Energy prices have risen 37 percent since 2010, dramatically outpacing the rise in UK workers’ salaries, which have increased by 4.4 percent, according to “The Guardian.” Taking increasing prices into consideration, several organizations have recently polled energy consumers to ask their satisfaction and trust with their energy providers. In addition to this recent poll, the uSwitch Energy Awards 2013 have also been released to provide insight into how satisfied consumers are with their energy provider.
Which?, a consumer group that compares prices, polled UK citizens and found that nearly 60 percent of those polled said they lack trust in energy companies. This percentage makes energy companies the most distrusted of the consumer industry sectors polled, earning more votes than a car salesman (55 percent) and bankers (33 percent).
The group conducted the same poll in 2012 and found consumers are concerned in greater proportions about their energy prices. More than 84 percent of those polled report they are worried about energy prices and their ability to pay. This has changed the way some consumers utilize their heat and energy with 69 percent of customers reporting they have cut back on their energy usage as a result.
Another consumer price comparison website titled uSwitch recently released its uSwitch Energy Awards 2013 results. The survey polled more than 5,000 UK consumers on the “Big Six” energy companies: E.ON, EDF Energy, SSE, ScottishPower, British Gas and npower on issues such as consumer satisfaction, green services, energy efficiency, reward schemes, meter services, transfer process and value for money.
The company has conducted the poll for more than 10 years, and found consumer satisfaction overall with energy companies had decreased by an average of 0.7 percent when compared with 2012’s numbers. The average consumer satisfaction in 2013 was 67 percent.
The big winner for overall customer satisfaction was E.ON. In total, 71 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with E.ON’s customer service. Jumping up two spots from 2012 was EDF Energy who was extremely close to E.ON’s results with 70.7 percent. In third place was SSE, who had previously taken the top spot eight times prior to 2012, with an estimated 69.9 percent of respondents reporting they were pleased with their energy program. While companies ScottishPower and British Gas were not far behind at 67.2 and 66.9 percent, only 56.5 percent of npower’s customers reported they were satisfied with their energy service. In fact, npower scored last in 11 of the 12 categories polled, including only earning a 44 percent vote for Customer Service.
Rising energy prices are not projected to improve in the next 15 years, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). Bills have increased by