British Gas vs E.ON

Our comparison of two of the biggest energy suppliers in the UK.

British Gas and E.ON are two of the largest home energy suppliers in the country and form part of what people tend to call the “Big Six” – older companies that dominate the UK energy market. As of 2020, the two firms supplied just under 12 million customers between them. Both firms not only supply energy, but they also sell a broad range of services to household customers, including boiler and heating cover and “smart home” products like Internet-connected thermostats.

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British Gas vs E.ON: Vital statistics

British Gas Energy FinderE.ON Energy Finder
Finder score★★★★★★★★★★
Manage account via app
Can offer Warm Home Discount
Percentage renewables (electricity)76%17%
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More Info
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Which is cheaper?

This will heavily depend on your tariff, location and usage, but it’s fair to say that neither of these is likely to be the cheapest option available, as large legacy suppliers tend to charge more for energy that smaller “challenger” brands.

Both companies offer some competitive benefits, but are also liable to rise prices in future, as market regulator Ofgem is increasing the energy price cap, giving energy firms the green light to increase their prices from October 2021. The best way to find out which is better value for you is to run an energy comparison, using a postcode checker like the one on Uswitch's comparison service.

  • Winner: It depends

Which has better customer service?

British Gas Energy FinderE.ON Energy Finder
Finder score★★★★★★★★★★
Manage online
Manage account via app
Manage account by telephone
Live chat support available
Email support available

According to the customer review website Trustpilot, neither supplier has a stunning reputation when it comes to customer service. Website users give British Gas an average score of 3.1 out of 5, while E.ON customers have given their supplier 3.5 out of 5.

Sadly, both companies have a pretty average track record when it comes to how their customers feel they are treated. However, British Gas appears to provide a slightly better service based on data collected by the charity Citizens Advice. In 2020, British Gas saw a slightly smaller proportion of customer complaints needing to be escalated to a third party like the Energy Ombudsman.

  • Winner: British Gas (just)

Which offers more tariff options?

Some people like their provider to offer a range of tariffs, but there are good suppliers which do one type of tariff really well, so it’s worth considering a range of providers.

British Gas Energy FinderE.ON Energy Finder
Green tariffs
Fixed tariffs
Variable tariffs
Dual fuel deals

Both these suppliers offer a pretty broad range of tariff types designed to cater for a range of circumstances. Both firms also sell pre-payment tariffs, which can offer households better control over how much they spend on their energy usage. But it’s worth bearing in mind that pre-payment tariffs typically end up costing customers more over the long term when compared to households who pay for their energy via direct debit and are supplied through a credit meter.

Both suppliers offer fixed tariffs that charge exit fees and those that don’t. If a British Gas customer wishes to leave a fixed tariff early and is subject to an exit fee, they will typically need to pay either £30 or £40 per fuel to be released from their deal. E.ON customers who want to be released from a fixed tariff that charges exit fees will need to pay £30 per fuel.

These two giants offer broadly the same types of energy tariff, but if you want to leave an E.ON fixed tariff before the agreed end date, you’ll typically pay slightly less in exit fees.

  • Winner: E.ON (just)

Which is greener: British Gas or E.ON?

If you’re conscious of your carbon footprint, it’s worth investigating how forward-thinking a supplier is when it comes to green energy.

While E.ON has made a pledge to supply 100% renewable electricity to its customers, it isn’t there yet, according to the data it supplies about its fuel mix (how its electricity is sourced). As of March 2020, E.ON’s supply of electricity from renewable sources was substantially below the UK average of 37.9%. According to the same data, British Gas buys or offsets its electricity in such a way that it can say that over 75% comes from renewable sources.

  • Winner: British Gas

Verdict: Is British Gas better than E.ON?

Like most large legacy energy suppliers, both firms have a mixed reputation for their customer service. However, British Gas has improved and widened its services in recent years, so customers who have previously had a poor experience with the utility giant may be able to expect better.

But neither British Gas nor E.ON is likely to be the cheapest option in your area, either for fixed or “default” variable tariffs.

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