Economy Energy: How they Failed & What’s Next
Economy Energy is a UK energy supplier that stopped trading in January 2019. Its customers and contracts were absorbed by fellow mid-tier energy provider Ovo Energy. If you’re a former Economy Energy customer confused on exactly what has happened and how it will affect your energy supply, don’t worry. We have all the details on how the energy company went astray as well as advice on what former Economy customers should do next.
About Economy Energy
First things first, Economy Energy is no longer trading. In January 2019, the energy supplier closed down. Ovo Energy took on all of the supplier's pay monthly customers while Ovo's sister company, Boost Energy, aquired all of its customers on PAYG tariffs. Let’s take a look at the energy company to get an idea of why they’ve stopped trading.
Before closing shop
Economy Energy labeled itself as ‘the smart, friendly answer to low-cost gas and electricity’. They claimed to offer the best possible service at a low cost to its customers and specialised in pay-as-you-go tariffs.
While it was still in business, Economy Energy was often in hot water with its customers. It received a disproportionately large number of customer complaints and was ranked by Citizens Advice as the worst energy supplier in the UK in both 2017 and 2018.
Then in June 2018, the supplier suffered negative backlash after removing money from customers’ bank accounts without any notice or explanation! Many of the customers insisted that their accounts had been in order, and that they owed no money to the supplier. Needless to say, Economy Energy households were aghast to find that their energy provider had essentially stolen money from them!
In retrospect, we at Selectra believe that this was the beginning of the end for the supplier. Customer complaints continued until Ofgem eventually opened a formal investigation, and at the beginning of 2019 the regulatory body banned the supplier from taking on new customers. Just one week later, the energy company ceased trading.
Economy Energy also unleashed some dramatic price increases on its customers in its final months. In September the energy provider raised their tariff rates so much that the average household would pay £311 more per year, which is a ghastly increase, even in the costly UK energy industry.
Economy Energy today
The short version of what Economy Energy is up to today is - nothing. The firm has shut down and all of its business has been shifted to Ovo Energy or Boost Power, Ovo’s dedicated pay-as-you-go brand. Of course, that has complicated the lives of former customers as they struggle to figure out who will be supplying their energy and how that may affect their energy service.
It has been several months since Ofgem declared Ovo Energy as the supplier of last resort, so if you’re still confused or unhappy with your service, it may be time for a switch. Give our energy experts a call and they can sort out all the details quickly and hassle-free.
Economy Energy fuel mix
So if Economy Energy customers were suffering from large price increases and poor service, did the energy supplier redeem itself with their fuel mix?
Unfortunately their fuel mix is similarly disappointing. Their mix of electricity was, quite frankly, dreadful. According to Electricity Info only a measly 2.6% of the provider’s electricity came from renewable energy sources, which is well below the UK energy industry national average. While several other energy companies have the same percentage of renewables, no energy supplier in the UK has less renewables in their fuel mix.
If you were an Economy Energy customer and haven’t actively switched energy suppliers, you’re currently supplied by either Ovo Energy or Boost Power (depending on whether or not you have a prepayment tariff). Both suppliers have the same mix, which has a much higher percentage of renewable electricity at 42.9%.
Returning our gaze to Economy Energy, seeing as the energy company was tied for having the worst fuel mix in the UK, it’s receiving our worst rating possible for its fuel mix, 1/5 stars.
Economy Energy: fuel mix - ★
Economy Energy services and offerings
As is the case with most energy companies, Economy Energy offered several services and benefits to its customers beyond bare-bones tariffs. We’re going to outline some of the most exciting perks offered by the supplier and also suggest information for you to be sure your next energy supplier provides the same services, or does even better.
Warm Home Discount
A popular way of reducing energy bills that UK energy customers seek out is the Warm Home Discount, a government discount scheme designed to help pensioners and others at risk of fuel poverty with a one-off discount during the colder winter months.
Economy Energy was one of the few smaller independent energy suppliers that offered the Warm Home Discount. Luckily for former customers of the failed provider, Ovo Energy and Boost Power, which took over Economy Energy’s customers, also offer the discount.
If you are dead set on having the discount, you may want to reconsider your priorities. Some of the independent suppliers who don’t offer the discount have such cheaper prices that you can still save money even without benefiting from the programme.
Economy Energy did offer smart meters to their customers, but as with many of their offerings they mainly focused on the use of smart meters to work along with their prepaid tariffs.
This is becoming a common and useful tool for pay-as-you go customers, as a smart meter combined with a mobile app (which Economy Energy also offered) eliminates the need for trips to the store to top-up customers’ credit and allows them greater control and insight of their energy use.
Boost Power, who are now supplying Economy’s prepayment customers by default, also provide service to smart meters and are focused on providing easy service to pay-as-you-go customers via their mobile app. This means that service to prepayment customers should have stayed the same or improved.
Once again, Economy Energy did offer a mobile app for its customers that was focused on prepayment customers. In fact, the app was called the Economy Energy Top Up app. It allowed customers to top up remotely, easily and quickly and monitor their energy use directly through their phone.
Since the energy provider ceased trading, the mobile app seems to no longer be functioning for many individuals since it is connected to servers that have been deactivated for the most part. Customers who haven’t actively switched should download Boost’s mobile app, which has similar functions to that of Economy.
Interestingly enough, Economy’s Top Up app has very different review averages depending on whether you’re looking at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. On Apple, the Economy Energy Top Up has a full 4.6 stars, which is very high compared to other energy apps. On Google Play, Android’s app platform, the app only has 2.2 stars.
As recently as April some customers reported the app was working without issue, but most customers by that time were expressing dismay that they were advised to switch to Boost Power’s mobile app, some without ever receiving notice that their energy supplier had been switched in the first place!
Economy Energy cashback and referral scheme
Economy Energy did offer a referral scheme to its customers, giving existing customers a cashback incentive for recruiting their friends and family to the energy supplier. Existing customers who successfully referred an associate were given £20 per referral, with a monthly cap of £200 per month.
Economy Energy prices and tariff options
With a fairly impressive array of services offered, was it Economy’s prices that brought down the supplier? We’re going to look at their tariff options and prices to find out.
Only one tariff option
Just before the end, the supplier offered only one tariff, albeit with slight variations for prepayment customers. Their Evergreen Direct Saver tariff was their variable tariff available for customers with both standard meters and prepayment meters with prepayment customers paying slightly higher prices, which is industry standard.
Variable vs fixed price tariffs
Confused by what we mean by a variable tariff? A variable tariff is one in which the unit rates and standing charges of your electricity and gas vary over time to reflect changing market factors.
On the other hand, fixed-price tariffs have set unit prices and standing charges for the length of your tariff contract, meaning your monthly bill is only dependent on the amount of gas and electricity you use.
Generally speaking, variable tariffs are more expensive than fixed price tariffs. They don’t have any exit fees for switching suppliers, while most fixed-price tariffs do if you switch before the last 49 days of your contract. Prepayment tariffs are nearly always variable, as is the case with Economy Energy.
Economy Energy prices compared to the market
Now that we’ve cleared up Economy Energy’s tariff options, let’s jump in to how their prices compare to those of other UK suppliers.
To make that comparison, we’ve found the average yearly energy spend for a three bedroom flat in London with the Evergreen Direct Saver standard tariff. We’re comparing that number to the national energy price cap.
|Utility||Unit rate per kWh||Standing charge per kWh|
|Average annual spend: £1,130.00|
*all prices include VAT at 5%
Looking at the numbers above, compared to the UK price cap our average London household would save about £120 with Economy. This is a decent amount of savings, but with ‘economy’ in the name, we were expecting a bit more. To give some context, the cheapest tariff on the market is more than £400 less than the price cap.
Why are we comparing Economy Energy’s prices to the price cap? Most UK households are still supplied by one of the Big Six companies, whose default tariffs are right at the limit of the legal cap. That means that many households in the UK are paying the legal maximum price set by the cap.
Looking at the energy company’s prices there were some amount of savings, but frankly less than we had imagined given its reputation as a discount energy provider. That’s why we’re giving the supplier 2/5 stars in our price category.
Economy Energy: prices - ★★
Get in touch with Economy Energy
Getting in touch with a closed energy provider may seem impossible, or at least difficult, but if you do need to get in touch with Economy Energy for some reason, don’t fret. We’ve detailed all their existing contact information, as well as useful links to their supplier of last resort, Ovo Energy. Just click below to get all the contact info you need.Economy Energy contact
What to do if Economy Energy owes you money
Do you believe that Economy Energy owes you money due to a disputed charge or credit on your prepaid meter that was never reimbursed? Have you had no luck contacting the closed energy supplier? Don’t lose hope, here are the next steps to take to be sure you get the money that’s owed to you.
As we’ve mentioned numerous times, Economy Energy’s business has been taken over by Ovo Energy, as it was declared the supplier of last resort by Ofgem. What you may not be aware of is that that also means that Ovo Energy will now assume the debts of the shuttered provider as well.
This is very important, as it dictates that any money that is owed to you by Economy Energy will now be paid out by Ovo, or their prepayment arm, Boost. We’ve already heard reports from previously frustrated customers that they’ve finally received their money from Ovo.
You can find Ovo Energy’s various contact channels by clicking the link below. If you’ve already contacted the supplier and are still unhappy with the results, you may want to get in touch with the Ombudsman to file an official complaint.
Can you still log in to Economy Energy?
Logging in to your online account is another feat that seems impossible, or at least tricky with a supplier that’s no longer trading. Well, we have good news, you can in fact access your Economy Energy login.
Even before shutting its doors, Economy Energy did not offer business energy solutions to customers. In retrospect, businesses who would have considered using the company can be grateful for avoiding the hassle of having their supplier unceremoniously shut down.
Economy Energy reviews and verdict
So far we’ve discussed Economy Energy’s history, offerings and prices. Before we reveal Selectra’s overall verdict on Economy Energy, let’s take a look at one of the most important factors in what determines an energy supplier’s success or - in the case of Economy Energy - failure: customer reviews.
Economy Energy reviews
Economy Energy’s former customers are unsurprisingly not thrilled with the company after it suddenly ceased trading. But even before the energy company closed its doors, its reviews were far from glowing.
Our callers often mentioned unexplained expensive charges and a lack of clarity when customers attempted to investigate them. Since the company closed, former customers complain that they’re still owed money, although as the months have gone by more and more have finally received their money from Ovo Energy.
… going out of business couldn’t have happened to a more deserving company. We left being owed £403… - Michael Wood with Economy Energy
We have heard some positive feedback on Economy Energy, but it has been the minority opinion, and much more so over the last few months. We also suspect that some of the more positive feedback months back was unduly influenced by the supplier’s referral scheme.
With all that in mind, Economy Energy ended up with a reviews score on the low end of our scale, receiving 2/5 stars in the category.
Economy Energy: reviews - ★★
There’s far more to add about what Economy customers have to say about the energy provider. To get all the info, be sure to read our Economy Energy reviews page by clicking below (page coming soon).
Pros: Numerous perks like referral schemes, Warm Home Discount, smart meters and a mobile app.
Cons: Bad service, took money from customers’ accounts, mediocre prices, no longer trading.
As we’ve noted above, Economy Energy had some fairly impressive perks for its customers. The energy company featured a prepayment mobile app, £20 rewards for referring new customers and, most impressively, the Warm Home Discount for applicable households.
However, those perks pale in comparison to the company’s flaws. For being marketed as a discount energy company, their prices were high. They also had numerous issues with their customer service, the worst being confusing and borderline illegal billing issues.
Economy Energy Selectra score - ★★
In the end, the energy supplier receives 2/5 stars, and a ‘good riddance’ from our team at Selectra.