Boost Energy: reviews & info on the PAYG supplier
Boost Energy is one of the only suppliers in the UK that only sells pay-as-you-go tariffs. Started in 2017 as part of the OVO Energy family, it offers traditional prepayment tariffs as well as smart meter prepayment plans that you can top up online, by text, in a PayPoint store or via the handy mobile app. Read on for more details and reviews of the provider.
|Electricity: Renewables, Natural gas||Great customer service|
|Fuel mix score: ★★★||Useful winter savings system (Winter Wallet)|
|Domestic Market: England, Scotland, Wales||Warm Home Discount|
|Customers: 350,000||Handy mobile app|
|Selectra score: ★★★||Not the cheapest prepayment provider|
How does Boost Enegry work?
Boost Energy - also known as Boost Power - is an exclusive pay-as-you-go (PAYG) energy supplier, meaning it only sells prepayment tariffs. Based in Bristol, it was created in 2017 as the PAYG arm of independent energy provider OVO Energy.
Boost’s mission is to ‘create PAYG energy that works around you’. The supplier is therefore very customer-focused, providing technology and schemes that make managing tariffs and paying energy bills easier for its customers. The Boost Energy customer service team consists of PAYG experts to ensure it can effectively assist all its customers.
After acquiring Economy Energy in 2017, Boost now has around 350,000 customers.
What’s a PAYG tariff?A pay-as-you-go-tariff is designed for customers with prepayment meters. It means you pay for your energy before you use it, just like a pay-as-you-go phone contract. Customers buy credit that translates into energy. Credit tops up can be as frequent as needed.
Is OVO the same company as Boost?
Yes, Boost Energy is owned by the OVO family. OVO Energy originally offered pay-as-you-go tariffs as well as pay monthly plans, however, the company decided it would better serve customers to have a specific brand and team that was dedicated to each type of energy plan.
In 2017, Boost Energy was created to take over the prepayment side of OVO. The brands are different arms of the same company; Boost Energy sells PAYG tariffs and OVO Energy sells pay monthly tariffs.
Boost Energy reviews
Online, reviews of Boost Energy are good, but not outstanding. The majority of customer feedback is positive. For example, on Trustpilot, the provider has a rating of 3.8/5 with 70% of reviewers rating it as ‘excellent’ (the highest score) or ‘good’. Here, customers praise Boost’s customer service and its Winter Wallet system (a saving plan to help customers cope with higher energy bills in winter), points that fit in with the supplier’s promise to always be there for its customers.
However, Boost Energy reviews on Trustpilot feature a number of negative comments as well. These tend to be focused on price, with reviewers noting that they are spending more with Boost than with other suppliers. In Boost’s defence, it never claims to be the cheapest energy supplier and for most customers, the quality of customer service (Boost’s priority) seems to make the prices worth it.
I've been with Boost for about 6 years. I've been asked so many times to move but there's just nothing out there to match it. Joseph
A similar story is portrayed in Which?’s annual survey. In the 2019 survey, Boost Energy came joint 20th (tied with Utilita and Robin Hood Energy) out of 35th providers, with a customer satisfaction score of 65%. Positive feedback was given for Boost Energy customer service and complaint handling (4/5), but the supplier only received 3/5 for bill accuracy, bill clarity and value for money.
Again, price is cropping up as one of Boost’s weaker aspects, but we must remember that providing rock bottom prices is not the provider’s aim. PAYG tariffs are not known for being the cheapest energy deals! This could explain why OVO Energy ranks so much better in Which?’s results (9th out of 35th) - the providers have the same scores for customer service, but OVO can offer cheaper prices on its pay monthly tariffs, therefore gaining a better score for value for money.
Call wait time
Call wait time refers to the time it takes, on average, for an energy provider to answer the phone when you ring customer service. The Boost Energy supplier has room for improvement in this area.
According to Which?, Boost Energy has one of the longest call wait times, taking 17 minutes on average to answer the phone. However, this figure is only based on 12 calls so Which? may have just been extremely unlucky and had to wait a long time on a few occasions, taking the average time up.
It performs better in Citizens Advice’s statistics, which are based on data provided by Boost Energy itself. According to these figures, the supplier has an average call wait time of 3:44 minutes. This is not a bad time, but some providers are faster, showing that Boost can up its game.
Reviews of Boost Energy do not frequently complain about waiting on hold, so call wait time is obviously not a big issue, but there is room for improvement.
Login and app
The online portal, known as My boost, is where customers can manage their energy tariffs, keep an eye on energy usage and spending, and even top up your credit if you are on a Smart PAYG+ tariff. All Boost Energy customers are entitled to an online account, and, luckily, logging in is really easy.
Head to our Boost Energy login page (coming soon) for a step-by-step guide on how to log in, register for an account and what to do if you forget your password.
As well as an online portal, Boost also has a handy mobile app. The Boost Energy app is designed for customers on the provider’s Smart PAYG+ tariff. It lets you top up your credit, keep track of the credit you are using and will even send you free text alerts when your credit is running low.
It also allows you to easily manage your energy account, such as view your personal details and add a new debit/credit card to your account if needed, saving you from ringing the customer service team for simple tasks.
How do I contact Boost Energy?
Boost Energy has two phone numbers; one for landline callers and one for mobile users.
- If you’re ringing from a landline: 0330 102 7517 (included in call plan minutes or charged at standard rate)
- If you’re calling from a mobile: 0117 332 3728 (included in call plan minutes)
Both lines have the same operating hours of Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
If you cannot ring during these operating times, or don't get your question answered, give our energy experts a call on 02039 360059 (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm). They can give you help and advice on all things energy!
Boost Energy also welcomes people to drop into its Bristol headquarters for help and advice. The address is Boost Power, 1 Rivergate, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6ED.
If you would prefer to use a different Boost contact method, such as email or an online contact form, check out our dedicated Boost Energy supplier contact page (coming soon) for more details on what’s available.
Boost Energy only has two tariffs and both are for customers with prepayment meters. The Smart PAYG+ tariff is for customers with smart prepayment meters and the traditional PAYG tariff is for customers with regular prepayment meters.
The two tariffs have no contract length which means they have no exit fees! This means you are free to leave either tariff whenever you wish without facing a financial penalty. They can both be taken out as dual fuel tariffs (gas and electricity) or electricity-only, but are not available as gas-only deals.
Is boost cheap?
In the table below we have outlined the price for both Boost Energy tariffs based on a medium-sized household in London using the UK’s average annual amount of gas and electricity.
|Smart PAYG+/PAYG tariffs||Electricity||Gas|
|Unit rate (per kWh)||17.27p||3.73p|
|Standing charge (per day)||27.6p||35.75p|
* figures accurate as of Feb 2020
As you can see, both tariffs use the same unit rates and standing charges for gas and electricity, meaning the price per energy usage is the same.
However, one of the advantages of smart meters is that it’s much easier to track your energy usage and, consequently, be more energy efficient. As a result, customers using smart meters tend to use less energy which means your Boost Energy bill will likely be lower on the Smart PAYG+ tariff than the traditional PAYG plan.
In terms of price, Boost Energy does not offer the cheapest prepayment tariffs, but, as we have mentioned before, this is not the supplier's aim. Its prices are reasonable, and the slightly extra cost is compensated by the top quality customer service. If you would like to find a cheaper prepayment supplier, use our easy enegry comparison tool to compare providers and find the best deal for you.
Refer a friend and get a reward!Boost Bonus Time is the supplier’s refer-a-friend scheme. If you refer a friend and he/she switches to a Boost Energy tariff, you both get a £25 gift card from a selection of different retailers, including Amazon, Just Eat and Tesco.
The Smart PAYG+ is definitely the better of Boost Power’s tariffs. With more options on how to top up and access to the mobile app, the tariff is easier to manage and makes it easy to save energy and money. Two of the best advantages are the Winter Wallet and Emergency Boost.
Boost Energy’s Winter Wallet system is something that receives rave reviews from customers. This is designed to help you prepare for higher energy usage during winter.
On the Boost Energy app, you can set a saving target. Then, every day during the summer, the provider will automatically take some of your credit and put it into your ‘winter wallet’, until you reach your target. This saved credit can then be used during the winter months to help with typically higher energy costs. It’s a useful system that helps spread energy costs more evenly across the year.
The Emergency Boost does what it says on the tin - it can boost your credit when you have run out. If you’ve used up your emergency credit and/or don’t have the funds to top up at the given moment, you can immediately borrow up to £30 of credit to ensure your energy supply stays on. You can apply for this credit with a click of a button on the Boost Energy app.
Remember: Just like normal emergency credit, the Emergency Boost is not free credit. While no extra charges or interest are applied, the amount you use will be taken off your available credit when you next top up.
To benefit from the Smart PAYG+ tariff, you need to have a smart meter! When you become a Boost Energy supplier customer, you can book a free smart meter installation appointment via the Boost Energy website. To do this you will need your seven-digit energy account number (this can be found in your welcome pack) and postcode.
While you wait for your smart meter, you will have to be on Boost’s traditional PAYG tariff, but as soon as your smart meter is up and running you can switch over to the Smart PAYG+ plan.
If you already have a smart meter from a different provider, Boost Energy will be able to tell you if it’s compatible with its system when you get a quote.
Where can I top up my Boost Energy credit?
If you have the Smart PAYG+ tariff, you can top up your Boost Energy credit via the My Boost online portal, the mobile app, by text message or in a PayPoint store. You also do not need to top up gas and electricity separately; when you top up, the credit is automatically shared between the fuels as you use them.
If you have the traditional PAYG tariff or an older Smart PAYG plan that is not connected to the app, your options are much more limited as you can only top up in a PayPoint store. Moreover, you will need to top up your gas and electricity separately.
1. Top up via the app or online
Topping up through the app or the online portal are probably the easiest ways to perform your Boost Energy top up if you have a Smart PAYG+ tariff.
To top up online, simply log into My Boost and follow the instructions on how to top up. The app top up is easier again - just open the app and hit the ‘top up now’ button. With both methods you can save your card details so you don’t need to enter them every time you want more credit, speeding up the process significantly.
With the app, you can even set up automatic Boost Energy top ups to ensure you never run out of credit. These can be rolling top ups, meaning you set the amount and frequency you want to top up, or auto top ups, meaning you set up a lower credit limit and your account automatically top ups by a predetermined amount when it reaches the limit.
2. Text message
Smart PAYG+ customers can also top up their Boost Energy account by SMS message. To do this, text ‘TOPUP*’ followed by the amount you want to top up to 66121. For example, if you want to top up £20, text ‘TOPUP*10’.
Before this method will work, you need to register a credit or debit card with your online My Boost account.
3. Top up with PayPoint
For traditional PAYG customers (and customers on old Smart PAYG tariffs), PayPoint is the only way to complete a Boost Energy top up. Luckily, PayPoint stores are located throughout the UK so you should find one close to you.
To top up using this method, take your electricity key and gas card to a PayPoint store and ask the shop assistant to put the amount of credit you wish on each. After this, you will need to go home and transfer the credit onto your meter:
- For electricity - put your electricity key into your meter (arrow on the key must face up) and the credit will transfer automatically.
- For gas - put your gas card into your meter (gold chip must face the meter display) then press and hold the 'A' button to transfer the credit.
Do you get emergency credit with Boost?
Emergency credit is there to help you out when you forget to or are unable to top up. In the case of Boost Energy, the amount of credit you can get differs depending on the tariff.
- Smart PAYG+: with this tariff, you have access to an unlimited amount of emergency credit for 24 hours. This will kick in automatically when your credit drops below a certain amount.
- Older Smart PAYG tariffs (Smart PAYG standard): if you are on an older Boost Energy Smart PAYG tariff, you get £5 per fuel of emergency credit. To activate this, press the e-credit button on your in-home display (IHD).
- Traditional PAYG: if your credit drops below £1 for electricity and £2 for gas, you have access to £5 emergency credit per fuel. To activate the electricity credit, you need to put your electricity key in your meter. For gas credit, you need to put your card in your meter and press A.
Even if you run out of emergency credit, Boost Energy will never turn off your energy supply on weekends, weekdays from 4pm to 10am or bank holidays. Any emergency credit or extra credit you use during these times will be taken off your next top up amount.
Boost Power fuel mix
Unfortunately, Boost Energy does not have a fantastic fuel mix. While it is improving in this area and starting to get more of its energy from renewable sources, such as wind power and solar power, green energy doesn’t seem to be the provider’s number one priority.
Its fuel mix report from April 2018 to March 2019 showed 39.2% of its energy came from renewables, and the rest came from natural gas. While this is a higher sustainable energy percentage than the UK average, it is still far behind the growing number of UK energy suppliers that are providing 100% green energy.
However, as we mentioned, Boost Energy is improving! In 2020, its website states that its tariffs use 50% renewable electricity. We will have to wait for the April 2019 - March 2020 fuel mix report to see how much it has improved by over the course of the year.
Warm Home Discount
Boost Energy is one of few independent suppliers that offers the Warm Home Discount, a government scheme that provides £140 credit towards energy bills during winter.
If you are eligible for the scheme’s Broader group, you need to apply through the Boost website in the autumn of the given year (e.g, for Winter 2020/21, apply in autumn 2020). Core group members do not need to apply and will receive the grant automatically.
Boost Energy provides the Warm Home Discount on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning you should apply as soon as you are able to. The supplier will let you pre-register as early as April, so make sure you are on the ball and keep an eye on its website for when the application opens.
Are you eligible for the Warm Home Discount scheme? If you are, what group do you fall into? Find out in our latest Warm Home Discount guide. If you don’t qualify for this scheme, the UK government offers a range of other grants and schemes designed to help with energy bills that you may be eligible for.
While Boost Energy might not offer the cheapest prepayment tariffs on the UK energy market, it’s a decent supplier that provides stellar customer service.
Its traditional PAYG offers nothing special, but the Smart PAYG+ is definitely worth considering if you’re a prepayment customer. The mobile app makes it super easy to top up and manage your account, and the Winter Wallet is a great little helping hand for those who struggle with higher energy bills in the winter.
All factors considered (pricing, reviews, fuel mix, extra services), Selectra awards Boost Energy a comfortable 3/5 stars.
Boost Energy Selectra score - ★★★