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Is Ebico going bust?
Ebico have a white-label agreement with Octopus Energy. As Octopus have already declared they are “fine”, it is likely Ebico are the same. Although, this has not been confirmed by Ebico.
Ebico Energy Review Summary
- 100% renewable energy
- The chance to help eliminate fuel poverty
- Wide range of tariff options
Who are Ebico Energy
Oxfordshire-based Ebico have been trading for over two decades. They have no shareholders and they can use any profits to combat fuel poverty instead of paying dividends.
They do this via Ebico Trust, a registered charity. Any financial surpluses are passed to Ebico Trust and are used to fund projects in fuel-poor communities.
Ebico has over 60,000 customers and get their energy from Robin Hood Energy which is owned by Nottingham City Council. All of the electricity supplied to Ebico by Robin Hood Energy comes from UK-based solar or wind generation.
Ebico have been awarded Ethical Consumer’s ‘Best Buy’ label for being a socially ethical energy supplier, for their non-profit status and for their fair pricing structure.
Ebico offer a large number of tariffs, including some with variable rates and some with fixed rates. The fixed rate tariffs have contract lengths of 12, 18 or 24 months.
There are exit fees of £30 per fuel on some of the fixed rate tariffs. However, some of the fixed rate tariffs do not have exit fees. There are no exit fees on the variable rate tariffs.
There is also a variable rate tariff for people using pre-payment meters. This is available for people using either conventional pre-payment meters or smart pre-payment meters.
Ebico do not offer their own ‘feed-in’ tariff but due to their partnership with Robin Hood Energy, Ebico customers have access to Robin Hood Energy’s ‘feed-in’ tariff.
None of Ebico’s tariffs have been designed specifically for the owners of electric vehicles.
Ebico’s prices are competitive, but it would be easy to think that they are more competitive than they actually are given the claims made on their website.
As an example, Ebico make a bit play about how they are a not-for-profit social enterprise with no shareholders, but in practice rather than paying dividends to shareholders they are funding the Ebico Trust charity. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that any savings that they are making by not having to pay dividends are not being passed onto their customers via cheaper energy prices.
They also offer a tariff with no standing charges. It would be easy to assume that such a tariff would be good for someone who wasn’t using much energy or even for the energy supply at a second home that was only being used at weekends or for holidays. However, the tariff with no standing charges has a minimum annual bill provision which means that it is not necessarily as cheap as it appears to be at first glance.
Ebico scores four out of five stars on TrustPilot, with 58% of reviewers rating the company as excellent. However, there appear to be a number of people who think that a change of CEO and changing from SSE to Robin Hood Energy for the energy supply has resulted in a deterioration in service levels.
Which? gives Ebico four out of five stars, putting them in second place our of 35 energy suppliers. Ebico scored particularly well in terms of customer service and billing accuracy.
Ebico’s electricity is 100% renewable, coming from either UK-based solar or wind generation.
Ebico do not say whether the gas that they supply is environmentally friendly or whether carbon offsetting is used to reduce their emissions. However, at just 20g/kWh, Ebico’s CO2 emissions are significantly lower than the UK average of 225g/kWh.
Ebico do not offer a live chat facility on their website, although there is a live chat facility in the Ebico app which is manned between 9am and 5pm on weekdays. The company can also be contacted via phone or email and they have a presence on social media.
The phone lines are open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays which is longer than many other energy suppliers’ phone lines. In a Which? survey phone calls to Ebico were answered in under a minute and they took just 43 minutes to respond to an email. In that survey, Which? gave Ebico four out of five stars for customer service.
OFGEM data suggests that Ebico have an average number of complaints made against them, although Ebico deal with three quarters of those complaints on the same day or the next working day.
Ebico’s website is visually appealing and it is easy to find the information that you need. There is an online portal that lets you manage your account and submit meter readings. You can also use the online portal to track your energy consumption and see your current balance.
There is no live chat facility but Ebico are quick to respond to phone calls and emails, and the company also has a presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Although the website has no live chat facility there is a live chat facility in the Ebico app which is manned between 9am and 5pm on weekdays, with messages left outside of those hours being dealt with the following working day.
This app is available for both Android and iOS devices but appears to be a work in progress at the moment with very limited functionality. It is not possible to use the Ebico app to top up a pre-payment meter. The app scores 2.8 out of five stars on the Google Play Store and 2.3 out of five stores on Apple’s App Store.
Ebico offer a range of payment options and there is a discount if you pay by direct debit. You can also pay by credit or debit card over the phone or via the Ebico website, or by credit or debit card, cash or cheque at a Post Office or PayPoint retailer.
Your first payment is taken upon receipt of your first bill unless you are a pre-payment customer and are paying for the energy you use in advance.
If you choose a fixed direct debit the amount you pay each month is reviewed annually. You can also choose to pay by variable direct debit and if you do this, each quarterly bill is based on the amount of energy you have actually used.
Ebico are not currently providing smart meters but they are planning to roll them out at some point in the future.
If you already have a smart meter you can switch to Ebico, but you may lose your smart meter functionality.
Even if your existing smart meter is compatible with Ebico, you cannot top up via the Ebico app. However, you can top up your account via the Ebico website or over the phone.
Do Ebico Energy offer a recommend a friend referral scheme?
Ebico used to operate a friend referral scheme that offered a £15 voucher for referrals. However, that scheme no longer exists.
Below are a few quick questions you may need answers to along with our Ebico Energy review:
Do they work with pre-payment meters?
Ebico offers a pre-payment tariff and will also accept smart pre-payment meters. Smart pre-payment meters can be topped up via the Ebico website or over the phone, although top-ups cannot currently be made via the Ebico app.
Do they accept Economy 7?
Yes, Ebico offer Economy 7.
Are they signed up to the Warm Home Discount?
Yes, Ebico are signed up to the Warm Home Discount.
Are they signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee?
Ebico are not signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee.
Do they mention about the Priority Services Register?
Ebico operates a Priority Services Register and goes one step further via its Extra Help Service.
Do they offer a ‘Dual Fuel’ discount?
Ebico do not offer a ‘Dual Fuel’ discount.
Will they offer to pay a customer’s exit fees when they join them?
Ebico will not pay any exit fees charged by a customer’s existing energy supplier if a customer switches to Ebico before their contract with their existing energy supplier has ended.
What happens if you move home whilst with them?
If you move home while you are an Ebico customer you need to phone them to tell them you are moving and give them a final meter reading. Ebico will then manage the process for you, including switching the supply at your new home to Ebico.
Do they offer any incentives for joining?
Ebico do not offer any specific incentives to encourage new customers to switch to them.
How to contact Ebico Energy
Address: PO Box 10461, Nottingham, NG1 9JS
You can contact Ebico Energy customer service by calling: 0800 028 6699
You can email them through: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday – Friday 8am – 8:00pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm. Closed on all Bank holidays.
Switch to Ebico Energy
The easiest way to switch to Ebico Energy is through a comparison website here. This will allow you to check if Ebico 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.