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Should you switch to a small energy supplier?

Energy Supplier

With over 50% of us still relying on the original ‘Big 6’, or ‘traditional’ energy companies as they are now known, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are lots of smaller independent energy suppliers out there. Big brand names like British Gas, EON and EDF Energy provide a sense of security that we perhaps don’t get from small energy suppliers. Some smaller energy suppliers have great reviews, top customer service and great energy deals. 

Why you should consider a small energy supplier 

Many may be cautious about switching to small energy suppliers consider the volatility in the energy market, but many small energy companies are extremely well-run and offer great deal; and multiple awards to back them.

For example, Octopus Energy has won best UK energy supplier 4 years in a row according to Which?

There are some arguments for an against small energy companies. The once thing to remember is that research is your friend. A little bit of research into customer reviews and tariffs can tell you a lot about gas and electricity suppliers.

Despite some newer energy suppliers going 'bust', such as Pure Planet and Avro Energy; there's plenty of protection put in place by the UK energy regulator, Ofgem. This means consumers are able to capitalise on energy deals without the worry of losing money should the energy company go bust.

If your energy provider has gone bust, you can find some useful information here.

It’s also worth noting that smaller energy companies have a lot of work to do to compete with the UK’s leading energy suppliers. As a result, small energy companies often offer incentives to entice new customers, and their customer services departments tend to be less overrun.  

Another thing worth remembering is that opting to switch to a small energy company doesn’t necessarily mean moving over to a ‘new’ supplier. Independent suppliers such as Octopus Energy, Shell Energy and Ovo Energy (who are arguably have grown into a bigger supplier) are among the small - but well-established - energy companies in the UK.

Which small energy supplier has the highest customer satisfaction?

One of the most telling things when researching energy companies is the level of customer satisfaction. How happy are the customers with the service they are receiving from their energy supplier? And would they recommend their chosen energy supplier to others?

In an online survey carried out in September 2020, 7330 Great British citizens were asked to rate how satisfied/dissatisfied they were with their energy supplier.

This study revealed that of the 50+ energy suppliers in the UK energy industry, the top-ranking firm is a small supplier. Even more, interestingly, the lowest ranking supplier continues to provide energy to over 3 million homes. This proves that while the majority of UK energy customers still rely on bigger energy firms, those with small suppliers are generally happier with their service.

So, if you’ve had reservations about switching to a small energy supplier, hopefully, these figures will help alleviate some of your concerns.

Is switching to a small energy supplier risky?

 Switching energy suppliers can feel daunting. There’s a lot of information to process and it can often feel like a risky move to make, particularly if you are moving from a big energy supplier to a small one.

The good news is that lots of small energy suppliers offer a switch guarantee. For those wondering ‘what is an energy switch guarantee?’, an energy switch guarantee means that you’ll receive the final bill from your previous supplier within six weeks after your switch has been finalised. If your supplier owes money to you, they will refund this no more than 14 days after the final bill has been sent. For this refund to be processed, your current energy provider must have either your bank account details or your name and address. 

Which energy suppliers offer the best value for money?

This is difficult to answer as energy suppliers are always changing deals for both gas and electricity. The best way to see how much you can save on your energy bills is to compare energy suppliers.

Most of the time, independent energy suppliers will either be the cheapest or amongst the cheaper energy prices when you compare gas and electricity.

So, if you’re hoping to save money on your energy bills, then switching to a small energy supplier may the way to go. But as always, be sure to do your research. Find out as much as you can about the energy companies you are interested in by checking out customer service ratings and the latest news updates about the company. Also, if you’re worried that your new supplier could go bust, take a look at how long they’ve been around. Your new supplier may be small, but it may have been around for many years, which is very reassuring.

How to switch suppliers and find the best deals

Sourcing the best energy deals and switching energy suppliers couldn’t be easier. Simply head over to our website to compare and switch energy suppliers today. You will find a range of competitive energy prices on gas and electricity from both larger companies and independent energy suppliers.

 For more posts like this, head over to our content hub.

Independent Suppliers FAQs

What is the energy switch guarantee?

The guarantee is a promise from your energy supplier that any charges you face due to a switching error will be rectified and compensated for.

It means that:

  • There won’t be any disruption to your service. If you’re getting a new meter, such as a smart meter or pre-payment meter, your new supplier will arrange a date and explain the process.
  • Switching is free (except cancellation fees for leaving early).
  • It should take no more than 21 days to switch gas and electricity supplier.
  • Your new supplier won’t need to visit your home to make the switch (unless you need a new meter installation). 
  • Your new supplier will be the one that tells your old supplier that you’re leaving, so you don’t have to.

This scheme was created to ensure energy customers can switch with confidence and be encouraged to find better gas and electricity deals. This guarantee has helped smaller energy companies compete against the large suppliers, and is largely the reason Octopus Energy has become so popular in the UK.

Who has the best customer service ratings?

The two most notable energy providers to top the charts constantly for customer service is Octopus Energy and Ovo Energy. However, there are lots of deals for both large and smaller energy companies who have well established customer complaints processes.

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