Electricity and gas are essential services and we spend a fair chunk of our income on them - now more so than ever. So you shouldn't have to put up with poor service.
Our annual energy satisfaction survey covers 16 suppliers in Great Britain. Our most recent results were published in January 2023.
It captures the experiences of more than 10,000 energy customers who tell us what they really think of the service they receive. This gives you the inside track on finding the very best energy companies you can rely on and avoiding those you can't.
Plus we conducted our own in-depth assessment of energy firms' practices to find out which have been serving their customers best during the energy crisis.
For the first time ever, we've combined the scores of both our customer survey and our behind-the-scenes assessment to make our results as useful as possible to you - because it's more important than ever that companies are doing their best to treat customers fairly.
We've rated the biggest firms - including British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon Next, Octopus Energy and Ovo - as well as smaller and medium-sized companies. This includes Utility Warehouse and Shell Energy.
Only one energy company impressed us enough to earn our prestigious Which? Recommended Provider award, wowing its customers with top-notch service and excelling in our behind-the-scenes assessment of its practices as well. This firm is Octopus Energy .
Our table below covers Great Britain. If you live in Northern Ireland, see our expert advice on Northern Ireland electricity and gas firms instead.
Whether you're on your providers standard variable tariff or a fixed deal secured back in 2021 or 2022, it's unlikely that you'll find a cheaper deal at the moment.
But you can stillcompare gas and electricity prices and contracts using our independent energy comparison service.
Best energy companies
Below are the results from our customer survey and the results of our unique assessment into energy companies' practices. We've combined these to give a total score for each supplier.
We surveyed 10,197 customers in October 2022. They rated their energy suppliers on everything from customer service, to how clear its statements are, to how useful they find the information they get about energy costs.
Our assessment of providers' practices in November 2022 compares firms’ approaches to customer service, supporting vulnerable customers and complaints data.
We included 20 firms in total in this assessment. Even though the five companies at the bottom of the table didn't make it into our customer survey, the results are still useful to see how your provider compares behind-the-scenes.
Click the name of each company to read more about it.
Bulb is included in the table but our survey was put out too early to capture the experiences of customers since it was bought by Octopus Energy. M&S Energyis closing and customers will move to Octopus Energy on 1 April 2023.
|Company||Total score||Customer score||Which? assessment score|
Table notes:Customer score combines customers’ overall satisfaction and their likelihood to recommend their energy firm. Companies needed at least 50 responses to get a customer score. (-) indicates too few responses to give a rating. Which? assessment score is based on: support for vulnerable customers (40%); complaints performance (30%); customer service (30%). Total score is a combination of the customer score and Which? assessment score.
Sample sizes for customer score:Octopus Energy (1,182), Utilita (253), Utility Warehouse (264), E (62), Co-op Energy (67), Bulb (476), Ovo Energy (607), EDF Energy (1,038), Boost (119), British Gas (3,112), Sainsbury’s Energy (81), Shell Energy (552), So Energy (104), SSE Energy Services (467), Eon Next (1,500), Scottish Power (771). Survey: October 2022.
a Ecotricity, GEUK, Good Energy, M&S Energy and Outfox the Market received too few responses in our survey to be given a customer score or rate them overall. But they
did complete our supplier questionnaire, and have been given a Which? assessment score. M&S Energy is closing and customers will be moved to Octopus Energy from 1 April 2023.
Detailed energy provider score breakdown
The large table below shows the full results of both our energy customer survey and our in-depth assessment of suppliers' practices. Scroll right to see the star ratings from our customer survey, followed by the ratings from our assessment.
Table notes: Customer score combines customers’ overall satisfaction and their likelihood to recommend their energy firm. Companies needed at least 50 responses to get a customer score. (-) indicates too few responses to give a rating. Which? assessment score is based on: support for vulnerable customers (40%); complaints performance (30%); customer service (30%). Total score is a combination of the customer score and Which? assessment score.
Sample sizes for customer score: Octopus Energy (1,182), Utilita (253), Utility Warehouse (264), E (62), Co-op Energy (67), Bulb (476), Ovo Energy (607), EDF Energy (1,038), Boost (119), British Gas (3,112), Sainsbury’s Energy (81), Shell Energy (552), So Energy (104), SSE Energy Services (467), Eon Next (1,500), Scottish Power (771). Survey: October 2022.
If you live in Northern Ireland, take a look at our guide to the seven Northern Ireland electricity and gas firms.
What makes an energy company the best?
To be the best of the best and become a Which? Recommended Provider, a company must not only be among the highest scorers in our annual customer satisfaction survey, but it must also score well in our unique assessment of its practices.
Our practices assessment isn't new but we've factored it into the total score for the first time in 2023 to give you the fullest possible picture of energy firms.
To calculate the Which? assessment score, we scored companies on:
- support for customers in need - prepayment meter customers, vulnerable customers, and those facing financial hardship (40%)
- complaints performance (30%)
- customer service (30%).
We also used customers' responses on the following to award star ratings:
- customer service
- accuracy of payments
- clarity of statements
- usefulness of information about energy costs
- clarity of communication about energy market
- value for money.
We only use customers' satisfaction with their energy company and how likely they are to recommend it determine the customer score. These additional star ratings give you extra insight into the areas that are most important for you.
We also continually review and improve our criteria so we can be confident we're assessing the measures most important to customers.
To become a Which? Recommended Provider, an energy supplier must achieve a total score of at least 70%. It must also score above average in our assessment of supplier practices.
We have not factored-in pricing this time around owing to the lack of cheap deals available.
Find out more about what it takes to become an energyWhich? Recommended Provider and the firm that secured the title.
Top-scoring energy companies
Octopus Energy topped the table with the highest overall score. It also achieved the highest customer score - for the second year running. Its Which? assessment score was also the highest. It did consistently well across the board, especially on customer service and its support for prepayment and vulnerable customers.
As a result, Octopus Energy is the only Which? Recommended Provider for the sixth year in a row.
Read more about why we recommend Octopus Energy .
Overall runner up Utilita had the fourth-highest customer score and did well our assessment of its practices.
Utility Warehouse finished in third place. While it had the second-highest customer score, it didn't do so well when we assessed its practices. In fact, its Which? assessment score was one of the lowest.
Lowest-scoring energy companies
The average customer score was just 54% this year, lower than it was in January 2022 (59%) and 2021 (64%).
Perhaps it's unsurprising that customers are less impressed given the crisis in the market, little to no difference between tariff prices at the moment, and a fifth of customers having been moved to their current firm when their previous one failed.
Our total score is new this year and Scottish Power's was the lowest. It also had the lowest score in our assessment of its practices and its customer score was three percentage points from the bottom. Read more about Scottish Power.
In our customer survey, SSE Energy Services and Shell Energy bring up the rear alongside Scottish Power. SSE Energy Services scored just one star on three separate aspects of its service. Shell Energy, Scottish Power and Boostwere the only other firms to receive any one-star customer ratings.
E did not return our supplier questionnaire so we couldn't give it an overall rating or Which? assessment score. It achieved the best score for the complaints section of our assessment, which we carried out with publicly available information. It also finished third in our customer survey.
Traditional energy companies
Six energy firms dominated the market for decades until the major changes of the past couple of years. Four of the original six still supply more than half of energy customers today - British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon Next and Scottish Power.
SSE used to be among them but the brand is now owned by Ovo and called SSE Energy Services. Npower ceased trading in 2019.
Ovo Energy is currently the third-largest supplier. Octopus Energy is also rapidly expanding, having bought Bulb in late 2022.
EDF Energy is the highest-ranked of the traditional big firms this year, with an overall score of 62%. British Gas isn't far behind with a 60% total score.
Scottish Power has the lowest overall score, with SSE Energy Services and Eon Next placed just ahead of it.
Feeling the pinch with energy bills? Read ourtips to cut your energy costs.