Best gas, electricity and water firms

Published by The Moneywise Team on 02 November 2018.
Last updated on 02 November 2018

Looking to change electricity, gas or water suppliers? Find out which household names came top in this year's awards

Unhappy with your energy or mobile phone provider and don’t know where to turn? Can’t decide between Netflix or Amazon Prime? Or perhaps your supermarket seems pricey? Then read up on the household names that came top in this year’s awards

Deciding which home service provider to choose can be tough. With a myriad of deals and offers available, it is often hard to pick apart which product offers best value.

That is why each year Moneywise asks you, the readers, to tell us about the top home services providers in the country.

The Home Finances Awards are designed to help you to decide on a whole range of household services, from broadband and mobiles to energy suppliers and supermarkets.

This year, with a phenomenal 10,000 respondents to our survey, there are some clear winners that deserve a pat on the back.

A big thank you to all those who voted – here are the firms that you picked as the best providers in the UK in 2018.

Best gas, electricity and water firms

Best value for money
Winner Utility Warehouse
Highly commended: Bulb
Best of the big six
Winner E.on
Highly commended: EDF Energy
Best customer service
Winner Utility Warehouse
Highly commended: OVO Energy
Best clarity of bills
Winner Utility Warehouse
Highly commended: Bulb
Best for money-saving tips and gadgets
Winner Utility Warehouse
Highly commended: OVO Energy
Best for smart meters
Winner Utility Warehouse
Highly commended: British Gas

Gas and electricity

Households have had a particularly rough time in 2018 as far as energy bills go. Rocketing wholesale prices have caused inflation-stomping price hikes from nearly every energy provider.

Levels of switching between suppliers also remain low, which doesn’t do anything to help healthy competition in the marketplace.

An experiment carried out by energy regulator Ofgem, in which households were encouraged to switch provider on to a cheaper deal, found that only one in five switched companies after being reminded.

Such intransigence has prompted government action, with the announcement of a price cap on the more expensive standard variable tariffs (SVTs). Ofgem says millions of households will save up to £120 a year as a result.

The runaway 2018 winner in such an environment is Utility Warehouse, which won every category it entered. And for good reason.

Utility Warehouse makes very specific guarantees to its customers. It promises it will never charge more than the cheapest SVT offered by the Big Six energy providers. Furthermore, if these providers lower their prices, Utility Warehouse will do so too.

The provider also offers a Double Gold Fixed tariff through its Discount Club, which it says guarantees no price rises until 31 August 2020.

Survey-takers rated Utility Warehouse highly across the board, from value for money to customer service and smart-meter quality.

Our winner for the best of the Big Six goes to E.ON, which narrowly edged out the runner-up (and last year’s winner), EDF Energy.

However, it is something of a ‘best of a bad bunch’. E.ON rated 3.7 out of five, far lower than Utility Warehouse, which received top marks.

Water

Most recommended
Winner Yorkshire Water
Highly commended: Anglian Water

Consumers are in an unfortunate position when it comes to water providers in that there is no choice or market competition. Where you live dictates which company provides the H2O in your taps.

However, there have been some interesting changes this year in the provision of water for households. At the beginning of September, the industry laid out plans to the regulator, Ofwat, for its ideas to improve services for consumers constrained by geography.

Through a programme of investment and innovations, this year’s winner, Yorkshire Water, plans to find £800 million of efficiency savings. But it has not committed to decreasing customers' bills. Average bills will rise to £393 a year by 2025.

Anglian Water was highly commended in this category.

Leave a comment

As the same provider won

As the same provider won every category, it makes me wonder just how much effort went into getting people to vote for it. (Mass emails to subscribers etc). Great for publicity and take up of new subscribers if everyone assumes this company is the best thing since sliced bread. Think I will take result with a pinch of salt.

What's behind this smart

What's behind this smart meter madness..my bills are not estimated because I read my meter every two weeks and get a correct bill each month.i know exactly how much energy I use, so what use is a smart meter to me.dont be fooled by your energy supplier into having one,
Companies are even only offering the cheapest tarriffs if you have a meter.this is a discusting way to treat there customers..JUST SWITCH SUPPLIES IF THEY USE THIS TACTIC.

I agree with Mr.Parker (I

I agree with Mr.Parker (I read my meter monthly). My fixed price contract has just finished and ,so far, I cannot find another fixed tarriff without agreeing to having a smart meter. This `agreement` was hidden deep in the Terms and Conditions and I was only made aware of it in the email which confirmed my new chosen tarriff. Just like the 47% surveyed ,I don`t want a smart meter but all suppliers seem to be using this tactic on their best tarriffs. The choice seems to be a smart meter or pay more than necessary for your supplies.

Smart meters and the

Smart meters and the compulsory fitting of them as a condition to obtain the best gas and electricity rates on a fixed tarriff, is unfair and unreasonable on the 47% of us who don`t want, nor see the need for them. Are there any companies who will supply gas and electricity at a competitive rate without a smart meter?