By Daniel Machin
Customer satisfaction with gas and electricity suppliers has hit a new low, research shows.
The latest annual energy company survey by Which? reveals the overall customer satisfaction score has dropped from 49 per cent last year to 41 per cent.
In fact, it is the one of the lowest scores ever recorded by the watchdog from all of its satisfaction polls across a range of products and sectors.
Which? claims the findings highlight the failings of a "broken" energy market and expose a sector that is falling short of its customers' needs.
Smaller suppliers perform better in survey
The largest companies fared worse than the smaller suppliers as satisfaction plummeted, with the big six firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.
Npower scored the lowest for the third year running with 31 per cent, while British Gas also fell below the industry average of 41 per cent as it scored 39 per cent.
SSE and Scottish Power both scored 41 per cent, followed by EDF Energy and E.On who scored 44 per cent and 45 per cent respectively.
Good Energy, meanwhile, held the top spot for the third year in a row, this time sharing it with Ecotricity, each scoring 82 per cent.
Ecotricity and First Utility do well in latest rankings
All of the companies that appeared on the table last year scored lower in the latest rankings, except for Ecotricity and First Utility.
These companies have jumped from 80 per cent to 82 per cent and 50 per cent to 58 per cent respectively.
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: "Once again the biggest energy companies have been beaten by the smaller suppliers.
"However, there are no winners in a broken market that consistently fails consumers.
"Our findings highlight why it's vital that Ofgem's first annual review of competition clearly identifies why the market is failing and what needs to change.
Call for energy market to change
"We want to see radical solutions to improve competition and keep prices in check.
"For example the biggest energy companies being forced to separate wholesale generation from the retail arms of their business."
The findings from the latest survey also show that energy prices are the top worry for 84 per cent of consumers.
Meanwhile just 20 per cent trust suppliers to act in their best interests and help them get the best deals.
With further cold weather expected to hit the UK over the coming months, 60 per cent of consumers are already "dreading" the cost of their winter energy bill.