Home Finances Awards 2017: Best gas, electricity and water firms

19 October 2017

Looking to change energy or broadband suppliers? Find out which household names came top in this year's awards.

To view the full list of categories see the Home Finances Awards page.

There are hundreds of firms fighting to sell you gas, electricity, water, broadband, mobile phone contracts and TV packages. Meanwhile, competition between supermarkets is as fierce as ever as discount shops continue to increase their market share.

The Moneywise Home Finances Awards help consumers make an informed choice in all these areas, and for the first time highlight the best travel and takeaway booking services in the UK.

The awards are based on the Moneywise Home Finances Survey, in which almost 5,000 readers name their favourite companies and highlight which firms offer the best value for money.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our survey. 

Energy bills are one of the biggest expenses faced by UK households, and there are huge savings to be made by switching to a cheaper deal. Regulator Ofgem says that in August 2017 (the latest figures available) the typical variable tariff cost homeowners £1,142 a year, compared to the cheapest available tariff of £824.

When it comes to value for money, our readers shun the Big Six providers, choosing a smaller firm as the best around: Utility Warehouse tops this category for the fourth successive year as readers rate its unique proposition above its rivals.

Utility Warehouse offers customers the chance to buy not just gas and electricity, but also broadband, landline and mobile phone services. This means customers receive one combined bill each month, rather than dealing with a number of suppliers.

As easy-to-understand bills are a big selling point for Utility Warehouse, it is no surprise that the firm also picks up the award for having the clearest bills. In both categories, another recent entrant to the sector, Ovo Energy, is highly commended by voters.

Ovo Energy comes out top for customer service. Although customers can submit their bills online or via a smartphone app, readers say its Bristol-based customer service team is better than everyone else in the market. EDF Energy is runner-up in this category.

Yet despite the rise of new players such as Ovo Energy and Utility Warehouse, most consumers still choose to get their energy from one of the UK’s Big Six providers: British Gas, EDF Energy, Npower, E.on, Scottish Power and SSE.

According to Ofgem statistics, these Big Six providers represent 83% of the overall energy market, so we asked for your thoughts on the big boys. Moneywise readers rate EDF Energy as the best, with its value for money and customer service putting it well ahead of the other five.

While customers are always looking for the cheapest price, many providers help customers reduce their bills in other ways. One is offering money-saving tips to reduce their energy consumption and thus cut their monthly bill.

The more progressive utilities companies are also using several forms of technology to help their customers. This could be promoting the installation of smart meters, launching mobile phone apps or providing power-saving plugs. These gadgets are a great way for providers to help consumers understand how much energy and water they are using – and how they can save big money by making subtle lifestyle changes.

Adding to its two other wins, Utility Warehouse also takes the top prize in this category. It is streets ahead of the competition, beating everyone from the Big Six to the smaller newcomers. Ovo Energy is highly commended for its commitment to helping customers cut their costs.

Households in the UK are unable to switch water providers, but companies must ensure that their service is up to scratch.

Moneywise asked if your local supplier is worthy of praise and Dwr Cymru Welsh Water comes top of the pile. It supplies water to all of South Wales, much of North Wales and many English towns close to the Welsh border.

Readers say the firm offers value for money, good customer service and sends clear and concise bills.

The runner-up in this category is Yorkshire Water, which is praised by readers for offering practical help to customers looking to cut the cost of their bills.

Remember, even though consumers are unable to switch between providers there are many ways to cut your water bills. Consider using a timer in the shower to limit your water usage and be sure to regularly check your pipes for leaks.

To see more of this year’s winners visit the Moneywise Home Finances Awards page

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The sooner we the hard done by customers are allowed to change our supplier the better. I just cannot understand WHY it has not been done MANY moons ago. After all it would still come through the same pipes as does our gas and electricity. I do know the electricity comes in wiring not pipes, but all know what I mean.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I tried to move to OVO Energy, but their on-line system would not believe my current usage and kept sending me back to start again and asking me to check the numbers!!! Their loss as I moved elsewhere.

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