So Energy has established itself as a UK renewable electricity supplier in just a few short years. From the outset, it has tried to present itself as a sustainable energy company that takes the side of residential energy consumers, who are so often ripped off by their providers. Does it have what it takes to stand out in the crowded UK energy market?
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 So Energy reviews online to see how its 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 of customer service. Both Trustpilot and recent Which? energy surveys corroborate the high standards of customer service the provider delivers.
Telephone [...] answered quickly, enquiries [...] dealt with very efficiently, monthly billing [...] sent very promptly
This 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.
This comment is among a rare selection of negative So Energy reviews which express disappointment at an inconsistency 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.
What is encouraging is So Energy’s personalised response to this specific issue. They began 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 The Switch, 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.
2. Tariffs & Prices
Good customer service will only get you so far in the fickle world of energy supply. To get customers through the door, energy companies like So Energy need to be able to provide renewable 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|
|Quote (3-bed house in London)||£876||£1,076||£1,001||£968|
It’s plain to see that So Energy is on the cheap side. They fall under the £1,000 mark, which we like to see, but are almost £100 a year more expensive than competitor Pure Planet. When compared to Bulb, the most expensive of the four, the savings come to almost a tenner a month.
Is your provider charging you too much for a bad product?An independent provide could offer you a green tariff for less. Give us a call today to find out more. Call 020 3608 4293 or Get a free callback now.
So Energy (and the other listed providers) are still able to noticeably beat British Gas by at least £200 a year. This significant price difference is common between the larger and smaller supplier is pretty consistent in the industry.
The main takeaway is that even though many of the Big Six suppliers, such as Scottish Power, have their hand in energy generation, then they are either unable or unwilling to take advantage of it.
Put simply, the provider's pricing is competitive and So Energy reviews reflect this. Customers sign up because of its competitive pricing and they seem to be staying because it remains competitive:
Been with [So Energy] twelve months and renewing again based on price and service after checking against other energy providers.
3. Bills & Account Management
So Energy scores a hat trick with their online energy account management features, having:
- A well-designed website that is easy to navigate;
- A mobile-compatible account page, meaning that everything is there at a glance;
- And fully-featured account management, so that customers can do as much as possible online.
Faultless website with easy to submit meter readings, you can set up reminders to take your meter readings.
The above 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 other providers, such as Outfox the Market, So Energy seems to know what it's doing with its web presence; adding value to its energy supply service.
So Energy App
Unlike other renewable providers, such as Pure Planet and many others, 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 really benefit from them because, when coupled with a smart meter, you can top up your credit without having to leave the house.
So Energy does have a reason for not having its very own energy app - it says it has optimised its website for mobile phone screens. It's better to have a website that works really well across all platforms than a half-baked website and app, so we don't see it as a huge drawback.
So Energy hits the magical renewable energy trifecta of sustainable success. It's got value for money, great customer care, and robust online account management on its side. With competitive unit rates and standing charges, So Energy should be an attractive option for anyone looking to switch their direct debit energy tariff.
According to Which?, it is one of a dozen energy companies to get full marks for customer service, with phone calls normally answered within a minute. All this on top of the fact that it provides fully renewable energy, which certainly vindicates our call for making decent service and green energy a reality throughout the UK. The provider continues to prove that it’s not a far-fetched goal, and So Energy reviews repeatedly back this up.
About - Who are 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. It also monitors 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 its 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.
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.
Who owns So Energy?
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, in which they've had tremendous success in the company's first five years.
So Energy Tariffs
This is a company that likes to keep things straightforward, and So Energy tariffs reflect this. It has chosen to offer just the one tariff at a fixed rate. By having one tariff, they avoid the pitfalls of larger suppliers, which offer a confusing array of both fixed and variable rate tariffs with only small changes in features or price.
So Energy does also offer an Economy 7 variant of this 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 least 40% of your electricity overnight. If your home does not fall under that category, or if you have a gas supply as well, don’t even consider Economy 7 - you will end up paying more than with a regular tariff.
|So Birch (Electricity)||So Birch (Gas)|
|Type of tariff||Fixed Rate||Fixed Rate|
|Tariff term||12 months||12 months|
|Unit rate||15.74p per kWh||2.92p per kWh|
|Standing charge||22.05p per day||22.05p per day|
|Monthly cost||£81 per month|
|Total yearly cost (3 bed house London)||£968 a year|
We saw in our comparison above that So Energy tariffs fall on the cheap side for any type of supplier, let alone a 100% renewable one. For those looking to lower their carbon footprint on a budget, it's ideal - in the next section, we're going to go into just where the provider's renewable energy comes from.
If you're after a 100% green dual-fuel tariff, you'll be more interested in So Bramble. Here's how it compares to other green dual-fuel tariffs on the UK market right now:
|Provider||Cheapest green tariff||Price per year|
|Pure Planet||100% Green Variable||£944|
|Octopus Energy||Direct 12M Fixed||£958|
|Ovo Energy||Better Smart (1 year fixed)||£1,008|
|British Gas||Green Future March 2022 dual-fuel||£1,022|
|E.ON||Fix 1 Year v5||£1,034|
|So Energy||So Bramble (1 year fixed)||£1,044|
|Bulb||Vari-Fair (1 year fixed)||£1,152|
|Good Energy||1-year fixed dual-fuel tariff||£1,284|
|Green Energy UK||Sparkling Tariff 2022||£1,327|
|Ecotricity||Green electricity and green gas||£1,356|
All discounts and cashback have been applied to the price. The above quotes are for a three-bedroom home in London and use Ofgem's average consumption rates. Last updated: January 2021
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
So Energy has a unique approach to its renewable energy mix. Every year, it allows its customers to vote for their preferred source of green electricity. This means that households supplied by So Energy can pick from amongst several renewable electricity sources and the company will construct its energy mix based on the vote. Here are the environmentally-responsible options on offer:
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. 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.
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. So Energy and other suppliers, such as Octopus are helping to increase the renewable portion of the UK’s electricity, which we can only commend.
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 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
You can access your account to use these features via the So Energy login page on the provider's website. As we've mentioned above, however, the provider does not offer an app, though the website should work well on your mobile if you search for it in your browser.
If you've forgotten your password, you can click the link that says 'Forgotten password' just above the login button and get a reset link sent to the email address you signed up with.
So Energy smart meter
Initially, So Energy was transparent in not embracing smart meters, as the technology was not without its disadvantages, but with the introduction of the SMETS2 meter the provider is now fully on board with the government rollout.
What’s the difference between SMETS1 and SMETS2?SMETS1 meters only work with the supplier who installed the meter in the first place. This means that, once you find a new and better tariff, you're stuck with a meter which no longer has smart functionality. SMETS2 meters, on the other hand, operate around a central server which all suppliers have access to. This means that your smart meter will stay smart no matter how often you switch.
Are you an existing customer interested in getting an So Energy smart meter installed? Just email them at email@example.com to let them know you're interested and they will be in touch with you to arrange an appointment when the rollout reaches your area.
Warm home discount
So Energy customers could receive the Warm Home Discount if they qualify either as a member of the Core Group or as a part of the Broader Group. If you fall under the Core Group, you will be notified automatically and receive the £140 discount automatically.
If you think you qualify under the Broader Group, you'll need to get in touch with So Energy to apply. The full criteria for eligibility is to be found on the provider's website. Bear in mind that the criteria changes year on year and you'll need to apply every year separately - there is no guarantee of success, as the discount is given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Warm Home Discount is not the be-all and end-all!Certain providers that don't offer the discount could save you more than £140 a year on energy vs some providers that do - making the discount totally redundant in some cases! Give us a call on 020 3608 4293 to find out how much you could save.
So Energy contact number
Looking for an So Energy contact number? Whether you have a problem that you need help with or wish to make a complaint, you can contact So Energy using the details below.
|Department||So Energy phone number||Opening hours|
|General inquiries||0330 111 5050||Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm|
If you'd rather not wait arouhnd to speak to someone over the phone, you can email So Energy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, to talk with a real human being about switching provider with no wait times, give one of our energy experts a call on 020 3608 4293 today.
Looking for a number to use in case of an emergency?So Energy customers, or customers of any 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.
Should you Switch to So Energy?
While 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 take is that, given the massive disparities across the UK energy market, you could a lot worse than So Energy.