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Expert Reviews Energy Awards 2022: The results

Expert Reviews reveals the best energy supplier in Great Britain, as voted for by you

What a year it’s been for the energy market. Massive increases in wholesale energy prices have seen our gas and electricity bills skyrocketing and the price cap increasing from the £1,277 a year paid by a typical household before April to a hefty £2,500 now.

Since January 2021, 29 suppliers to homes have gone bust as a result of being unable to cover their costs, including well-known names Avro Energy, People’s Energy, Pure Planet and Utility Point, and Bulb Energy has been placed into special administration, which means it’s been taken over by the government and can continue trading as normal for now.

The price cap set by the energy regulator Ofgem currently affects around 24 million customers. This determines the maximum that suppliers in Great Britain can charge for their default standard tariffs. 

It had been set to increase to an eye-watering £3,549 for a typical household from 1 October but households can breathe a sigh of relief as the government has announced its energy price guarantee limiting the typical bill to £2,500 for two years. If you’re currently on a fixed deal, you’ll be able to switch to the guaranteed price without paying exit penalties.  

There’s also a £400 energy discount coming to all households to be paid from October over winter, cutting the typical bill to £2,100. The actual price you pay will depend on your usage, though. 

You can’t save money by switching energy supplier at the moment, but to find out which ones have been keeping their customers happy and which ones have been letting them down we teamed up with YouGov to survey your opinion. We asked you to tell us how satisfied you are with your suppliers and whether you would recommend them to a friend. We also asked how quick they were to respond when you contacted them.

Read on to discover the results of our survey and find out which suppliers are this year’s winners.

READ NEXT: How to get the best energy deal

Expert Reviews Energy Awards 2022

Overall Winner: Octopus Energy

Highly commended: Utility Warehouse, Ovo

Octopus Energy claims the crown for the best energy supplier overall for the second year in a row, with more people saying they would recommend it to a friend than any other, at 72% versus 62% for the second most recommended supplier Utility Warehouse. It also won all four of our other awards.

It’s just six years old but has become one of Britain’s largest energy companies. It now supplies more than three million homes and businesses after taking on Avro Energy’s 580,000 domestic customers when it went bust in September 2021. All of its electricity comes from renewable sources and it’s a big investor in green energy generation.  

Highly commended supplier Utility Warehouse also provides broadband, mobile and insurance services, with everything in one bill. It offers a cashback card that rewards you for spending on it, too, and has an unusual business model that lets you earn money by recommending it to others who then switch to it for multiple services. 

Our other highly commended supplier Ovo, which took over energy giant SSE in January 2020, had 44% of its customers saying they would recommend it. 

Shell Energy was the supplier with the lowest percentage of customers who said they would recommend it, at just 23%. All the providers that appeared in both this year’s and last year’s survey, including Octopus, had a significantly smaller proportion of customers saying they would recommend them this year, which isn’t surprising considering the turbulent year energy customers have had.

According to Ofgem’s most recent data from the first three months of 2022, Octopus Energy received far fewer complaints per 100,000 customers than the 1,459 average for all suppliers at 649, with 60% of these resolved by the end of the next working day and 88% resolved within eight weeks. Utility Warehouse received even fewer complaints at just 626. 

Readers who would recommend
Yes (%)No (%)
British Gas3931
Bulb Energy3933
EDF Energy3732
Octopus Energy7211
Scottish Power3434
Shell Energy2340
Utility Warehouse6214

Best Customer Service: Octopus Energy

Highly commended: Utility Warehouse, Ovo

Customer service is an important factor in determining how happy a supplier’s customers are. A good 69% of Octopus Energy’s customers said they were very or fairly satisfied with its customer service, including 39% who said they were very satisfied, so it claims this year’s Best Customer Service award. Only 7% said they were dissatisfied overall.

One reason Octopus customers are so happy with its service is likely to be the speed at which it picks up the phone when they call, which is why it also won our award for answering calls (see below for more on this).

Highly commended supplier Utility Warehouse was a way behind with just over half of its customers saying they were satisfied overall, at 52%, including 30% very satisfied. It also had the second lowest proportion of customers who were dissatisfied, at 8%.

Ovo, while also highly commended, made just 20% of its customers very satisfied, with 46% satisfied overall. It had a relatively high proportion of customers saying they were dissatisfied at 19%, too. 

The suppliers that performed worst for their customer service were SEE, which had just 26% of its customers saying they were satisfied overall and 22% dissatisfied, and Shell, with 28% of customers satisfied. Shell had the smallest percentage of very satisfied customers at a poor 5%.

Customer service
Very satisfied (%)Fairly satisfied (%)Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied (%)Fairly dissatisfied (%)Very dissatisfied (%)
British Gas927331011
Bulb Energy 182432125
EDF Energy13303478
Octopus Energy39302142
Scottish Power92738914
Shell Energy5224279
Utility Warehouse30222753

Best Value: Octopus Energy

Highly commended: Utility Warehouse, Ovo

With energy prices having risen so much in the past year, it’s no surprise that significantly fewer energy customers said they were satisfied with their supplier’s value for money than in last year’s survey.

Octopus Energy once again secures the Best Value for Money award with just over half of its customers (53%) saying they were satisfied with its value overall, including 21% very satisfied. A fifth of people said they were dissatisfied with Octopus’s value for money, though.

Highly commended Utility Warehouse trailed behind Octopus with 40% satisfied overall but had the highest percentage of customers among all the suppliers in our survey who were very satisfied at 24% and the lowest percentage who were dissatisfied, at 17%. Its business model of supplying other home services along with energy may have something to do with that.

Our other highly commended supplier Ovo had 38% of customers saying they were satisfied but a relatively poor 9% who were very satisfied and 37% dissatisfied – 20 percentage points more than Utility Warehouse.

SSE and Shell were once again bottom of the heap – only 16% and 17% said they were satisfied respectively. Shell had a pitiful 1% of customers saying they were very satisfied and 48% dissatisfied overall.

Value for money
Very satisfied (%)Fairly satisfied (%)Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied (%)Fairly dissatisfied (%)Very dissatisfied (%)
British Gas717301624
Bulb Energy1320291521
EDF Energy1023331219
Octopus Energy213225812
Scottish Power521351423
Shell Energy116291434
Utility Warehouse241630170

Best Bills: Octopus Energy

Highly commended: Bulb Energy, E.ON

When the cost of your energy is going up, being able to understand your bills is essential. Octopus’s bills were the clearest with a sizeable 86% of customers saying their last bill was easy to understand, including 52% saying it was very easy. It also had the smallest percentage of people saying it was difficult to understand at 9%.

Bulb Energy and E.ON were the highly commended suppliers in this category. Bulb had 76% of its customers saying their last bill was easy to understand, including 41% who said very easy. E.ON wasn’t far behind, with 74% who thought it was easy to understand but a much smaller proportion saying very easy at 27%.

In contrast to its good performance in the previous three award categories, Utility Warehouse was the most poorly rated supplier for its bills. Only 59% of customers said their last bill was easy to understand. 

A relatively high percentage of Utility Warehouse customers said “don’t know” when asked this question, however, at 30% – a lot more than the second highest of 12% for British Gas. This could be because Utility Warehouse bills include all the home services you get from it, not just energy, making it harder for its customers to rate it in this category. 

EDF had the highest percentage of customers saying their last bill was difficult to understand, at 27%.

Ease of understanding bills
Very easy (%)Fairly easy (%)Fairly difficult (%)Very difficult (%)
British Gas2443156
Bulb Energy4136113
EDF Energy2739207
Octopus Energy523481
Shell Energy2544166
Scottish Power2346224
Utility Warehouse332538

Fastest Call Centre Response: Octopus Energy

Highly commended: SSE, E.ON

At a time when so many people have seen their energy bills jump up and many are struggling to pay them, being able to contact your supplier when you need help is more important than ever. 

Just over a quarter of people (27%) contacted their supplier by telephone over the past 12 months, while just under a quarter (24%) contacted it online or by email. 

Around 8% of people contacted their supplier specifically to say they were struggling with their energy bills but sadly almost half (48%) were dissatisfied with the response they got. The biggest proportion of people said they were very dissatisfied was 28%, versus 14% who said very satisfied and 23% who said fairly satisfied.

Whatever the reason for contacting your supplier, there are few things more frustrating than being left on hold when you call, so we asked you how long it took your supplier to answer the phone to find out which is best at answering calls. 

Of the six suppliers with a big enough sample size of more than 50 people for us to rate for calls, Octopus wins the award. It answered 53% of calls in five minutes or less, beating the next best supplier by a long way – highly commended supplier SSE, which answered 33% in five minutes or less, although it answered the most calls in less than one minute at 15%.

Surprisingly, SSE was also the supplier with the highest proportion of calls that took more than 20 minutes to be answered, leaving 49% of its customers hanging on for this long.

Our other highly commended supplier E.ON closely follows SSE for answering calls in five minutes or less at 31% and only took more than 20 minutes to answer 23% of them.

Octopus also did well at responding to people who contacted it online or by email – it replied to 44% in one day or less. EDF and E.ON were better, though, replying to 47% and 45% within one day or less respectively.

Many British Gas customers were left unhappy as 23% of people who contacted it online or by email never got a response.

Call waiting times
Less than 1 minute (%)1 to 5 minutes (%)6 to 10 minutes (%)11 to 20 minutes (%)More than 20 minutes (%)
British Gas422211836
EDF Energy417341926
Octopus Energy1340151120
Scottish Power612291142


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov plc. The total sample size was 2,051 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8 and 11 July 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

We asked respondents how likely they would be to recommend their energy suppliers to a friend and to rate their overall customer service, value for money and how easy their bills were to understand. We also asked them how satisfied they were if they had contacted their suppliers to say they were struggling to pay their bills and how long it took them to respond if they had contacted their suppliers by phone, online or by email.

Only suppliers where the number of respondents was more than 50 people were included in our results. This means we haven’t been able to report on Ebico, Ecotricity, Outfox the Market and SO Energy.

Total percentages mentioned in the article may differ slightly compared to the figures in the tables due to rounding.

We also looked at complaints data published by the energy regulator Ofgem. To be the overall winner, a supplier must have received fewer complaints than the average across all suppliers according to the most recent figures, which were for the first three months of 2022, and resolved at least 50% of them by the end of the next working day and at least 80% within eight weeks.

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