Bristol Energy Review

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Last updated: 19th September 2021

Is Bristol Energy going bust?

The recent increase in gas prices is causing trouble in the energy market. Some smaller suppliers are now going bust. As of 19th September 2021, there is no information to say that Bristol Energy is going bust.

Bristol Energy Review Summary

PROS:

  • Socially and environmentally responsible energy supplier
  • Easy to manage your account online, either via the website or the app
  • 100% green electricity as standard. Option of 100% carbon offset gas

CONS:

  • Not the cheapest energy supplier
  • Less appealing if you have no connection to Bristol
  • Some complaints about customer service but they tend to be resolved quickly

Who are Bristol Energy

Bristol Energy used to be owned by Bristol City Council. Since September 2020 however, they are now owned by Together Energy.

Bristol Energy was established in 2015 with the aim of being a force for social good. It seeks to tackle social and environmental challenges in the Bristol area and claims that it has contributed £12 million of what it calls ‘social value’ to the region so far. It currently offers one of the best sets of renewable energy tariffs.

Bristol Energy operates from the Bristol Energy Hub in Bristol City Centre. Although it is one of the smaller energy supply companies it has over 160,000 customers (source).

What tariffs do Bristol Energy offer?

Bristol Energy offers both fixed and variable tariffs for gas and electricity, with a big focus on renewable energy. Customers choosing to fix their energy price can choose to fix the price for either 12 or 25 months. Those that would prefer a variable tariff can opt for the ‘BE Standard Green‘ tariff.

All tariffs offer 100% renewable electricity, however, if you opt for the 25-month ‘BE Super Green‘ tariff you get gas that is 100% carbon offset, as opposed to 50% carbon offset with the 12-month fixed tariff (BE Simply Green) and the variable tariff.

The key differences between the two fixed tariffs are outlined below:

BE Super GreenBE Simply Green
Fixed period25 months12 months
Gas carbon offset100%50%
Smart meter neededNoYes*
Extras£20 towards social and environmental projectsNone
Exit fees£0£0

A big plus for Bristol Energy is that there are no exit fees on either of the fixed tariffs. This is quite unusual, as an exit fee is usually one of the trade-offs with having a fixed rate tariff.

Both pre-payment and credit tariffs are available. If you have a pre-payment meter, you will be put on their Prepayment Standard Variable Tariff.

*if you don’t already have a smart meter, you can still sign up along you agree to get one. Bristol Energy will then arrange the installation of one.

How do Bristol Energy compare on price?

Bristol Energy isn’t expensive, but it is not the cheapest supplier. This is probably due to their tariffs being some of the greenest around and the funding they provide to social and environmental projects.

Rather than selling itself on price the company wants to sell itself on the fact that it supports local social and environmental initiatives. Given this, perhaps Bristol Energy should be compared on value rather than price.

What is Bristol Energy’s customer service like?

Bristol Energy’s customer service appears to be good, although there is no information from Citizens Advice, which is what we usually refer to.

In a survey by Which?, they answered calls in less than 5 minutes. This put them in the top half of the suppliers tested.

They can be contacted by phone between 8 am and 6 pm on weekdays other than bank holidays. They can also be contacted via email or live chat.

Many account management tasks such as meter readings can be done online.

What do other Bristol Energy reviews say?

Bristol Energy scores 3.1 out of five stars on TrustPilot from over 2,400 reviews, with only 62% of the reviewers rating the company as ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’.

RatingPercentage of reviews
Excellent47%
Great15%
Average6%
Poor6%
Bad26%
Data from TrustPilot. Correct as of 27/08/2021

In the latest Which? Energy survey, Bristol Energy came 16th out of 25 suppliers. They received 4/5 for bill accuracy, but only 3/5 for bill clarity, customer service and complaints handling. They received an overall score of 64% (the highest being Outfox The Market who scored 82%)

What is Bristol Energy’s website/app like?

Bristol Energy’s website contains a lot of information. As well as the usual information that you would expect to find on an energy company’s website, Bristol Energy’s website also goes into detail about its social and environmental goals.

The website’s structure means that it is simple to find any information that you need. It doesn’t use confusing jargon, either, so it’s easy to understand the information provided.

The best way to describe the website is “functional” – it does what it needs to do, but doesn’t leave you feeling amazed.

Bristol Energy also has an app. If you don’t have a smart meter, you can submit your meter readings this way, as well as view your balance and energy usage by month or year.

If you have a smart meter, the app gets better, as you can see your energy usage (as regularly as half-hourly) and set alerts for when you’ve used more energy than expected. The iOS app is rated 3.7/5 from 99 reviews and the Android app is rated 2.5/5.

How green is Bristol Energy’s energy?

As you would expect based on their tariffs, 100% of Bristol Energy’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources. This compares well with the national average of 37.9%.

As with most energy suppliers, their gas is not from renewable sources. They are however one of the few suppliers that offer carbon offset gas, which is at least a step in the right direction if you are looking for a renewable supplier for gas and electricity.

Their latest fuel mix is included below (this is only for electricity):

Fuel source% of supply
Natural Gas0%
Nuclear0%
Renewables100%
Coal0%
Other Fuels0%
Period 01/04/2019 – 31/03/2020. Source: Bristol Energy

What billing options are available?

Bristol Energy says the easiest way to pay is via Direct Debit. The amount you pay is fixed every month, based on your annual usage estimate.

If you would prefer not to pay via direct debit, there are other ways to pay. These include:

  • An online payment through the customer portal
  • Directly from your bank account
  • Over the phone
  • Over the counter at a Post Office

Do Bristol Energy offer smart meters?

Yes, Bristol Energy does offer smart meters to both new and existing customers. Since May 2019 they have been only using the latest SMETS2 meters and they plan to have offered all customers one of these by the end of 2021. Having a smart meter is not compulsory, although you are only able to sign up for the Bristol Energy ‘BE Simply Green‘ tariff if you are willing to have a smart meter.

Below are a few quick questions you may need answers to along with our Bristol Energy review:

Do they work with pre-payment meters?

Yes, pre-payment meters are accepted by Bristol Energy. There is only one pre-payment tariff which is a standard variable tariff.

Do they accept Economy 7?

Yes, Bristol Energy accepts Economy 7. If you have a Smart meter your peak hours may change when you switch depending on where you live. Details of the applicable peak hours for each region are available on the Bristol Energy website.

Are they signed up to the Warm Home Discount?

Bristol Energy has signed up for the Warm Home Discount scheme despite the fact that it is not required to do so due as it currently has less than 250,000 customers. Only energy suppliers with at least 250,000 customers are obliged to offer the Warm Home Discount. It was one of the first to voluntarily sign up for the scheme.

The Warm Home Discount is only available to you via Bristol Energy if you are someone who is in the Core Group. You can find out more on their website.

Are they signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee?

Bristol Energy isn’t signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee scheme.

Do they offer a ‘Dual Fuel’ discount?

No, Bristol Energy does not offer a ‘Dual Fuel’ discount.

Do they charge exit fees?

Exit fees are not charged, even if you are on the 12 or 25 months fixed tariffs.

Will they offer to pay a customer’s exit fees when they join them?

Any exit fees required by the previous energy supplier due to the switch are the customer’s responsibility and are not paid for by Bristol Energy.

Do they offer any incentives to customers to refer friends/family?

Under Bristol Energy’s ‘Refer a Friend’ scheme, for each of your friends and family that you refer as a Bristol Energy customer, you will get £20, the friend or family member who switched will get £20 and British Energy will donate £20 to their Fuel Good Fund.

This fund will help families to implement energy improvements like draught-proofing and heating repairs.

What happens if you move home whilst with them?

If you’re moving home you can either tell Bristol Energy by phoning or emailing them, or you can tell them by completing a form on the company’s website.

If you wanted to continue using Bristol Energy as your energy supplier, you would then need to set up a new account at your new home.

Can you get cashback when joining Bristol Energy?

You cannot get cashback by switching to Bristol Energy.

Do they mention about the Priority Services Register?

You can sign up for the Priority Services Register as a Bristol Energy customer via their website, or by phoning or emailing them.

How to contact Bristol Energy

You can contact Bristol Energy customer service by calling: 0808 281 2222

You can email them through: customercare@bristol-energy.co.uk

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday 8am – 6:00pm. Closed on all Bank holidays.

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How do I switch to Bristol Energy?

The easiest way to switch to Bristol Energy is through a comparison website. This will allow you to check if Bristol 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.

8.5 Total Score
Bristol Energy Review

Bristol Energy was established in 2015 with the aim of being a force for social good. It seeks to tackle social and environmental challenges in the Bristol area and claims that it has contributed £12 million of what it calls 'social value' to the region so far.

Price
8
Tariffs
9
Customer Service
7.8
Reviews
8.9
Billing
8
Extras
9
PROS
  • Socially and environmentally responsible energy supplier
  • Easy to manage your account online, either via the website or the app
  • 100% green electricity as standard. Option of 100% carbon offset gas
CONS
  • Not the cheapest energy supplier
  • Less appealing if you have no connection to Bristol
  • Some complaints about customer service but they tend to be resolved quickly
User Rating: Be the first one!
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Rob

Rob runs Energy-Review.co.uk. The project initially began when he switched energy suppliers for the first time and found there wasn't a website that provided simple, data backed reviews on all the suppliers available. Since then, Rob has spent considerable time looking at all publicly available data about each supplier and writing reviews using this information. Reviews are updated as regularly as possible and any data is backed up by a source where necessary. If you find any issues, please use our contact form to let us know.

3 Comments
  1. Since changing to Bristol Energy three years ago I have never had any problems dealing with them. In fact I find their billing and easy access by telephone the best I have ever had from any supplier. My only criticism would be they do not adjust monthly payments if you are heavily in credit but I do believe most suppliers are
    reluctant to make refunds. I only hope that Bristol Energy manage to keep going during this gas crisis

  2. Update June 2021

    Issue still not resolved, all requests from The Ombudsman Services to uphold the agreed resolution being ignored. All promises of return phone calls to me to discuss rectifying issue not honoured and 18 months on I am no further forward, avoid this company at all costs as they will just take you money and string you along. You end up paying for their mistakes.

    Wish I could give zero stars! Do not go anywhere near this shower, I had smart meters fitted in Jan 2020, advised BE at the time that the installation was incorrect as the display on the gas meter was now obscured, even sent photos. BE refused to deal with so complaint sent to Ombudsman who ruled in my favour in August 2020, it is now Jan 2021 and still no resolution. As BE was bought out by Together Energy BE are currently doing estimated bills but didn’t bother to tell customers that meter readings would have to be submitted manually, bit difficult to do when you can’t see the display. Save your sanity and just don’t sign up to these clowns.

  3. IF I COULD PUT -5 STARS I WOULD. The perfect example of horrific management and appalling customer service. I have NEVER in my life had a more difficult experience with any company than with Bristol Energy. They tried to scam me. Since the beginning of my tenancy they have consistently made it unbelievably difficult for me to get ahold of them as they almost never respond to phone calls and they take over 3 months to respond to emails, this is not an exaggeration. They tried to scam me out of GBP 900. Every time I contact them I have to repeat the issue to every single agent and they still do not understand my case. They are extremely lazy and do not make any effort to help their customers. I have to beg them to help me pay money to THEM so I can close my account. Not the other way around. The first thing I will do when I move anywhere, is to change Bristol Energy as the provider. I truly cannot grasp how such an unqualified company is still allowed to run business. If you happen to have Bristol Energy as an energy provider, I IMPLORE you to get rid of them.

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