Avro Energy: is Avro Energy any good?
Despite some recent trouble with Ofgem, Avro Energy is still in business and offering affordable energy tariffs to consumers across the UK. A supplier that aims to cut the fancy phrases and offer a simple service, it could be the small-time, no-nonsense energy supplier you’re looking for.
Avro Energy: what you need to know
Created in 2012 and starting to trade in December 2015, Avro Energy is a new supplier that aims to offer cheap and simplistic energy. Founder Jake Brown wanted to create an alternative to the Big Six energy suppliers in the UK, therefore setting up a company that cut out the jargon and put an end to high prices. As Jake himself stated:
The energy market can often be a frustrating place for consumers; we launched Avro Energy to help rectify these problems in favour of consumers.
So far, this strategy has seemed to work. Thanks to its ‘different approach to simplistic supply’, the supplier had amassed 70,000 customers by the end of 2016. Its prices consistently rank as some of the cheapest on the market and it receives sold reviews online, although it has run into a few problems with Ofgem, the UK energy regulator (we discuss this more in the News section below).
Being a new company, there isn’t much to put on an Avro Energy timeline. Nonetheless, we’ve included some of the company’s key dates (to date) in a short timeline to give a simple overview of the supplier.
- 2012 - Avro Energy is created in the West Midlands by Jake Brown.
- 2015 - It starts trading, officially joining the UK energy market.
- 2016 - By the end of 2016, it has 40,000 electricity and 30,000 gas customers.
- 2019 - From May 26th, Ofgem banned Avro Energy from selling its energy to new customers as it was not a DCC user. This ban was revoked in June and the supplier can now continue to function as before.
In the news: has Avro Energy gone bust?
Avro Energy has been in a bit of trouble with Ofgem recently, but customers will be pleased to know that it is not being shut down.
In March 2019, Ofgem issued Avro Energy a final order to comply with its requirement to become a DCC user (aka. support smart meters). The supplier had missed its original deadline, November 2017, by quite some time meaning Ofgem was forced to escalate the issue, issuing the final order and banning Avro Energy from taking on any new customers from 26th May 2019.
On the 14th June 2019, Ofgem received evidence that Avro Energy had complied with the demand and had completed all the necessary steps to become a DCC user. Ofgem revoked the ban and Avro Energy was allowed to sell its energy tariffs to new customers once again. So, as of June 2019, Avro Energy is back in business as usual.
What’s a DCC user?A DCC user is an energy supplier that’s part of the Digital Communications Company (DCC) network for smart meters - a system that uses a secure wireless network to link suppliers to smart meters. In other words, a DCC user is a supplier whose customers are able to use smart meters.
At the time of writing, Avro Energy has not published a break down of its fuel mix. Ofgem actually requires all suppliers to make this information available to the public, so the supplier is once again defying Ofgem’s regulations!
It’s normal for new suppliers to not publish these details, but seeing as Avro Energy has been trading for three years now, we find this inexcusable, especially as similar aged suppliers have their information published on their websites for all to see.
While we don’t have Avro Energy’s fuel mix, we can deduce one thing - the lack of information suggests that the supplier uses very little (possibly no) renewable energy. Green energy is the future and we are sure that if Avro Energy was using a decent amount, it would make it known. Considering the UK average for renewable energy in 2018 was only 33%, it doesn’t look too good for Avro Energy.
Avro Energy extra services
Before reviewing the tariffs Avro Energy offers customers, we want to take some time to look at the extra services it provides. From the Warm Home Discount to charity funds and energy saving technology, these days suppliers can’t compete unless they go beyond simply providing energy tariffs.
Sticking to its aim of keeping things simple, Avro Energy does not offer that many extras, but it still provides a couple of services that give its more vulnerable customers a helping hand. Let’s take a look at them.
Warm Home Discount
Eligible customers will be very pleased to hear that Avro Energy has now joined the Warm Home Discount scheme and is therefore offering the Warm Home Discount (2019/2020). You can apply to receive the £140 towards your energy bills through the Avro Energy website.
Can you get help with your energy bills this winter? Find out more about the Warm Home Discount scheme and if you’re eligible in Selectra’s complete Warm Home Discount guide.
Additional Service Register
The Additional Service Register is a confidential register for Avro Energy customers/households that may need additional help and care, such as priority if there is a power cut. If you feel you fall under the category of a ‘vulnerable customer’ (e.g. you are eldery, disabled or have young children), you can ring Avro Energy on the following number and ask to be added to the register.
Avro Energy Additional Service Register
A call agent will ensure you receive the additional care you need.
03003 030 635
*inclusion is subject to eligibility
Avro Energy tariffs and prices
Avro Energy offers a number of different tariffs to new customers. As with all suppliers, the names and exact details change quite frequently, but from the information available on its website, we can deduce the following:
- It offers at least one variable tariff, currently called Simple Energy.
- It offers at least one tariff for customers with prepayment meters, currently called Simple Energy PAYG.
- The majority of its tariffs are 12 month fixed rate tariffs, such as the current Simple and Supersave, and Simple and Collective.
All of its tariffs can be taken out as Economy 7 tariffs. Despite most of them being 12 month fixed rate tariffs, the supplier does not charge exit fees for the majority of its tariffs, which means despite the year long contract, in most cases customers can leave anytime without facing a financial penalty.
On the down side for some customers (but not necessarily all), the tariffs are only available as dual fuel tariffs, meaning you cannot just take out an electricity or gas tariff. Furthermore, there is only one payment option - monthly direct debit. For a more detailed review of Avro Energy’s tariffs and prices, check out our dedicated Avro Energy tariffs page.
How does Avro Energy compare to Ofgem’s price cap?
One of Avro Energy’s founding values is to offer cheap energy, so how is it doing on that front? A good way to evaluate the prices of an energy supplier is to compare it to Ofgem’s energy price cap. While this won’t show you whether it’s the absolute cheapest option on the market (the only way to do that is to compare it against all the other energy suppliers!) it will show you if its prices are fair by Ofgem’s standards.
Using Avro Energy’s variable tariff (Simple Energy), we compared its annual price against the price cap and found that the supplier is definitely offering good priced energy. Coming in well under the price cap (£145.81 under), it’s fair to say that Avro Energy’s prices are more than reasonable.
We also compared this figure to the amount by which other suppliers were under, or even over, the price cap, and found that while Avro Energy is not the cheapest option, it’s still one of the most economical suppliers currently on the market (coming in just behind Tonik, Bulb and Octopus Energy).
Does Avro Energy provide smart meters?
Despite Ofgem recently receiving evidence that the supplier had joined the DCC network, Avro Energy is still not installing or supporting smart meters. According to its website, it is currently working on its smart meter roll out plans but is not yet taking installment bookings. For more information on what this means for potential customers, read our Avro Energy smart meter guide (coming soon).
How do I contact Avro Energy?
If you have any questions for Avro Energy, you can get in touch with the supplier online (through Facebook or Twitter) or send an email to its customer support team. If your matter is quite complicated and you would prefer to discuss it with someone directly, you can also give the customer support team a call. For a full list of Avro Energy phone numbers and email addresses, read our Avro Energy contact page.
Login to your account
Through the Avro Energy online account, customers can submit meter readings, view their statements and track their energy usage every month. With this information, you might find that the answer to some of your questions can be found in your online account too, saving you the time of contacting Avro directly. For example, if you’re wondering why your energy bill was higher than normal last month, you can check your usage for the month on your account, and see where and how you consumed more.
Struggling to log in to your Affect Energy account? Selectra’s Avro Energy login guide can take you through the process step by step.
Avro Energy summary: reviews and verdict
With a great score on Trustpilot (4.6/5) and Google Reviews (4.2/5), Avro Energy appears popular among customers. A particular favourite aspect is its cheap pricing, with many customers commenting that they have saved on their energy bills since switching and consider the supplier great value for money.
Another area of praise is its accurate billing and easy to use website, suggesting the supplier is really sticking to its goal of offering ‘simplistic supply’. If you are interested in reading more Avro Energy reviews, we have a whole page dedicated to it! Head to Avro Energy reviews for a detailed analysis of what customers are saying, what it does well and where there is room for improvement.
All things considered, Selectar gives Avro Energy an overall rating of 2/5. This is based on its prices, online reviews, fuel mix and extra services. The supplier ranks highly for both its prices and customer reviews, but its non-existent fuel mix really lets it down. While we can’t say for definite, the lack of information in this area suggests the supplier does not use a lot of green energy, which is not something we like to see.
Currently, Avro Energy does not support or install smart meters. While we expect this to change soon following its dealings with Ofgem, for now it has negatively influenced our score. We are pleased the supplier has started to offer the Warm Home Discount, but in general its lack of extra services is a bit disappointing. We hope that, as the company grows, it will start to offer more perks to its customers, such as a mobile app and ways to help its customers be more energy efficient.
Avro Energy Selectra score - ★★
|Good value for money and below Ofgem’s price cap||Fuel mix not available|
|Provides good customer service||Does not support or install smart meters (Nov.2019)|