Iresa Energy has come bottom of Citizens Advice’s energy star rating system. The company scored just 0.35 stars out of a possible 5 for its customer service between January and March this year. The supplier received the worst-ever complaints score recorded by Citizens Advice, receiving a score of over 9,000 complaints per 100,000 customers. This is five times higher than the next worst supplier, TOTO Energy, which received 1,800 complaints.

So Energy came top of the table, with a score of 4.8 stars, while SSE was the best performing of the largest six energy suppliers, scoring 4.25 stars out of 5.

Iresa has been unable to take on new customers since March due to a provisional order from the energy regulator Ofgem. This intervention came after Citizens Advice referred the company for repeated customer service failings. One Iresa customer contacted Citizens Advice after receiving a request for a one-off payment of £1000. Another person was unable to contact Iresa to get their problem resolved for over three months.

Other companies near the bottom of the table include TOTO – recently criticised for transferring customers to another supplier without adequate communication – Robin Hood Energy and Avro.

The charity is highlighting the poor performance of some smaller energy companies and newer market entrants, arguing this demonstrates the need for Ofgem to tighten its licensing rules. Citizens Advice believes it is currently too easy for firms to set themselves up as a new energy supplier. Its figures suggest that some firms enter the market before they are prepared to deliver good quality customer service.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said “Iresa’s low score will come as no surprise for its customers, who have had to put up with continued problems. These include inaccurate billing, long phone queues and even being blocked from switching to a new supplier. It’s vital now that Ofgem does more to protect consumers from poor customer service. The regulator’s upcoming review of licensing rules must do two things: make it easier to stop unprepared suppliers from entering the market, and take poorly performing companies out of the market faster.”

Supplier Star rating January to March 2018:

  • So Energy 4.8
  • Engie 4.3
  • E (Gas and Electricity) 4.3
  • SSE 4.25
  • British Gas 4.1
  • Bristol Energy 4.05
  • Green Network Energy 4.05
  • Bulb Energy 3.85
  • EDF Energy 3.85
  • Tonik Energy 3.85
  • Octopus Energy 3.8
  • Ovo Energy 3.55
  • Utility Warehouse 3.45
  • First Utility 3.4
  • npower 3.4
  • Scottish Power 3.3
  • Co-operative Energy 3.2
  • Flow Energy 3.1
  • E.ON 2.95
  • Ecotricity 2.95
  • PFP Energy 2.85
  • Good Energy 2.55
  • iSupply 2.4
  • Economy Energy 2.3
  • Extra Energy 2.3
  • Green Star Energy 2.2
  • Utilita 2.2
  • Spark Energy 2
  • Avro Energy 1.7
  • Robin Hood Energy 1.7
  • TOTO Energy 1.6
  • Iresa 0.35