Citizens Advice has launched a brand new league table allowing millions of small business owners to compare how well energy suppliers are handling their complaints. The new ranking – which will be published quarterly – measures how effectively energy suppliers are dealing with complaints from small business customers across Great Britain.   It follows the charity’s established quarterly complaints league table for household energy customers – first launched in 2012.

E.ON takes first place in the new ranking for its handling of business customers complaints – with a complaints ratio of 21.1 per 10,000 customers. SSE comes second with a complaints ratio of 29.0 per 10,000 customers.

Extra Energy delivers the worst complaints handling performance – receiving a ratio of 1225.4 per 10,000 customers.

Common problems reported by Extra Energy business customers included not being billed for long periods of time and then getting hit with large catch-up bills. In many cases this is  followed by swift action to recover debts, without taking into account billing errors or customers’ ability to repay.

Citizens Advice says small business owners can use the independent comparison tool to make informed choices about their gas and electricity supply – which could help them avoid delays and expense sorting out problems.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, said: “Small businesses are a linchpin of the UK economy and it’s vital they have the support they need to thrive. Small business owners depend on the smooth running of essential services – such as gas and electricity – to run and grow their firms. If things go wrong with energy suppliers it can cause delays and financial stress, so it’s crucial problems are sorted out swiftly and effectively.

“Citizens Advice’s new complaints league table will give business owners an independent tool to judge which energy suppliers are dealing with customer issues well. Energy suppliers should look at how they can drive up customer service standards across the board for their business customers.”

Business Minister Margot James said: “There are more than a million businesses across Britain with fewer than ten staff making a great contribution to our growing economy. All businesses need energy and deserve to have their complaints taken seriously by suppliers if things go wrong.

“This new tool from Citizens Advice shines a light on bad practice and will help small business owners make informed decisions when choosing who to get their energy from.”

The new league table ranks the performance of the 15 largest firms providing energy to 10,000 or more small non-domestic customers. These business customers are defined as those who have 10 or fewer staff or a turnover of under £1.7 million.

Suppliers’ scores are calculated based on the seriousness of the complaint against them and how long it took to resolve. Firms with lower complaints ratios are better at resolving complaints than those with high scores.

July – September 2016 Rank

Supplier

July – September 2016 Ratio

1

E.ON Energy

21.1

2

SSE

29.0

3

CNG

34.2

4

Utility Warehouse

59.4

5

EDF Energy

68.9

6

Total Gas and Power

74.7

7

British Gas Business

93.2

8

Opus Energy

95.6

9

Dual Energy

96.2

10

Gazprom

110.0

11

Haven Power

111.8

12

Scottish Power

152.3

13

Npower

169.2

14

Business Energy Solutions (BES)

411.4

15

Extra Energy

1225.4