Ebico customers to be switched: find out more
Ebico was a not-for-profit gas and electricity provider working under a white-label agreement with Robin Hood Energy. It sought to help people struggling to pay their energy bills while also providing 100% green electricity, but what will the failure of its parent provider mean for Ebico customers? Read on to find out.
In this section, we’ll take you through a few questions that will be ringing in the ears of former Ebico customers since the closure of Robin Hood Energy in September 2020.
What has happened to Ebico?
Ebico Energy was a not-for-profit energy supplier operating under a white-label agreement with Robin Hood Energy, which essentially means that Ebico operated as a subsidiary of this company - as did many other regional providers.
Unfortunately, Robin Hood Energy went bust in September 2020 and it was announced that all its customers, which include Ebico Energy customers, are to be switched over to British Gas in the coming weeks.
Don’t want to be switched over to British Gas?Fortunately, the contract that Ebico customers will be switched onto will have no exit fee attached, so you’re free to switch to whichever supplier you want. It is recommended that you wait for your account to be changed and then switch.
I was an Ebico customer - how will I be affected?
In short, you won’t be affected a great deal in the short term. British Gas will take care of the switching process and has agreed to honour any fixed contracts that Ebico customers were still under for the length of the original contract, so your price won’t go up for the time being either.
Once your contract ends, however, you will automatically be moved to British Gas’s standard variable tariff, and these tariffs can go up at any moment and tend not to be the best value. If your deal ends soon, it will definitely be easier on your wallet to switch, and you can certainly find a greener alternative to British Gas.
Of course, it doesn’t matter how socially or environmentally conscious an energy provider professes to be unless its customers were happy with the service. We’re starting with a look at Ebico reviews online to see if it was serving its fundamental purpose adequately before we decide whether it will be missed.
On the face of it, Ebico reviews do not set the internet alight with praise. Its score of 3.6 out of 5 on Trustpilot is good without standing out in a field of high-performing independent suppliers looking to challenge the larger energy providers. We’re not sure that the score in itself tells the whole story, however - closer inspection shows that 76% of over 2,000 reviews gave a good or excellent rating of 4 or 5 stars.
This, to us, seems to say that while Ebico reviews were once excellent, more recently they have dipped to a certain extent, as Trustpilot tends to weigh its overall scores in favour of trends in recent reviews. A look at recent reviews bears this idea out, with a host of one-star reviews spoiling the party for Ebico.
It seems that many customers were taking issue with Ebico’s estimated bills, many complaining of being overcharged and difficulties in getting their money back:
Worst company ever. Switched to them after being with another company for years but ended up switching back straight away after the estimated bill was a lot more than stated.
This is not what you want to hear from a potential supplier, as cost is a large part of why we sign up with a particular company and to sign up only to be overcharged is a hassle none of us need. Issues contacting Ebico is another recurring theme in recent reviews, making it impossible for customers to resolve issues:
Terrible service and communication skills - this company has no idea how to give customer service and fails to meet the basic needs of its customers. I have written to Ebico 7 times and you cannot phone them as their lines are closed.
The above review was posted several months before the supplier officially closed, so there isn’t the excuse that customer services are simply not there to help. Ebico seems to have been dropping the ball consistently well before its license was revoked, and despite the good intentions behind its establishment, it may be for the best that its customers are now free to pick a provider that’s more on top of things.
Ebico energy tariffs
Ebico tariffs, or Energy Plans as it called them, came in various forms - including fixed, variable or prepayment deals.
The difference between Ebico Prime and Ebico Evergreen is that the provider’s Evergreen tariffs came with no exit fees, a freedom which cost customers just over a hundred pounds a year according to the last estimate we took before it went bust. Overall, we would say that the fixed Ebico tariffs offered reasonable value for money without blowing us away - you could have made (and still can make) bigger savings elsewhere.
One thing Ebico tariffs did have going for them was that they are almost 100% green, showing a sizeable commitment to and investment in renewable energy, and it’s always a shame to see such a provider go under. You can find more information about green tariffs on our dedicated page.
Ebico zero tariffs were variable plans offered by the provider which included no daily standing charge and no exit fees. They did include a minimum usage, but if you met this usage you could potentially have made savings on your energy. The minimum usage was as follows:
- Electricity: £52 (inc. VAT)
- Gas: £104 (inc. VAT)
If you met these minimums, which are low, you could only be spending on the electricity and gas you use, which is appealing for households with very low usage or which are not occupied throughout the whole year. Of course, the unit rates are higher, so annual estimates end up being much more expensive for estimated usage (the last quote we took out for average use for a 3-bedroom house in London turned out an estimate of more than £1,500).
One thing Ebico tariffs certainly did have in their favour was their green credentials. All providers are obliged to release information about where they source their energy from, and you can see from the table below that Ebico had nothing to hide in this regard:
|Ebico Energy average||0.6%||3.8%||1.1%||94.3%||0.2%|
|National average (May 2021 update)||3.9%||39.4%||16.6%||37.9%||2.2%|
As can be seen, the vast majority of the energy sourced to power Ebico tariffs came from renewables - mainly wind and solar energy. It’s not quite 100% green, but almost, and Ebico assured customers that for every unit of energy used by its customers it purchased REGO certificates to offset the emissions it did create.
In this regard, it’s clear that Ebico tariffs offered customers with an environmental conscience the opportunity to sign up for an energy deal that helped them do their bit. British Gas does not quite offer this assurance, so customers may want to think about using the opportunity to switch for free to a renewable tariff.
Ebico customers could manage their energy usage either online or via its mobile app using their Ebico login. To log in online, customers simply had to go to the provider’s website and click on the My Account link at the top right-hand side of the screen, and the app could be downloaded either in the App Store or on Google Play. Here are the features it offered:
- Submit meter readings on-the-go
- View bills and payment history on your phone
- Track consumption by year and by month
- Request a smart meter installation for your home
- Update your personal details
- Chat directly with an Ebico customer service agent between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm on Saturdays.
If you already had a smart meter installed, the app also allowed you the following features:
- Review consumption at half-hourly (subject to your consent) and daily intervals
- Set alerts to tell you when consumption goes above your expectations
- Compare your usage to similar homes
Customers seem to still be able to use their Ebico login for the time being, but this will change very soon and they will need to create a British Gas login to manage their account in the near future. If you have any trouble in doing this, you should contact British Gas directly and not Ebico.
Do Ebico do smart meters?
Yes, customers were able to get an Ebico smart meter installed with their tariff. The provider offered both smart prepayment meters and smart credit meters. The Ebico smart meter page offered customers the ability to register their interest in installation, which was free to existing customers.
As Ebico customers are being switched over to British Gas, however, those interested in an installation from now will have to get in touch with them for more information about their smart meters.
Warm home discount
Ebico did offer the Warm Home Discount to its customers, either as members of the Core Group or the Broader Group. Members of the Core Group will have been notified by the government ahead of time and have the £140 discount taken off their energy bill automatically.
If you think you might be eligible for the discount under the Broader Group, you had to apply to Ebico directly every year, regardless of whether you received it the previous year. This goes for all providers who take part, and it also operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so you had to be quick to apply.
Former Ebico customers should contact British Gas to find out if they’re eligible for the discount in future. See the British Gas website for more information.
Ebico contact number
If you’re looking for an Ebico contact number to get in touch with the supplier about your account, we wish you luck but we can’t say we’re confident you’ll have any success. Ebico reviews will tell you that they were bad enough at picking up the phone before the closed down, so we’ve included the British Gas contact number so you can inquire there about the switch from Ebico:
|Department||Ebico contact number||Opening hours|
|Sales inquiries||0800 953 9597||Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday 8am to 5pm|
|Customer services||0800 028 6699||Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday 8am to 5pm|
|British Gas customer services||0333 202 9604||Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday 8am to 6pm|
As we mentioned above, one of the most common complaints about Ebico is that they don’t pick up the phone. If you’d rather not wait around for someone to answer the phone, you can try emailing Ebico at email@example.com or try getting through to British Gas via the online chat function on its website.
Looking for a number to use in case of an emergency?Former Ebico customers, regardless of their current supplier, should report gas emergencies by calling 0800 111 999, which is a 24-hour emergency line for customers of any provider. To report a power cut, call 105.