With everyone feeling the effect of rising energy prices, it is more important than ever to be able to choose an energy supplier that suits your individual needs. There are now more than 20 different energy suppliers to choose from. In addition to those that are refereed to as the “big six” there are some smaller suppliers and others that meet specialist purchasing requirements like the green energy companies that specialise in providing energy sourced from renewable sources. For many, the decision is price driven, but for others it is a matter of principal. Here we describe the best ways to get the information you need to make the right choice.
Consumer Focus Energy Complaints League
When considering whether or not to switch to a new energy supplier one of the first things you might want to look at if you are thinking about moving to one of the bigger suppliers is the league table of complaints published quarterly by consumer watchdog Consumer Focus. This rates the companies using a star system and based upon the number of complaints they receive against them. Figures are compiled and updated regularly according to the latest figures available. The suppliers are ranked on the number of complaints to Consumer Direct, Consumer Focus and the Energy Ombudsman and adjusted to account for the relative market share of each company. The star rating is an easy way to see how well the companies are doing in relation to the number of complaints received. EDF energy have been consistently at the bottom of the table and regularly fail to achieve any stars whilst SSE regularly feature at the top of the performance stakes with 5 stars.
All of the energy suppliers have individual websites that you can visit to read more about the company, the services it offers and its pricing structure. This could be a time consuming process but fortunately there are many sites that will do this for you and present the main facts in summary form. This makes it much easier to compare and contrast the various companies and form a decision.
Even easier are the energy comparison sites like Uswitch.com where you can enter your details into a simple online interface and have the site produce results for you based on criteria that you set. The results can be sorted into price order with the cheapest first or they can be sorted into order of how green their energy supply sources are. If you find that one company is more suitable for you based on these results, it is easy to start the process of switching without even leaving the website.
There are many reasons why it is important to do your research when considering a supplier for your energy needs. There are many pitfalls and traps that you can fall into including being miss-sold more expensive energy tariffs, issues with billing, procedures and payment collection and poor response to customer service complaints. It is very important to have a careful look to see how your preferred company is doing in these…