Disclaimer: I have not received any compensation from Ecotricity for this article. I write it merely from the point of view of a customer.
A few months ago I switched to Ecotricity. I’d previously been with E.ON. The question I’m asking today is – was it worth it?
The answer is a resounding “yes”. Firstly, bills have not increased. In fact, they have gone down. Ecotricity matches the standard “brown energy” tariff of the Big Six energy suppliers, but E.ON had been over-estimating my monthly usage, billing me about £12 per month more than necessary. Of course I got this back but it’s very handy for E.ON to over-estimate and keep the interest they are getting on these overpayments. Multiply £12 a month by 12 months and however many million customers they have and you’ll see they’re probably getting a nice little extra earner. Ecotricity’s monthly estimate of £72 per month (including both gas and electricity) is a lot closer to a realistic estimate of my usage. I didn’t primarily join Ecotricity because I wanted cheaper bills – but it’s nice to see that my monthly outgoings have been reduced.
The main reason I switched to Ecotricity was that I wanted to stop funding brown energy companies. I was sick of seeing such a large proportion of my outgoing monthly expenses go to a big energy company whose values are directly opposed to mine. Why didn’t I just switch to a green tariff with one of the Big Six? The answer is because these are just “off the shelf” packages – none of my money (or very little of it) would have been invested in new sustainable sources of energy. Ecotricity spend more per customer on investing in sustainable energy sources than all the other UK suppliers combined. This is extremely important. Only about 6% of the UK’s energy mix is currently from green sources. By being an Ecotricity customer you are helping to change that. The government isn’t doing enough. We have to make things change by buying from companies whose values reflect our own. Ecotricity doesn’t have any shareholders to answer to – or pay dividends to – its profits are re-invested in green energy.
Lastly – but certainly not least – there is the question of customer service. How many companies can you call these days without having to negotiate a complex roboticised menu? Phone Ecotricity and the phone will be answered by… a human being. That human being will give you their full name, not just a chummy “let’s pretend we’re pals and everything will be alright” first name. Call again, and ask to speak to the person you spoke to the first time… and guess what, they’ll put you through to them. Same goes for email contact – you can be sure you’re emailing the same person each time. Ecotricity are top of the customer service league table – a table that OFGEM could not be bothered compiling, for reasons best known to themselves. Welcome back to the experience of being treated like a human being.
It might sound like I am being overly enthusiastic about this company, but there is nothing insincere of forced about this. Rarely do you find a company that does things differently from the crowd. Ecotricity stand out because they are doing something to actually make the world a better place. They’re not just in it to squeeze as much money as they can out of you, and out of the planet. Ecotricity are the only true way forward.