Please note: As of August 2019, Flow Energy has been acquired by Octopus Energy.
Flow Energy Review Summary
Flow Energy have been around since April 2013 and by the last count had around 230,000 customers. Recently however their parent company announced they would be sold to Co-Op Energy, and so whether Flow Energy is around for much longer remains to be seen. Similar to other smaller suppliers, they have a simple offering when it comes to tariffs giving you the option of only two. Although not the cheapest we have seen, their prices are certainly at the cheaper end of the market and they have been reviewed very well by third-parties. They even offer their own range of smart products!
Flow keep it simple and offer you the option of two different tariffs. One of these is a fixed tariff for a year which offers you 100% renewable electricity and the other is a variable tariff which provides 50% electricity from renewable sources. Their website claims that the fixed tariff saves the average customer more per year but it does also penalise you for leaving with £30 exit fees per fuel. You don’t have this problem with the variable tariff which doesn’t have any exit fees. It is great that you have the option of a fixed or variable tariff and the use of renewable sources of electricity is an added bonus!
There are few key things to note about Flow’s tariffs:
- Both tariffs offer electricity from green sources
- You have the option of a fixed or variable tariff, although they claim you save more with the fixed option
- They don’t offer tariffs for pre-payment meters
- Both tariffs are paid via a monthly direct debit
Although not the cheapest, Flow Energy are one of the cheaper suppliers on the market and certainly much cheaper then any of the ‘Big 6’. If you are on the variable tariff then you could be a victim of one or two price increases throughout the year but with the fixed option you won’t need to worry about this. When you take into account that at least 50% of the electricity supplied is renewable, then this makes their prices very competitive.
Flow push you towards their FAQs and Guides on their website as a first step, these are actually really comprehensive and mean you may be able to answer some of your own questions without even needing to contact them. If you have an issue however that does need a response from Flow, they are available on the phone from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and are also available via email. They claim to answer calls within 27 seconds and answer emails within 24 hours, this claim is backed up by Citizens Advice who found average call centre wait time was only 18 seconds. Reading reviews about Flow it seems like although they are responsive, they are not always that good at resolving issues and this is something that is reflected in both reviews and complaints data.
It is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to Flow Energy reviews. Although their 8.1/10 on TrustPilot is far from the best we have seen, they were rated very well in the Which? consumer survey and came out with a reasonable score on the survey conducted by uSwitch.
In the latest survey conducted by Which? on the UK energy industry, Flow came 2nd out of 31 suppliers. They were rated 5 star for value for accuracy and clarity on bills, phone customer service, and value for money and 4 stars for online customer service. Notable 75% of their customers told Which? they were satisfied with Flow which was the highest of any of teh companies included in the survey.
On TrustPilot, which is their most active review platform, they currently have over 4,000 reviews with an overall rating of 8.1/10. Many of their negative reviews either come down to a poor experience with customer service failing to sort out issues or from problems getting credit back when switching away from the company.
On a recent uSwitch survey, Flow Energy scored 4 stars with an overall score of 79%. This was a pretty average rating and see’s them sitting mid table in the uSwitch rankings.
Flow Energy’s website is very simple to use and is a great source of information in terms of their FAQs and Guides. All of your billing and account management is done through the MyFlow portal which allows you to view your statements and pay online, send your meter readings and amend your account details.
Their fuel mix disclosure from 2017 shows their electricity is generated from the following:
3.5% coal, 41.4% gas, 11.3% nuclear energy, 29.4% renewable energy, 4.4% other components.
If you remove the renewable energy only suppliers, this mix is pretty similar to the average supplier.
Even though Flow Energy came out very well in the Which? customer survey, the number of complaints per 100,000 customers as reported by Citizens Advice is very high compared. From January to March 2018, Flow Energy received 529.3 complaints per 100,000 customers. In comparison, the top performers Bulb Energy received only 11.
In this section we answer a few more specific questions which potential customers may find useful:
Do they work with pre-payment meters?
No, Flow don’t currently have any tariffs that available to customers that need to pay via a pre-payment meter.
Do they accept Economy 7?
Yes, their standard tariffs are available for Economy 7.
Are they signed up to the Warm Home Discount?
Yes, Flow Energy are currently signed up to the Warm Home Discount.
Are they signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee?
Yes, Flow Energy are currently signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee, which among other things means you are guaranteed to switch within 21 days. You can find out more about what the Energy Switch Guarantee is here.
What billing options are available?
The only option to pay is through a monthly direct debit. This is calculated based on your estimated annual usage and is reviewed every 12 months, if you have a particularly high amount of credit in your account then they will review your direct debit sooner then the 12 months and refund you some of your credit. If you need to change the date of your direct debit, you can do so once you have signed up.
Do they offer a smart meter? Do they accept smart meters?
Flow Energy don’t currently offer smart meters, although after a delay they are now planning to roll them out at the end of 2018 into the beginning of 2019. Once smart meters are available in your area than Flow will be in contact with you as they don’t have any sort of waiting list set up. As is the case with any of these energy companies, you do not have to have a smart meter is you don’t want to, but if you then it will be supplied free of charge.
Do they charge exit fees?
It depends on your tariff, if you opt for the fixed tariff then you will be charged an exit fee of £30 per fuel. If you opt for the variable tariff however then there will be no exit fees to pay.
Will they offer to pay a customer’s exit fees when they join them?
No, Flow don’t offer to pay your existing suppliers exit fees if you join them.
Do they offer any incentives to customers to refer friends/family?
There aren’t currently any incentives to refer your friends or family to join Flow Energy.
What happens if you move home whilst with them?
Flow are happy to keep you as a customer if you move home with them. They have a PDF form on their website which you can complete and send back to them to let them know your new address details or you can notify them through your online account.
Do they mention about the Priority Services Register?
No, as far as we can see there is no mention of a Priority Services Register on the Flow website.
Do they do credit checks when you sign up?
There isn’t currently any information available on whether Flow Energy do a credit check as part of the sign up process. The majority of suppliers do perform a credit check when you sign up, so it is more than likely that Avro to do.
How to contact Flow Energy
You can contact Flow Energy customer service by calling: 0800 092 0202
Their website address is: https://www.flowenergy.uk.com
Monday – Thursday 9:00am – 5:30pm
Friday 9:00am – 4:30pm
There address is:
North Felaw Maltings,
48 Felaw St,
How do I switch to Flow Energy?
The easiest way to switch to Flow Energy is through uSwitch’s comparison website here. This will allow you to check that Flow Energy is one of the cheapest suppliers for you (tariffs vary based on your area) and will allow you to quickly and easily switch to them.
- Competitive pricing
- Offers renewable electricity
- Smart meters available soon
- Responsive customer service
- Part of Warm Home Discount
- Now owned by Co-op Energy, will things change?
- Relatively high number of complaints
- Only two tariffs available