 customers, while it replied to 99.6% emails within two days.

Ovo Energy had a low call centre wait time of one minute and four seconds on average. The energy firm responded to 95.9% of emails within two days.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Energy suppliers ranked by customer service
Energy firmStars out of five
Outfox the Market3.31
Ovo Energy3.27
Utility Warehouse3.09
E (Gas and Electricity)3.07
E.ON Energy2.96
Good Energy2.87
Rebel Energy2.55
Octopus Energy2.52
Co-Operative Energy2.52
Boost Power2.52
So Energy2.50
British Gas2.39
EDF Energy2.06

Source: Citizens Advice. Refers to January to March 2024.

How have customer service ratings changed?

Citizens Advice says customer service standards have still not returned to levels seen before the energy crisis, which caused many people to need support from their suppliers with issues like debt and prepayment meters. 

It’s calling for the introduction of a Consumer Duty, a set of rules that would give the regulator Ofgem stronger powers to hold companies to account and “help bring an end to years of poor customer service”.

The charity says there has been an improvement in average call waiting times following new guidance from Ofgem in December. However, energy providers are performing badly on their ability to resolve customer complaints, which has brought overall ratings down.

How can I make a complaint?

If you’re unhappy with your energy supplier, contact them and explain what you would like them to do to make it right. 

They should have a complaints process on their website or on your energy bills that explains how to do this. They can also explain their complaints procedure if you contact them by phone.

If you want to send a letter or email, you can use the Citizens Advice energy complaints letter template.

Energy suppliers must try to fix any problems within eight weeks. 

If this does not happen, or if you’re not happy with the response you have received, you can take your complaint to the Energy Ombudsman.

This is a free and impartial service that helps resolve disputes between customers and energy firms.

How to switch energy supplier

First, check if you can switch from your supplier and if there are any fees. For example, you may be on a fixed energy tariff that has exit fees.

If you still want to move to a different energy provider, contact the new firm to switch. You can usually do this over the phone or on their website.

You don’t need to contact your current supplier and tell them you’re leaving, as your new supplier will do this for you.

You’ll have a 14 day ‘cooling-off’ period, during which you can cancel the switch without paying anything.

Remember to take a meter reading on the day of the transfer to give to your new supplier. This means they won’t charge you for energy used before the switch.

Suppliers have to complete customer switches within five working days (six if you enter into a contract after 5pm). If they fail to do so, they have to pay affected customers compensation of £30.

Should they fail to pay you the compensation, you can escalate your complaint to the Energy Ombudsman.

Ruth Emery
Contributing editor

Ruth is an award-winning financial journalist with more than 15 years' experience of working on national newspapers, websites and specialist magazines.

She is passionate about helping people feel more confident about their finances. She was previously editor of Times Money Mentor, and prior to that was deputy Money editor at The Sunday Times. 

A multi-award winning journalist, Ruth started her career on a pensions magazine at the FT Group, and has also worked at Money Observer and Money Advice Service. 

Outside of work, she is a mum to two young children, while also serving as a magistrate and an NHS volunteer.