Headquarters Stroud, UK
Customers 150,000 (2015)
Going green is great for the planet.
But how can you make a difference?
One simple way is by using renewable electricity.
Ecotricity has been reviewed widely on the web. We have compiled the most relevant reviews from Which?, Google and Trustpilot. so you can make a better decision when switching.
The Which? review
Ecotricity did well in the Which? annual review for energy providers coming 6th out of a total of 23 Gas and Electricity providers. The survey, which is rated by 8,917 members of the public ranks gas and electricity providers on a range of categories. You can see the results in the table below.
|Customer service and complaints handling||
|Value for money||
|Bills (accuracy and clarity)||
|Helping you save energy||
Ecotricity achieved a 5 out of 5 rating for the clarity of their bills. The bills itemise your costs simply, with the bill total clearly marked on the front and those of you that want more in depth information can find that on the back of the bill. You’ll be pleased to know that Ecotricity’s bills have no jargon and no hidden costs, so you won’t be left wondering how on earth you’re always paying more than you think you should.
Quick customer service
This should leave less to complain about, which is good news because complaining is something we hope we never have to do. However, when we do, it should be resolved quickly and with little fuss. The Which? survey decided to put this to the test and called them up multiple times to simulate a complaint. They had an average wait time of 5 minutes and 22 seconds to get through to Ecotricity’s customer service. Whilst this isn’t perfect, it is above average when compared to the rest of the energy providers and it’s certainly much better than the wait time for email. This is one area where Ecotricity didn’t do quite so well. Which? reported that they had to wait over a week on average just to get a reply from them. So, if you want to have your complaint dealt with as quickly as possible, then we recommend calling them.
Ecotricity reviews on Trustpilot were more mixed falling into 2 categories - the ones that rated them highly and the ones that rated them badly with little in between.
The majority of the reviewers were very pleased with the service and gave them 5 out of 5 stars. They praised the company's commitment to providing 100% renewable energy tariffs and also said that they had no problems with the service. Of course we can expect good reviews for this, as what’s not to like about having no problems and having 100% of your electricity come from renewable sources! (except perhaps the premium you pay for going green, but then again they knew that when they signed up).
This brings us onto the one and two star Ecotricity reviews. Back in 2014 ecotricity had the fewest complaints per 1000 customers beating all gas and electricity providers. However since then as the company has grown, so have their complaints. So let’s take a look at what they complained about.
Ecotricity's bills are clear and easily understandable. source Ecotricity
Customers of Ecotricity were left frustrated mostly by the accuracy of their bills. We should explain something about billing before we move on. Gas and electricity bills are based on estimates of your usage. If you want your bill to charge you exactly what you’ve used that month, you’ll need to provide a meter reading or even better, get a smart meter that does the meter reading for you, so you don’t have to!
So now we come back to the one and two star reviews. These were people that were billed more for their electricity than what they used, not through any fault of Ecotricity but because their bill was based on energy prediction. So they hoped they could reduce the amount they pay by sending a meter reading. However, despite sending the meter reading, their bill continued to charge them the predicted amount. This left the customers feeling aggrieved. Some just left it at that but others decided to take the matter further and get back what was owed to them.
In the case of one customer, this just made matters worse. After complaining several times about this, he did manage to get his bill reduced in order to compensate the fact he had been overcharged. However, he continued to be charged less than the amount he used and soon it was HE who was in debt to Ecotricity. Spotting the error, Ecotricity started charging him more and the cycle continued again with the customer complaining to them again. The result was, enough was enough and he decided to go with another energy provider.
So it seems that while Ecotricity do provide clear billing, it’s also clear to see that they don’t always get the billing correct.
Meter readings and smart meters
Installing a smart meter in your home could save you money. source Selectra
You can send Ecotricity meter readings in order to receive more accurate bills. If you don’t submit meter readings Ecotricity will estimate your usage and as we have just seen, Ecotricity could do better in making sure they apply those meter readings to your bill.
To send a meter reading to ecotricity, you can login to your account at www.ecotricity.co.uk.
Alternatively you can use a smart meter that takes the hassle out of having to check the meter every month. A smart meter tells Ecotricity the amount of energy you're using without you having to do anything, so you never need to receive estimated bills, or submit a meter reading.
They work by connecting to the internet and sending the readings automatically to Ecotricity. You can find out more about smart meters in our guide.
Tariffs & Prices
Ecotricity prices tend to be a bit more expensive than other energy providers but only because their electricity is sourced from 100% renewables which comes at a premium. Unlike most providers of renewable electricity who buy it and sell it on to you, Ecotricity makes around a third of the electricity themselves, mostly from wind power.
Ecotricity like to keep things simple and transparent. So simple in fact that they’ve decided to offer just one tariff to everyone that has a standard direct debit meter. There are a few advantages to this, it keeps things simple when switching to Ecotricity and once you’ve switched, it means that existing customers will pay the same as new customers, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible deal.
Economy 7 is offered by Ecotricity for those users with an existing Economy 7 meter. If you would like to know more about what is Economy 7 or how you can get it, you can find out here.
|Type of tariff||Type of fuel||Exit fee||Type of payment||Monthly cost||Annual cost||Standing charge rate (gas)||Unit rate (gas)||Standing charge (Electricity)||Unit rate (electricity)|
|Variable||Dual fuel||No fee||Direct debit||£100||£1,199||25.8100p||4.0800p||32.4100p||15.8700p|
Business Energy Tariffs
Ecotricity also like to keep things simple for their business customers with just one tariff for small and medium businesses. Bespoke business tariffs are available to larger businesses.
Ecotricity built the first electric car in the UK. source ashden
There is an option for business to generate their own renewable electricity. So if you are thinking about generating your own green electricity for your business this could be the solution for you.
Ecotricity has developed wind powered generators that they install at your premises and generate 100% of the electricity needed by your business. You should also check if your businesses uses 1GWh or more a year, because according to Ecotricity, you’ll be saving money because the electricity will be cheaper than you would pay for electricity generated from non renewable sources (brown electricity). So it could save you money in the long run.
There are other advantages too: by generating your own electricity, you can sell any that you don’t use back to the grid through the Government feed-in tariff.
We know, you want to be green but don’t want the hassle of installing and maintaining a wind turbine. But, you don’t have to worry about that either: the cost of ownership, maintenance and operation of the turbines stays with Ecotricity so your business can have one less thing to worry about.
The energy mix tells you where the electricity comes from that you use in your home. As all of Ecotricity’s electricity comes from renewable sources and none comes from coal, nuclear or gas, the guys at Ecotricity have gone one step further to tell you which renewable energy sources their electricity comes from. Around a third of the electricity they supply to customers is produced by wind technologies owned by Ecotricity they call “windmills”, and the rest of the renewable electricity they buy in comes from other providers.
Ecotricity charging points
Ecotricity have E-Chargers in motorway service stations. source Ecotricity
You may have heard of this company or seen its logo at the various charging points up and down the country. Ecotricity launched its first charging point for electric vehicles specifically cars in 2011 and has been growing steadily. There are now over 180 Ecotricity electric vehicle charging points at petrol stations, motorway service stations and car parks across the UK and Northern Ireland. You can check the location of Ecotricity charging stations and get directions to them using the Ecotricity app.
In 2014, 6,500 members were using a station once a week or more. This service was once free for everyone, but now it is only free to Ecotricity tariff members. It is now £6 for a 30 minute fast charge accompanied by a £3 connection charge.
Ecotricity allows you to do everything online through your online portal. The login page allows you to: check your electricity usage history, pay your bills, set up a direct debit payment and submit a meter reading. Customers with smart meters do not need to submit their readings via the Ecotricity login as it is sent automatically.
If you can’t login to Ecotricity or are having problems, you can reset your username and password using the links provided on the Ecotricity login page.
Ecotricity was the first company in the world to offer an electricity tariff made up of 100% renewable sources. Dale Vince founded the company in 1995 when he bought a wind turbine to power an old army truck he use to live in. Since then, he went on to build commercial wind monitoring equipment, which still operates today under the name Nexgen.
Ecotricity built the first electric car in the UK. source inhabitat
Ecotricity started 100% renewable electricity generation in 1996 with a 40 meter wind turbine, which at the time was the biggest in the country. In 2010, it started to offer a 12% green gas tariff from biological materials produced in the Netherlands. Now, Ecotricity specialises in selling green energy to consumers. It produces a third of which through its 70 megawatt wind turbines.
Ecotricity now has three digestion plants around the UK, notably building an anaerobic digester at Sparsholt college in Hampshire, where it also trains students in the technology. The plant produces a maximum of 6 megawatts, which it sends straight to the national grid.
It expected to have its own digesters by 2017, sourcing local grass from marginal land, grass, rye and silage from local farms to produce up to 80 gWh a year from 75,000 tonnes of biomass.
Operating solely in Great Britain, they are trying to decrease the amount of carbon emissions the country produces, not just in electricity. They also have a hand in projects about food and transport. Ecotricity built the first ever electric car in Great Britain, sending it on a journey from Lands End to John o'Groats, only using electricity from wind turbines.
The company has no shareholders, using all of its profits to build green-energy projects and investing in windmills. The most up to date information on their size was 2014 when they had 150,000 customers giving them a 7% share of the small providers energy market.