You are here

So Energy: Review, Contact, Tariffs, Renewable Mix & Login

So Energy has established itself as UK renewable electricity supplier in little over four years. From the outset, they have tried to present themselves as an sustainable energy company that takes the side of the often downtrodden residential energy consumer. Do they have what it takes to stand out in the crowded UK energy market?

Our independent So Energy review will take a look at how the company handles customer support, a breakdown of their current energy tariffs and whether their green energy mix stands up to scrutiny.


So Energy at a Glance

  • Electricity: 100% renewable
  • Gas: 0% green gas
  • Based: London
  • Founded: 2015
  • Customers: 370,000 (Sept 2018)

So Energy Review

A decent energy company can’t survive on low energy rates alone to attract new customers. Nowadays all energy providers have one thing in common, they bill people for the energy they use, making them essentially little more than energy retailers. What this means in reality is that how they treat their customers will impact their success outside of the Big Six. Let’s take a look at how their customer service stacks up.

1. Customer Service

What is immediately clear is that So Energy handily beats all of the Big Six in terms of quality customer service. Both Trustpilot and the most recent Which? energy survey corroborate the high standards of customer service So Energy delivers.

“Telephone [...] answered quickly, enquiries [...] dealt with very efficiently, monthly billing [...] sent very promptly”

Pigott, current So Energy customer

This recent review succinctly sums up what successful customer service looks like in the UK energy sector. It’s worth remembering that the ingredients for positive consumer interactions are the same for every kind of energy supplier: green or not, big, and small.

Customer service is all about fostering trust between consumer and company. This is especially necessary for utility services like energy, where the company isn’t selling a tangible product.

This is what So Energy does well, they respond to their customers quickly and clearly. When there is a mistake or a misunderstanding, they take responsibility for misunderstandings or mistakes. This approach encourages customers to trust them.

“Rates were sent promptly [...] When the welcome pack arrived it displayed prices different to the quote.”

John, current So Energy customer

John’s comment is part of a rare mixed review which expresses understandable disappointment at the variance between unit rates and standing charges between an initial quote and actual billing. This is, unfortunately, an extremely common occurrence in the UK energy market and it is caused by both confusing billing practices and a lack of consumer awareness.

However, what is encouraging is So Energy’s personalised response to John’s specific issue. They started off by acknowledging that the customer was “ provided with the incorrect unit rates”. So Energy then followed up by apologising and trying to make it right: “we were able to transfer you on to the currently available tariff which works out even more beneficial for you.”

Here at theSwitch, this is the level of customer care we like to see from independent renewable energy suppliers. So Energy is showing their larger competitors how it’s done.

For customer service, we rate So Energy:

2. Tariffs & Prices

Quality customer service will only get you so far in the fickle world of energy supply. To get customers through the door, energy companies need to be able to provide energy tariffs with competitive pricing. Let’s take a look at how So Energy gas and electricity pricing fares against some of its similarly sized competitors.

  Pure Planet Bulb Tonik Energy So Energy
Average cost per year for 3 bed London house £948 £994 £937 £924

Prices correct as of July 2019

It’s plain to see that So Energy is the cheapest of the four, but only by a proverbial hair. They are £13 a year cheaper than the next most competitive tariff, from Tonik Energy. When compared to Bulb, the most expensive of the four providers, the savings come down to £5.83 a month, not quite enough for a cheeky Nando’s.

So Energy (and the other listed providers) are still able to noticeably beat British Gas by £200 a year, at minimum! This significant price difference is common between the bigger and smaller is pretty consistent across the industry.

So Energy (and the other listed providers) are still able to noticeably beat British Gas by £200 a year, at minimum! This significant price difference is common between the bigger and smaller is pretty consistent across the industry.

The main takeaway is that even if many of the Big Six suppliers, such as Scottish Power and EDF, have their hand in energy generation they are either unable or unwilling to take advantage of it.

On paper at least, an energy supplier who also controls the means of production and has a large customer base should be able to leverage the economies of scale that vertical integration brings, to offer the most competitive pricing. However, the basic tenets of A-Level economics don’t seem to quite pan out in the world of energy.

“been with [So Energy] twelve months and renewing again based on price and service after checking against other energy providers.”

Barry, currently with So Energy

For tariffs, we rate So Energy:

3. Bills & Account Management

So Energy scores a hat trick with their online energy account management features:

  • A well-designed website that is easy to navigate.
  • Mobile-compatible account page means that everything is there at-a-glance.
  • Fully-featured account management so customers can do more online.

“faultless website with easy to submit meter readings, you can set up reminders to take your meter readings.”

Maria, currently with So Energy

This review hits the nail on the head in terms of describing user-friendly energy management. Easy to submit meter readings are at the core of satisfactory energy service online. Unlike Outfox the Market, So Energy knows what they are doing with their web presence, adding value to their energy supply service.

So Energy App

Unlike Pure Planet and formerly Usio Energy (now run by Shell Energy), So Energy doesn’t currently have a mobile phone app. When it comes to energy management, mobile apps are all the rage and for good reason. Prepayment meter customers can truly benefit from them because, when coupled with a smart meter, customers can easily top off their credit without having to leave the house.

Fret not, however, because So Energy does have a solid reason for not having their very own energy app. Namely, they have totally optimised their website for mobile phone screens. It is definitely much better to have a website that works well across all platforms than a half-baked website and app any day of the week.

For bills and account management, we rate So Energy:

Summing Up

So Energy hits the magical renewable energy trifecta of sustainable success. They’ve got value for money, superior customer care and robust online account management on their side. With competitive unit rates and standing charges, So Energy should be very attractive for anyone looking to switch their direct debit energy tariff.

According to which.co.uk, they are one of a dozen energy companies to get full marks for customer service with phone calls normally answered within a minute. All of this and they provide fully renewable energy which certainly vindicates our call for making decent service and green energy a reality throughout the UK. So Energy continues to prove that it’s not a far-fetched goal.

Overall, we rate So Energy:


About So Energy

One of the driving reasons for the foundation of So Energy was that in the early 2010s the UK energy sector was held in lower regard than the financial industry and politicians put together, according to the Citizens Advice Bureau in 2015. So Energy came into being to challenge the consumer distrust of energy companies.

Mission & Ethos

So Energy prides itself of its Low Price Commitment which consists of having just one simple fixed tariff, as opposed to the Big Six who love to pad their energy product portfolios. They also monitor pricing to stay within the top 10% most competitive energy providers. This is done by surveying annual rates for gas and electricity based on an industry-standard median across the UK.

Surprisingly, So Energy also allows their customers to vote for the kind of renewable they will prioritise in their wholesale purchase agreements. This means that customers can choose between solar, wind, hydro and presumably eventually tidal too.

“If you're a customer then you can vote below!”

So Energy website

History

In the short time that So Energy has been operational they have already won a consumer award. While they opened their doors in 2015, they won the 2018 energy category in the Moneyfacts Consumer contest.

Simon Oscroft and Charlie Davies started So Energy together after having both worked as energy traders at Macquarie Group, an Australian investment and financial multinational with a special interest in infrastructure and utilities. This was clearly a formative experience that inspired to dip their toes in energy retail.

Certifications & Awards

Energy Switch Guarantee

So Energy are part of the UK’s Energy Switch Guarantee scheme which makes sure customers can change their energy suppliers without hassle.

All suppliers in the scheme have committed to ensure:

  • The switch will take around 21 days from start to finish.
  • The switching process will be free.
  • The energy supply will not be interrupted or stopped.
  • So Energy will handle the whole process for you.
  • You can change your mind and cancel the switch within the first 14 days.

So Energy's Renewable Energy

It’s great to see another entrant reinforcing the UK renewable energy sector’s reputation for good service and decent pricing.

Energy Mix

So Energy provides 100% renewable electricity and conventional gas. This is very much in line with what the rest of the renewable energy industry does due to the much larger supply of sustainable electricity when compared to green gas

electricity symbol Renewable Electricity

So Energy does have a unique approach to their renewable energy mix. Every year, they allow their customers to vote for their preferred source of green electricity. This means that households supplied by So Energy can pick amongst several renewable electricity sources and the company will construct the energy mix based on the customer vote. Here are environmentally-responsible options on offer:

  • Wind power
  • Solar power
  • Hydroelectric
  • Biomass
  • Tidal power (currently unavailable)

energy mix info Did you know?

Just like with other suppliers providing 100% renewable electricity, So Energy customers get the same electricity as anyone else from the National Grid - a melting pot of electricity sourced from renewable and non-renewable sources. However, for every unit of electricity their customers use, So Energy guarantee to purchase and therefore contribute an equivalent amount back into the grid from renewably sources. However not all green electricity is equal.

As renewable energy generation and usage increases in the future, the percentage of renewable electricity customers receive from the grid will increase as wholesale prices for green energy fall with economies of scale. Therefore So Energy and other suppliers like Octopus are helping to increase the renewable portion of the UK’s electricity.

green gas details Green Gas

So Energy does not supply green gas currently which represents a fairly standard practice across the industry. This is because while renewable electricity generation has been developed relatively extensively, the same cannot be said about green gas.

The primary methods of producing green gas, biomass and anaerobic ingestion, are nowhere nearly as widespread as wind energy or hydroelectric power, for example. However, there are suppliers out there that focus on providing green gas with the two main ones being Green Energy UK and Ecotricity.


So Energy Tariffs

So Energy is a company that likes to keep things straightforward. Therefore, they’ve chosen to only offer one tariff and a fixed rate one at that. By having one tariff, they avoid the pitfalls of bigger suppliers who offer a confusing array of both fixed and variable rate tariffs with only small changes in features or price.

They do also offer an Economy 7 variant of their single tariff, with lower night rates primarily for homes with storage heaters and no gas supply. This type of tariff is only beneficial if you use at the very least 40% of your electricity over night when the unit rates are lower. If your home does not fall under that category or if you have a gas supply available then don’t even consider Economy 7 because you will end up paying more than with a regular tariff.

Current So Energy tariffs
  So Toucan (Electricity) So Toucan (Gas)
Type of tariff Fixed Rate Fixed Rate
Renewable 100% 0%
Exit fees £5 £5
Tariff term 12 months 12 months
Example unit rate 13.17p per kWh 2.95p per kWh
Example standing charge 22.05p per day 22.05p per day
Example onthly cost £77 per month
Total yearly cost (3 bed house London) £924 a year

So Energy and smart meters

So Energy is very transparent with the fact that they currently do not support smart meters on their single tariffs. While on the surface it is disappointing that So Energy, forward-thinking as they are, is not embracing the smart meter rollout, here at theSwitch, we aren’t entirely surprised.

When smart meters were first introduced a couple of years ago, they followed the SMETS1 standard. However since then, an updated SMETS2 standard has emerged looks like it will be the dominant smart metering force in the future

What’s the difference between SMETS1 and SMETS2?

SMETS1 meters are able to send meter readings and receive tariff information only from the supplier who installed the meter in the first place. This is all very well and good while you’re not switching from one energy company to another. However, once you find a new and better tariff then all bets are off.

If you’re lucky, your new supplier might use the same model of smart meter which could mean you continue to get the same functionality. However, what is most likely is that the other provider uses a different model and in the case of incompatibility then your smart meter will get dumbed back down to a standard meter that requires meter readings to be manually submitted.

SMETS 2 meters, on the other hand, operate around a central server which all suppliers have access to. This means that whoever your energy utility company is, the smart meter will continue ticking along. The current downside however is that not all suppliers support this superior standard.


Contact So Energy

Tonik make it easy to get in touch with their customer service team in all the ways you would expect. Whether you have a problem that you need help with or wish to make a complaint, you can contact Tonik with the details below.

Phone Number

0330 111 5050

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Social Media

Facebook icon Twitter icon

Write to

So Energy, 107 Power Road, London, W4 5PY


So Energy Account Login

So Energy has a robust online account management page that will allow you to swiftly carry out most of your energy-related queries and formalities:

  • Changing your contact details
  • Renewing your tariff
  • Submitting meter readings
  • Setting up meter reading reminders
  • Checking past bills
  • Checking unit rates and standing charges

Login to your So Energy Account


Should you Switch to So Energy?

While here at theSwitch, we always recommend shopping around to see what tariffs are available for your household, So Energy represent good value for money and decent service. Our hot take is that given the massive disparities across the UK energy market, you could a lot worse than So Energy. They’re one of the good ones.

Make the Switch