Small Energy Suppliers: Why switch to a smaller supplier?

Energy Companies

What’s in this guide?

Introduction

Did you know that there are now over 70 energy suppliers operating in the UK?

And that you could be saving up to £200 a year on your energy bills by switching?

According to a report by the Competition and Markets Authority, 70 per cent of people were overpaying for your energy.

This costs consumers around £1.4 billion more.

But there are some questions when it comes to small energy suppliers, which is why this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

What is a small energy supplier?

So you’ve probably heard of the ‘big six’ like British Gas and nPower, but have you heard of the smaller energy suppliers?

Bulb, Ecotricity and Good Energy are examples of small energy suppliers and are categorised by Ofgem as having less than a quarter of a million customers.

Small suppliers tend to have much better ratings than their big six competitors, with Which? Surveys were indicating that the vast majority of smaller suppliers beat the big six for value for money, customer satisfaction and bill accuracy.

Are they better than the big six?

In the Which? Energy Survey 2018, none of the big six made it to the top 10 rated energy suppliers.

This indicates that many customers are starting to make a move to switch energy suppliers thanks to increased marketing efforts.

Plus, the rules from Ofgem that energy suppliers need to tell their customers about cheaper tariffs and how to switch.

According to data provided by Which? Medium-Sized energy companies usually rate even higher than smaller suppliers; however, they both have an equal percentage of satisfied customers and complaints.

This means that there is only really a couple of percentage points that separate medium and small suppliers, so there might be a need to dig a bit deeper.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Small energy supplier pros

✔ Excellent customer service
✔ Great value for money
✔ 5-star customer satisfaction
✔ High rated bill accuracy and clarity

Small energy supplier cons

✗ Smaller suppliers run the risk of going out of business
✗ Some suppliers don’t offer the warm home discount
✗ Many small suppliers are too small to get any proper data

Small supplier reviews

When you are deciding on a switch to any supplier, it is essential to consider surveys.

Why?

Because learning about how customers have found the company, with positive and negative reviews, allows you to compare better which supplier might be better for you.

Many customers value excellent customer support and even say they would be prepared to pay a bit extra in that scenario.

See what customers think about the companies below.

Bulb Energy


Bulb logo


Bulb is an energy supplier that is quickly growing in popularity in 2018 with over 5,000 reviews on Trustpilot, boasting a high 5-star rating with 92% of their total reviews positive.

The only potential negative with Bulb is that they only offer one tariff, and it’s a variable rate tariff.

What does this mean? It means that the cost of your energy is dependent on the open market, which is affected by things such as politics and the time of the year.

You could make some significant savings if prices go down, but of course, you would run the risk of the energy prices increasing and leaving you with a big bill.

Positive Bulb Reviews

Michelle on Trustpilot: Recommend anyone to switch to Bulb. So easy to do and well informed throughout the transition.

Daniel Butcher on Trustpilot: Straightforward switching process, it takes 2 minutes to fill in the online form, and they take care of the rest. If you have to pay an exit fee to your previous supplier bulb will refund it.

Negative Bulb Reviews

Neil Brookes on Trustpilot: It is now two months since I switched to Bulb from British Gas.

Bulb failed to provide final meter readings to British Gas.

Justine Cannings on Trustpilot: I joined Bulb in January, by May my billing still hadn’t been adequately set up, so I wasn’t receiving bills with everything functioning properly.

Ecotricity


Ecotricity logo


Ecotricity has a 3-star average rating on Trustpilot, out of almost 600 reviews from their customers.

They build their renewable energy generators like wind and run mills across the UK and supply their customers with 100% renewable electricity and 12% green gas.

Positive Ecotricity Reviews

Dinah Woodger on Trustpilot: Simple, straightforward, helpful, and reinvesting in green energy rather than shareholder payouts.

Keith Bardsley on Trustpilot: Very easy to use and excellent customer service. Transparent regarding price changes and tariffs.

Negative Ecotricity Reviews

Liza Radley on Trustpilot: The call centre operators are rude and refuse to give you the information you need. They want you to do your meter readings but don’t tell you they expect that.

Sandra on Trustpilot: I have been with Ecotricity for a while (8 years) and had good customer service as well I felt I paid a fair price for gas/electric. My bill has doubled compared to last year, and customer service is not good.

Good Energy


Good Energy


Unfortunately, Good Energy is one of the lower rated suppliers with only a 2-star overall score on Trustpilot that is comprised of over 300 individual reviews.

However, it is one of the greener small suppliers on the market, supporting renewable energy generators in the UK and providing customers with 100% renewable electricity and 6% renewable gas.

Positive Good Energy Reviews

Gordon Baisley on Trustpilot: Pricing is pretty competitive. I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more to be environmentally friendly, but I suspect it works out equivalent to other providers.

Annalise on Trustpilot: When you call Good Energy, an actual live person answers – no endless menu of options that takes you right back to where you started, no endless queues. And when that person picks up, they can solve your problem. Ah-mazing.

Negative Good Energy Reviews

Sarah Holding on Trustpilot: Had no choice to give them a minimum one star but don’t deserve it! Total shambles took nearly a year to produce a bill and since then have used very aggressive tactics to recover the “debt”!

Sarah Darling on Trustpilot: Truly shocking service from a business that needs to get their house in order. Set up my account due to their green credentials, but from the get-go their customer service was sloppy.

Conclusion

Did you know that you could be saving £200 a year on your energy bills?

Take a look at the EnergySeek guides to find out more about your energy, or see reviews of the top 7 energy switching sites to compare gas & electricity.