New data shows suppliers must improve customer service

Press release

Publication date

Industry sector

Supply and Retail Market

Results of the Energy Consumer Satisfaction survey which measures consumers’ satisfaction with their energy supplier, have today been published by Ofgem, and include a supplier breakdown for the first time.  

Ofgem will continue to publish this supplier-specific data as part of our ongoing commitment to improve transparency to help customers make more informed decisions when choosing their energy supplier. 

The report, commissioned by Ofgem and Citizens Advice, is based on a survey of 3742 domestic energy consumers between 30 August and 18 September 2023 – before Ofgem's new consumer standards rules came into force. 

The research found:  

  • based on an average satisfaction rate of 69%, the supplier that was significantly higher than average was Octopus (84%) - the suppliers with lower satisfaction results than average were EDF Energy (61%), OVO Energy (61%) and Scottish Power (62%)
  • for customer service satisfaction, the average was 62%, with Octopus again scoring higher than average at 76%, while EDF (54%), Scottish Power (55%), and OVO (57%) scored lower than average
  • satisfaction with supplier customer service has declined, dropping from 66% at the end of 2022 to 62%
  • the top reasons customers gave for dissatisfaction with customer service they’ve received were not being able to contact their supplier at the time they needed (37%), not feeling they were being listened to (34%) and the length of time it took to resolve their query (34%) 

Tim Jarvis, Director General of Retail and Markets at Ofgem, said:   

“Transparency is crucial to allow energy users to make informed choices, and we are determined to give customers the information they need so they can choose a supplier that works for them. 

“We have already seen improvement to fix issues we identified in our deep-dive review of customer service in 2022, but today’s data is a reminder that there is still work to be done, and publishing company-specific data adds another incentive for suppliers to keep pace with their rivals – or risk losing customers.”

In December 2023 the regulator announced tough new rules to improve customer service standards, including requirements for suppliers to be easier to contact and provide proactive support for vulnerable customers, and those struggling to pay their bills. 

Under these rules, energy companies are already required to prominently display their Citizens Advice Star Rating for customer service satisfaction. This latest move by the regulator adds more valuable perspective for customers, with the new data suggesting many companies are falling short of customer expectations. 

Ofgem recognises the progress already made by suppliers since our Market Compliance Review into customer service standards in February raised severe or moderate weaknesses at 12 energy companies.   

Notes to editors 

The Energy Consumer Satisfaction survey measures consumers’ satisfaction with their energy supplier. Ofgem is publishing supplier-level results from the survey now to drive greater transparency on the data we hold, in keeping with commitments outlined in the recently published Forward Work Programme consultation. This supplements market-wide insights from the survey 

The two customer satisfaction indicators that are being published reflect consumers’ perceptions of their supplier and the customer service received. These indicators do not provide an assessment of suppliers’ processes or practices.  

The report underlines the importance for suppliers to provide good customer service. While we are seeing progress in some areas, there is still more to be done and our new consumer standards clearly set out what we expect from suppliers. 

The Citizens Advice star rating is designed to give a rounded composite measure of customer service performance using various industry/supplier data sources.  
The supplier-level customer satisfaction indicators and the Citizens Advice star rating are different measures and should be seen as complementary sources. 

Ofgem is keen to be transparent with the data it holds on supplier customer service standards, to inform consumer choices and incentivise better performance. The publication of customer satisfaction data from the Energy Consumer Satisfaction survey is the first step towards greater transparency.  

Customers can find further support and advice from Ofgem’s Energy Aware campaign. 

The survey is based on a sample of the population of energy consumers in Great Britain responsible for paying their energy bills. We cannot be certain that the figures obtained are exactly those that would have been reached if everyone had taken part (the "true" values). The reported figures are estimates, within a small margin of error. The margin of error varies with sample size – the larger the sample is, the lower the error will be. For this reason, individual suppliers with fewer than 100 respondents taking part in this survey are not shown.