The best energy suppliers don’t just offer excellent value for money - they deliver fantastic customer service too. And that’s important. After all, you might have the cheapest gas and electricity prices possible, but if your bills are inaccurate or incomprehensible, or you can’t get through to an adviser, it quickly becomes clear that price isn’t everything.
In this guide we rate the best energy suppliers in the UK, taking into account price, customer service, transparency, their green credentials, exit fees, reviews from customers and more. (If you're solely looking to switch for environmental concerns, you’ll find a full rundown of the best green energy supplier elsewhere on the site.)
Once you've chosen the right company for your home, you can run a quick energy comparison to see which supplier has the best energy deals in your area - and switch energy supplier there and then, if you choose. Read on for the best energy suppliers in the UK right now…
The best energy supplier in the UK
Since launching in 2016, Octopus Energy has attracted 1.5 million customers with its cheap energy deals, outstanding customer service and progressive stance on sustainability. It recently became a “unicorn” company - that is, a privately held start-up that achieves a billion dollar valuation - and has won favour from customers and industry bodies alike. Uswitch voted Octopus the best energy supplier in 2020, and the provider also boasts a full five stars from over 27,000 user reviews on independent site Trustpilot, with 92% rating it ‘excellent’ and 5% ’great’. That's impressive.
We particularly like Octopus Energy for its commitment to sustainability and tackling climate change. All electricity provided by Octopus is 100% green, and if you choose Octopus’ Super Green tariff, the company will carbon-offset 100% of the gas you consume. The supplier has also set up a division for green electricity for businesses, as well as a division promoting and leasing electric vehicles.
Its green credentials don’t come at the expense of affordability, either. Octopus offers a wide range of tariffs, many of them among the cheapest you can get. Notably, its Agile tariff allows you to sell surplus stored energy (bought when cheapest) back to the Grid when it’s most expensive. Octopus recently paid thousands of customers to use electricity during the day as a result of an increase in solar and wind energy production. For price, progression and top customer service, we think Octopus Energy is the best energy supplier in the UK right now.
Bulb launched a few months ahead of Octopus and has a similar number of customers, at around 1.5 million. The energy supplier’s key message is simplicity, with just one variable tariff on offer. The company says this makes pricing fair, because any drops in the wholesale price of energy will be passed on to you - although like any variable tariff this means that prices can go up too. However price-wise, Bulb generally sits at the cheaper end of the UK energy market: independent energy switching site Energy Helpline found Bulb to be on average 17% cheaper than standard deals from the Big Six.
The company buys its energy from independent generators, which means it can guarantee that its electricity is 100% green - and it also supplies 10% green gas from renewable sources including food and farm waste. The rest is offset, making Bulb’s gas 100% carbon neutral.
Customers like Bulb a lot: it averages a full five stars from over 43,000 user reviews on TrustPilot. Plus, if you switch, the energy supplier will donate £2 to its charity, The Bulb Foundation. And if you recommend a friend, you’ll both get £50.
Pure Planet is a challenger energy brand that has an incredibly straightforward offering. It aims to provide renewable energy that’s cheaper to use than power that pollutes, and its USP is that it’s a web or app-only energy supplier, which dramatically lowers its costs.
Pure Planet’s electricity is 100% green, and its gas is 100% carbon offset. The three co-founders know what they’re doing: they convinced Richard Branson to back Virgin Mobile before they moved into energy, and they’ve grown Pure Planet to 100,000 customers since launching in late 2017. However, do be aware that a small but very vocal minority don't like the lack of human interaction that comes with this digital-only brand. While 72% of Pure Planet’s 6,500 user reviews on Trustpilot are marked “excellent”, the company also has 10% rating it either “poor” or “bad”.
Nevertheless, with a reputation for accurate billing and great value for money, plus its commitment to getting Britain to Net Zero, Pure Planet remains one of the best energy suppliers in the UK right now.
The brainchild of former investment banker (and one-time Formula One team owner) Stephen Fitzpatrick, Ovo Energy has gone from being a challenger energy brand to technically one of the Big Six. Its recent acquisition of SSE makes it the UK’s second largest energy supplier, with some five million customers. That said, it's continuing to run the SSE book under that badge for the foreseeable future.
Ovo Energy is longer in the tooth than the two more highly ranked start-ups above - Octopus and Bulb - having started trading in 2009. It feels more corporate, too, after recruiting ex-Harvey Nichols executive and ex-Burberry finance chief Stacey Cartwright to chair a new board for its retail division.
The company says it wants to make energy cheaper, greener and simpler, and has invested in a raft of smart technology. Its three tariffs (one-year fixed, two-year fixed, and variable) come with 50% green electricity as standard. For an extra £5 per month you can upgrade to 100% green electricity, and for a further £5 per month you can get 15% green gas, with the rest offset.
Octopus and Bulb both score higher than Ovo on Trustpilot. Nevertheless, Ovo is highly rated by users, averaging at 4.5 out of 5 stars from 40,000 customer reviews, with 71% of users deeming it excellent.
Winner of Ethical Consumer magazine’s best energy brand award, Ebico uses Robin Hood Energy to supply energy to its customers. The company is committed to delivering affordable energy to UK households, and has a proven track record in helping vulnerable people and those living in fuel poverty. It ploughs any profit into local projects in fuel-poor neighbourhoods via its registered charity, the Ebico Trust.
Ebico has eight different tariffs to choose between: five fixed, two variable and one pay as you go option, Ebico Zero, which is the most popular. It’s competitively priced - around the same as Ovo - and the company’s electricity is 100% renewable.
Compared to other energy providers, Ebico is tiny - with just 60,000 customers. Some people might value that, others might worry about its long-term viability. That said, Ebico ranked second, behind Octopus, in a recent Which? Survey, with full marks for bill accuracy, and four out of five stars for customer service and value for money. Ebico is easily one of the best energy suppliers in the UK - particularly for anyone looking to make an ethical choice.
Climate-change eco-warriors love the backstory to Ecotricity. Founder Dale Vince set the company up in 1995 with a single wind turbine, which he used to power an old army truck in hippy heaven Stroud, Gloucestershire. From there, he went on to build more wind turbines (Vince prefers the term ‘windmills’) under sister company the Blade Runner-esque Nexgen.
Ecotricity certainly isn’t the cheapest – Octopus and Bulb will argue that they are, at around £80 to £100 per month for a four-bed home, while Ecotricity quotes a whopping £157. But Ecotricity is super-ethical and super-green, and seems determined to make a difference.
The People’s Energy Company is relatively tiny, with modest growth plans. It was set up in Dalkeith, just outside Edinburgh, by David Pike and Karin Sode, with a simple vision: customers are automatically shareholders, and 75 per cent of annual profits are returned to them as a rebate.
This energy supplier supports the Living Wage, promotes mental wellbeing at work and has blogged about ways to keep your bills down during the recent lockdown. Those turned off by Pure Planet’s digital-only offer will be reassured to know that People’s Energy has a traditional call centre with, you know, real humans. And those modest growth plans? The People’s Energy Company's vision is to have a million customers.
How to switch provider
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