Good Energy are a renewable supplier and energy-generating company on a mission to create a ‘cleaner, greener future’ for Britain. Established in 1999, they were one of the UK's first green energy suppliers and have gone on to win multiple awards and invest millions of pounds in solar and wind farms. But are they as good a supplier as their name suggests?
In our independent Good Energy review we take a look at their customer service, tariffs, pricing and account management to help you decide if they should be your next energy supplier.
Good Energy at a Glance
- Electricity: 100% renewable
- Gas: 6% green gas
- Based: Chippenham, Wiltshire
- Founded: 1999
- Customers: 259,000 (Aug 2018)
- Multiple award-winning supplier
- Investors in green energy infrastructure
- Generate some of their own energy
- Supply 100% carbon offset gas
- Listed in top 10 'Most Ethical Brands'
Good Energy Review
Interested in finding out more about Good Energy before you switch? Well, we’ve got you covered in our review below.
1. Customer Service
Good Energy's customer service team. Source: Good Energy
One of the most important aspects of any decent supplier is the quality of their customer service. The Good Energy website puts across a happy and friendly feel, but do their support team reflect this personality? Well, in 2017 they won the ‘Customer and Staff Care’ award at the Wiltshire Business Awards, so they must be doing something right!
However, in our experience, we have found customers generally have mixed opinions of their customer support. Currently, online reviews of Good Energy show a mix of positive and negative opinions. Some customers have spoken of the friendliness of the customer service on the phone and the speed at which they solve problems. Other customers have commented that they appear to care about their customers and that they’re generally helpful and efficient.
“I've had nothing but good service from Good Energy. I too have found there have been confusions over billing, but nothing serious, and the people I have dealt with have been super-friendly and helpful.”
However, for all the positive comments, we’ve also encountered customers that feel quite the opposite. Some customers have been left bemused and frustrated at receiving inaccurate and miscalculated bills and being undercharged initially before being hit with huge bills further down the line - putting them in debt to Good Energy. Other customers have claimed that they were still being billed for weeks after leaving the company, even when leaving without any debt on their account.
The way in which the customer service team has communicated and responded to these issues has also frustrated customers, with some saying they have become slow to respond by email and difficult to contact over the phone.
“Customer service is a joke! Moved out of my house on the 02/06 and supplied them with a final meter reading, STILL haven't closed my account or given me a final bill as apparently they're under a backlog of emails at the moment. Impossible to get through to over the phone, wait times are over 45 minutes.”
Whilst many customers have been unhappy recently, Good Energy’s customer support team typically respond quickly on review websites and appear sympathetic. The support replies on sites such as Trustpilot show staff stating that they had been short-staffed in recent months and also that they just have the one call centre which gets very busy. They also comment that they are working hard to improve their customer service and reduce wait times to help customers sooner.
2. Tariffs & Prices
Another key aspect to consider when choosing your supplier is how much it will set you back each month. Currently, Good Energy offer two tariffs for households and businesses - one for electricity only and one for dual fuel (gas and electricity) customers.
Looking closely at the tariff unit rates and standing charges however, they are one of the most expensive green suppliers in the UK. From our example in the tariffs overview below, we found that a family of four living in a three bedroom house in London with average usage (3,100 kWh electricity and 12,500 kWh gas), would pay around £1244 per year with Good Energy. In comparison, Pure Planet came out at £863/year, Bulb were £876/year and Tonik quoted £901 per year for equal usage. So Good Energy could cost you almost £400 more a year than the cheapest green supplier!
Like most renewable suppliers, Good Energy don’t charge any exit fees, so you always have the choice to switch supplier again in future without being penalised. This is fast becoming the industry standard and is something you should always look out for before switching to any supplier.
3. Bills & Account Management
To manage their account, customers can access the account area of the Good Energy website. From the online portal, customers can submit their meter readings and see past usage, pay their bills, set up a direct debit, manage their contact details and more.
Good Energy's smartphone app. Source: Good Energy
The Good Energy smartphone app also offers some of this functionality, however is much more limited. The app is designed for simple meter readings and storing account details. However, it doesn’t offer in-app bill payments, changing of payment details or changing of contact details for example.
As with most suppliers, Good Energy offer customers the ability to pay their bills with various methods including: direct debit, online banking (BACS), by phone or by cheque. Customers choosing to pay their bill by direct debit receive a discount of £15 per year (£30 for both gas and electric). If you choose to pay this way they set a fixed monthly direct debit amount, based on your estimated usage.
Their website claims they will review this every four months to ensure you are paying the right amount. It’s worth being aware that if your gas and electricity usage changes month to month, you could end up overpaying, or more likely underpaying, when comparing your direct debit to actual usage. This could result in a build up of debt on your account.
“Today I’ve just changed to another green supplier but not before having to pay GE £900 which was my balance over and above my monthly payments in 10 months. It turns out I should have been paying £210 a month which is double my previous bill amounts with the same usage.”
Many direct debit customers have complained of having their direct debit vastly underestimated and then being sent huge one-off bills further down the line, or when wanting to leave. Angry customers have been left with bills of hundreds and even thousands of pounds after apparently underpaying due to their usage exceeding their direct debit amounts.
They have also commented on confusing bills that make it difficult to understand why they are paying the amount they are.
“I’m dismayed by what has happened recently. The customer service seem to have plummeted, the bills more inexplicable, and the price-hikes unjustified and by no means transparent. I recently had a letter doubling my monthly debit with no warning or pleasantries, clearly sent by a computer.”
It appears to be a common theme of late that customers that have switched to Good Energy have ended up paying vastly more for their energy for similar usage with their previous supplier. This has caused many to jump ship and switch again, although not before being sent huge final bills. This has of course outraged numerous customers and sent their online ratings tumbling.
In response to this, Good Energy have apologised to multiple customers for all the billing mistakes, incorrect meter readings and lack of explanations for billing price increases.
“Unfortunately, many of our customers were affected by billing issues when we implemented a new billing system last year. This led to under billing, or in some cases a complete cease in billing for several months. We have now fixed the problems, which means that some customers' Direct Debits have been adjusted.”
Overall, it would appear that whilst they were once popular with customers, Good Energy has gone downhill recently when it comes to billing and account management. However in fairness, they do appear to be aware of the situation and are hopefully being proactive in improving their billing systems.
Based on customer's experiences in 2018, Good Energy seem somewhat inconsistent. Whilst they have won numerous awards and do plenty of good when it comes to investing in green energy generation, the high prices, shakey customer service and billing issues are certainly off-putting.
Good Energy are not the worst we've encountered, but we think there are better green suppliers worth switching to.
About Good Energy
To continue our look into Good Energy, let's take a look at the company, their ethos, its history and the key people involved.
Mission & Ethos
Good Energy were one of the first renewable energy suppliers in the UK and are on a mission to help the British public to switch to renewable energy. To do this they supply customers with energy sourced from a diverse range of green sources including solar power, wind power, hydropower and bioenergy, all generated at various sites in the UK.
“We want to inspire a UK energy revolution and break the stranglehold of the big, old-fashioned energy generators and move to a cleaner, greener future.”
As well as supplying renewable electricity and green gas, they also believe in contributing to green energy generation, rather than just buying it from third parties. Good Energy source their energy from over 1400 generators in the UK and also invest in and own some of this infrastructure.
Examples of this include wind farms and eight ‘solar farms’ across England and Wales. They also invested in the much debated Swansea Tidal Lagoon project that hopes to generate renewable hydroelectric power on a large scale.
Good Energy CEO Juliet Davenport. Source: Good Energy
Good Energy was founded in 1999 by Juliet Davenport. Before setting up the company, Juliet not only had a degree in physics from the University of Oxford, but also a Masters Degree in economics and experience working for the European Parliament in energy and carbon taxation related roles.
Her experience and knowledge of energy, climate change and economics led her to help establish the European branch of a renewable energy company in 1999, alongside a German entrepreneur. This company was originally named Unit[e] but was later rebranded to Good Energy in 2003.
In 2002 Good Energy made their first investment in renewable energy generation by buying the UK’s first wind farm in Cornwall - Delabole Wind Farm. In 2009 they invested a further £12m to increase the wind farm’s output to enable it to power 7000 homes. In 2012 they joined the London Stock Exchange and raised £4m to help fund future growth. Over the years Good Energy have continued to raise funds (including £15m in 2013 and £16.7m in 2017) and invested in establishing new infrastructure including solar farms across England.
Continuing their support and investment for UK renewables, Good Energy partnered with the Swansea Bay Tidal Project in 2014 by agreeing to purchase 10% of the energy the lagoon produces, should it be successfully completed.
In 2018, the company reached the milestone of 250,000 customers and is now one of the largest independent energy suppliers in the UK.
Certifications & Awards
Awards & Recognition
Good Energy have been recognised for their work in the renewable sector by various organisations with a long list of awards. Some of their more recent awards include:
‘Customer and Staff Care’ award - Wiltshire Business Awards
‘Company of the Year’ and ‘Customer Service Recognition’ - British Renewable Energy awards
‘New Energy Champion of the Year’ - New Energy and Cleantech awards
‘World’s 10 most ethical brands’ - The Good Shopping Guide
‘Company of the Year’ - BusinessGreen Leaders awards
‘Leaders of the Year’ - Renewable Energy awards
‘Social Impact Company of the Year’ - Small Cap awards
‘World’s 10 most ethical brands’ - The Good Shopping Guide
Good Energy's Renewable Energy
Next up, lets take a look at where their energy comes from. Unlike many suppliers, Good Energy generate some of their own, whilst the rest comes from a network of over 1400 energy generating providers and businesses across the UK.
Since they started, Good Energy have always provided 100% renewable electricity to their customers. This comes from thousands of wind turbines and solar panels located in ‘onshore’ and ‘offshore’ wind farms and solar parks located right here in the UK. The Westermost Rough Wind Farm for example is an offshore wind farm based in the North Sea, off the coast of Hull. Good Energy buy 12% of their output - enough to power 33,000 homes.
Whilst many of these 1400+ generators are third parties, Good Energy own some of their own sites including:
- Carloggas Solar Farm in Cornwall (powers 2,200 homes)
- Delabole Wind Farm in Cornwall (powers 6,400 homes)
- Hampole Wind Farm in Doncaster (powers 5,400 homes)
- Rook Wood Solar Farm in Wiltshire (powers 1,250 homes)
- Woolbridge Solar Farm in Dorset (powers 1,350 homes)
These sites help to power 18,000 homes with renewable electricity and this looks set to grow as Good Energy continue to expand their portfolio of renewable energy infrastructure. One such proposed site is the Mapperton Solar Farm in Dorset which could power 6,500 homes alone. This is something we feel all green suppliers should be doing, although unfortunately many don’t generate any of their own.
One of our favourite aspects of Good Energy is that they support and source all forms of renewable energy. Alongside solar and wind power, they also source 4% of their energy from hydropower suppliers. This is set to grow further after they invested in the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon - a project that aims to harness tidal power off the coast of Wales. This would add yet another source of electricity to their energy mix.
Did you know?
As with all suppliers providing 100% renewable electricity, Good Energy customers receive the same electricity 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, Good Energy guarantee to generate or buy and put back an equal amount into the grid that was renewably-sourced.
As renewable energy generation and usage increases in the future, the percentage of renewable electricity customers receive from the grid will increase. Therefore Good Energy and other suppliers are helping to increase the renewable portion of the UK’s electricity.
Good Energy also supply 6% of their gas from ‘green gas’ which is generated from the breaking down of food waste right here in the UK.
Compared with the other renewable energy suppliers in the UK, Good Energy’s 6% portion of green gas is pretty low, especially compared to the industry average of 10%. Currently only Green Energy UK can boast supplying customers with 100% green gas.
However, the other 94% is carbon offset thanks to their investments in a biogas project in Vietnam and an anti-deforestation project in Malawi in Africa. These projects are helping to reduce carbon emissions worldwide and Good Energy invest in them as a way to offset their non-green gas’ emissions. Few green suppliers offer more than 10% green gas due to the high costs of generating it, so offsetting the other 94% is a good compromise.
Good Energy Tariffs
Good Energy offer a few different tariffs for households, businesses and a specialised tariff for electric vehicles. These tariffs are:
- Good Energy Standard (electricity only)
- Gas+ Dual Fuel (electricity and gas)
- Electric Vehicle Driver 2 Tariff
Here are Good Energy's dual fuel tariff prices for a typical 3 bedroom home in London. This is based on the UK average annual energy usage of 3,100 kWh of electricity and 12,500 kWh of gas.
|Dual Fuel tariff (Electricity)||Dual Fuel tariff (Gas)|
|Type of tariff||Variable||Variable|
|No exit fees|
|No minimum term|
|Unit rate||16.15p per kWh||4.34p per kWh|
|Standing charge||25.44p per day||29.80p per day|
|Total yearly cost (3 bed house London)||£1244|
Good Energy also supply renewable energy to small businesses all the way up to large corporations spending over £20,000 a year on electricity.
Business customers receive benefits including:
- Fixed 12 or 24 month contracts
- Support from Good Energy’s Wiltshire-based team
- Payment terms of 28 days or more if needed
- Certificate to display to customers to show off the business’ green credentials
Contact Good Energy
Good Energy make it easy to get in touch with their customer service team. If you have a problem that you need help with, or wish to make a complaint, you can contact Good Energy using the details below.
Monday - Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturday: 8am - 1pm
Good Energy Ltd, Monkton Reach, Monkton Hill, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 1EE
Good Energy Login
Customers of Good Energy can access their bills and account on the website. To access your Good Energy account, visit their login page below.
Forgot your Good Energy username or password? Simply click the ‘Forgotten your password?’ link on the login page or contact them and they’ll help you access your account.
Once logged in to your Good Energy account, you can:
- Submit meter readings
- View your bills
- View past energy usage
- Tell them you're moving house
- Set up your direct debit payments
- Make a one-off bill payment
- Update your contact details
- Contact Good Energy support
Should I Switch to Good Energy?
In our opinion, Good Energy live up to their name when it comes to their green credentials, energy generation and investment in renewable energy infrastructure. However, when it comes to pricing, there are certainly much cheaper green suppliers around. It also appears their customer service and high bills recently are confusing and upsetting some customers. It may be temporary, but it is something to be wary of.