EDF Energy versus ScottishPower – which is best for households?

We compare the two energy giants on the factors that really matter to energy customers, including the quality of their customer service and their green credentials

Drone view of a wind farm. Multiple wind turbines
(Image credit: getty images)

Energy prices are a hot topic at the moment, so it’s important to be with the right supplier.

Hardly any of the big players are offering fixed deals at the moment that are cheaper than the energy price cap, but it’s still worth checking out which firm is worthy of your business. 

We’ve compared EDF Energy (opens in new tab) and ScottishPower (opens in new tab) to see how they measure up on things like customer service and green energy. We've compared these two as our readers have asked about them, but keep in mind there are other providers that may be better suited to your needs.

Who is EDF Energy? 

EDF Energy is part of the French state-owned EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator.

It has 5.3 million energy accounts and is the UK’s largest supplier of zero-carbon electricity. Its residential business gained more than 650,000 customer accounts in 2021 after acquiring the customers of several collapsed energy firms including Green Network Energy, Utility Point, and Zog Energy.

Who is Scottish Power? 

ScottishPower is part of the Spanish energy giant Iberdola Group, and has 4.7 million domestic customers in the UK.

In the past few years, it’s taken on the customer bases of various bust energy companies including Extra Energy, Tonik Energy, Yorkshire Energy, Entice Energy and Orbit Energy. 

Scope of deals

The last year or so has been an unprecedented time for the energy market, with wholesale prices surging. As a result few energy suppliers are offering ‘deals’ to new customers at the moment. 

However, both EDF and ScottishPower are signing up new customers – although the tariffs on offer look expensive, so most households may be better-off sticking with their current supplier’s standard variable tariff (SVT). 

What’s on offer from EDF and ScottishPower and how much you’ll pay depends on where you live and the size of your home and household. 

Deals highlighted on EDF’s website include:

This deal includes six months of boiler maintenance and offers fixed energy rates until May 2024.

You’ll need to manage your energy account entirely online – including support by Chat, WhatsApp or SMS (no call centre). There’s an early exit fee of £200.

This deal offers EDF’s full-service tariff with call centre support, with rates fixed until 31 May 2024. Bills and updates are sent electronically or by post. There’s an early exit fee of £200.

EDF also offers GoElectric tariffs for electric car owners. 

Prior to the issues in the energy market, EDF Energy offered 13 tariffs including prepayment, fixed and variable deals, and EV charging tariffs. Some tariffs included boiler maintenance plans. 

ScottishPower is also offering a couple of fixed tariffs to new customers.

These include:

This tariff requires you to have a smart meter installed and includes 12 months' boiler insurance at £3.50 a month. It offers 100% green electricity and there is an exit fee of £150 per fuel. 

This tariff offers 100% green electricity and ends on 31 May 2023. There is an exit fee of £150 per fuel. 

Before wholesale energy prices started to rise last year, ScottishPower offered deals including one and two-year fixes, and tariffs bundling boiler maintenance. 

All of the fixed deals currently offered by both EDF Energy and ScottishPower work out at significantly above Ofgem’s energy price cap when quoting for a dual-fuel tariff for a two-bedroom flat in London. 

However, ScottishPower’s deals were more expensive than EDF.

Other products 

EDF offers boiler replacements and new energy efficient models of storage heaters and electric radiators. It also offers heat pumps in partnership with Daikin. 

EDF boiler cover and maintenance plans are offered in partnership with Domestic & General. It also offers electric car leasing deals, home charging points and EV electricity tariffs.

ScottishPower sells EV chargers for your home. Like EDF, it also offers boiler cover in conjunction with Domestic & General, while plumbing, drains and electrical emergency insurance is offered in partnership with AXA.

Green credentials 

EDF’s residential energy tariffs are 100% sourced from its own nuclear power stations. All its fixed home energy customers get zero carbon electricity as standard.

ScottishPower generates electricity through renewable sources and has closed its coal-fired power stations and sold off its gas plants in the past couple of years. 

It claims it was the first big energy company to generate only renewable electricity. 

What incentives do they offer? 

EDF runs incentive campaigns via some cashback websites. These include a refer-a-friend scheme where it will add £50 credit to each account. 

Prior to the surge in wholesale energy prices, ScottishPower was also running a refer-a-friend scheme, where both the customer and their friend received an energy credit of up to £60 each. But the scheme is currently unavailable. 

How good is the customer service? 

In the Which? annual survey of energy customers, EDF came in 10th out of 16 suppliers. 

Which? members gave it an overall customer score of 56%. It only scored two out of five stars for customer service and value for money, and three for bill accuracy and bill clarity.

However, it came 2nd out of 20 companies in a survey by Citizens Advice, with an overall score of 3.85 out of five. It was only beaten by M&S Energy in the survey which compared energy suppliers’ customer service.

EDF scores 4.1 on Trustpilot, with 71% of reviewers citing it as ‘excellent’.

In the Which? survey, ScottishPower came joint 8th out of 18 companies. Which? members gave it an overall customer score of 55%, though it scored poorly for customer service, being awarded just one star out of five. It scored two out of five for how accurate energy bills are, the clarity of its bills, and value for money.

ScottishPower was mid-table in the Citizens Advice survey, coming 13th out of 20, with an overall score of 2.9. 

Its score on Trustpilot has fallen to just 1.1 with 97% of more than 10,000 reviews rating it as ‘bad’.

Conclusion

EDF Energy and ScottishPower are among just a few energy suppliers offering fixed tariffs to new customers at the moment.

However, for a sample address in London, both firms quoted prices well above the energy price cap so it’s not advisable to switch to these deals. ScottishPower was more expensive than EDF.

EDF generally scored higher for customer service than ScottishPower. ScottishPower’s Trustpilot score of just 1.1 is a cause for concern.

All EDF Energy’s fixed home energy customers get zero carbon electricity as standard. While this is clean energy, not everyone considers nuclear power to be as green as, say, wind or solar power, because the raw materials used – such as uranium or plutonium – are not renewable.

Not all ScottishPower’s home tariffs are renewable, but the green tariffs it supplies are based on long-term agreements directly with renewable generators in the UK.

If you like the idea of a large supplier, you might pick EDF Energy for its better customer service and cheaper tariffs, or choose ScottishPower for its green credentials.

Emma Lunn is an award-winning freelance financial journalist who specialises in money and consumer affairs. She has more than 17 years’ experience writing for national newspapers, trade and consumer magazines, and specialist websites. She has a particular interest in writing about property and mortgages, and enjoys explaining complex issues in an easy-to-understand way.