EKOMI STARINSIGHTS: German Energy Sector

eKomi StarInsights German Energy Sector

The overview of German energy sector

With autumn comes the change in electricity prices. It is time to decide whether your provider is the best choice, or you need to switch to a new one. eKomi is glad to present you with a fresh overview of the market based on companies’ ratings.

Today energy providers not only “go green” by looking for more sustainable energy sources but are also taking steps towards becoming more consumer-oriented. More and more companies admit the value of delivering positive customer experience making it their priority to listen to their clients and deliver services that make many lives easier. Customer reviews are becoming more and more important in the energy sector. Electricity consumption has evolved from a classical utility service into tailored energy solutions. It also finds its way into other sectors such as heating (e.g. heat pumps) and mobility (e.g. electric vehicles). This means that the offer is more complex than ever and requires more detailed advisory services, expertise and greater customer-centricity. “A simple price comparison is no longer enough to find the perfect partner. Exceptional service and user-friendliness are the key success factors.”–Polarstern, 2018.

There are 1.174 electricity providers in Germany in 2018 [AC1] and over 12.000 different tariffs. This essentially translates into around 14.088.000 options. The competition is intense. Each household has on average 91 providers to choose from. Are you patient enough to complete a comparison between the tariffs of 91 providers? Would you risk nerves and time to do it? Probably not. For this reason,we often choose the first provider we find or the one that is best rated. Here,feedback from fellow-consumers can ease the decision-making.

Top energy providers in Germany. Stand 25.10.2018

eKomi: Best-Rated Energy companies in Germany

CompanyRatingNumber of Reviews
Polarstern4,9218
Knauber Strom4,880
BEV Energie4,75.344
Rheinpower4,72036
ESWE4,7328
Mainova4,6629
MAINGAU Energie4,6359
Yello4,568
SWK ENERGIE CmbH4,5740
WEMAG4,5176
E.ON AG4,41.506
EnBW4,41.153
lekker Energie GmbH4,4142
ENTREGA Energie GmbH4,3490
Vattenfall GmbH4,22.642
ExtraEnergie GmbH3,735

*last 12 months

 eKomi: Most-Reviewed Energy Companies in Geramany

CompanyRatingNumber of Reviews*
BEV Energie4,75.344
Vattenfall GmbH4,22.642
Rheinpower4,72.036
E.ON AG4,41.506
EnBW4,41.137
SWK ENERGIE CmbH4,5740
Mainova4,6629
ENTREGA Energie GmbH4,3490
MAINGAU Energie4,6359
ESWE4,7328
Polarstern4,9218
WEMAG4,5176
lekker Energie GmbH4,4142
Knauber Strom4,880
Yello4,668
ExtraEnergie GmbH3,935

*last 12 months

Overview

Polarstern occupies first place with an almost perfect 4,9-Star-Rating. Although it no longer has a full 5 stars, we observe consistency and consumer focus, which allow the provider to keep its leading position. Moreover, Polarstern has demonstrated excellent work with negative feedback, replying to 1, 2 and 3 Stars reviews on their certificate page.

The second place belongs to Knauber Strom with an outstanding 4,8-Star-Rating. The number of reviews collected by Knauber Strom is, however, much lower than of BEV Energie and Rheinpower, which follow with 4,7 stars.

We cannot help but admire the pro-activity and exceptional customer service which helped BEV Energie and Rheinpower to collect 5.344 and 2.036 reviews accordingly and achieve such a high rating.

SWK ENERGIE GmbH and E.ON AG have both kept their positions since 2017, losing just 0,1 Stars and going down to 4,5- and 4,4-Star-Rating accordingly. Both companies have collected a considerable number of reviews to ensure credibility of their rating. Nonetheless, we have noticed that SWK ENERGIE GmbH and E.ON AG do not address negative reviews on their certificate pages, thus there is still room for improvement here and a possibility to get a better rating.

Research shows that nearly a fifth of customers return to a provider and even become loyal customers when a business acknowledges and takes care of their bad experience. Consequently, energy providers shouldn’t neglect negative feedback, but instead use it as a source of information and an opportunity to build trust through active engagement with their clients.

We would recommend every business to work with negative reviews and derive value from it. It is especially beneficial for companies with ratings below 4,5 and high review-collection rates. When a company is effectively collecting consumer feedback, low rating shows that there is a room for improvement in customer service.

Some energy providers in the list have collected fewer reviews than others in the past year, among them:

  • Stadtwerke Speyer
  • ExtraEnergie GmbH
  • Yello
  • Knauber Strom

We understand that there might be multiple reasons for low review collection, but we hope that the above-mentioned energy providers will implement a more proactive approach in review collection next year and bring their reputation in the highly competitive energy sector to a new level.

Analysis

Although a full 5-Star-Rating is tempting and desirable, there should always be a delicate balance between ratings and number of reviews. Think about it: would you be more likely to choose a company with a 5-star-rating based on 5 reviews, or a 4.9-Rating based on 500 reviews? It’s common sense really, and part of human nature and group-think. The more people have had a good experience, the more likely you will be to have one as well. It is, certainly, more difficult to keep all 5 stars when a company collects over a 1000 reviews per year, yet still providers such as BEV Energie prove that it is possible to collect plenty of feedback and keep a high rating- superb Customer Experience is the key.

Five shiny yellow stars look great on a website, but the more reviews a business collects, the more authentic this rating looks. In fact, 68% of consumers trust online reviews more, when both good and bad scores are present. A lack of low scores raises the suspicion of censored or faked feedback. Hence, companies shouldn’t be afraid of negative reviews, but instead should embrace them, reply to them, solve cases and learn from them to create loyal customers.

The average Star-Rating is based on a quantity of reviews collected in the last 12 months. Google, Check24, eKomi and many other platforms use this measure to ensure that a provider is continually working on its reputation and that consumers can see its up-to-date rating, instead of a 2-3-year-old one. Imagine, you move to a new city and search for an electricity provider. Which reviews would interest you more: recent or older than one year. We strongly believe that the recent ones.

Other Review Platforms

It becomes challenging for classical price comparison platforms to incorporate different aspects of a tariff especially when particular packages gain in importance (e.g. bundles). Not to mention complex energy solutions which include electrification, heating and charging stations for electric vehicles. Individual offers are more difficult to understand, and harder to build into a standard comparison matrix. Here trust comes into play and undertakes a significant role in consumers’ decision-making.

We wanted to extend our research this year and provide you with a broader picture of online ratings of companies in energy sector. We have collected data from multiple sources such as Check24, Verivox and Trustpilot. Before we have a closer look at the results, we would like to point out that the providers of ecological electricity are not yet well represented on common comparison websites, but you can find a nice overview at Utopia.de.

Comparison of company ratings on different platforms

 eKomi1Check241Verivox2Trustpilot3
Polarstern4,94,9
Knauber Strom4,84,695%
BEV Energie4,74,286%
Rheinpower4,74,691%6,4
ESWE4,74,588%
Mainova4,64,581%3,5
MAINGAU Energie4,64,598%
Yello4,54,495%
SWK ENERGIE CmbH4,54,492%5
WEMAG4,54,4100%
E.ON AG4,44,593%4
EnBW4,44,488%
lekker Energie GmbH4,44,485%
ENTREGA Energie GmbH4,34,288%
Vattenfall GmbH4,24,591%1,9
ExtraEnergie GmbH3,74,235%5,2

Comparison of company ratings on different platforms

CompanyeKomi1Check241Verivox2Trustpilot3
Polarstern21830.868
Knauber Strom8036942
BEV Energie5.3444060721
Rheinpower203619156732557
ESWE3282808100
Mainova62919821189
MAINGAU Energie35930231042
Yello681438128
SWK ENERGIE CmbH74012652913
WEMAG1761833
E.ON AG1.506208727286
EnBW1.153188634
lekker Energie GmbH142459224
ENTREGA Energie GmbH490158532
Vattenfall GmbH2.64224.694136444
ExtraEnergie GmbH353451697
  1. eKomi and Check24 use a scale from 0 to 5 with 5 being the best result
  2. Verivox uses a percentage from 0 to 100% with 100% being the best result
  3. Trustpilot uses a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best result

Based on this initial research, we can draw the following conclusions:

  • BEV Energie, Polarstern and Vattenfall accumulated the highest number of reviews across all websites.
  • Energy providers show the worst results on Trustpilot with either no score or an average score of 4,58 out of 10.
  • Check24 is a platform highly used by energy providers, consequently we observe a high number of reviews.What is interesting is that all companies which also work with eKomi have 4 or more stars on Check24.
  • Most of the providers apart from ExtraEnergie, which has shown only 35%, have a good rating on Verivox. However,half of the companies do not possess a compatible (more than 100) quantity of reviews.

In summary, the best rating-reviews ration can be found on eKomi’s certificate pages and on Check24.

Energy Companies with no reviews up to date

Despite the increasing complexity of the offer and raising importance of customer-centricity, there are still many energy providers which have not yet started collecting customer feedback and are thus behind on building transparency and trust. In this highly competitive market their rivals can use this opportunity to gallop further and win their current customers.

Below you can find a list of companies which have a rating on verivox.de, but do not collect and manage their own seller and product reviews.

  1. EWE
  2. 4hundred
  3. Audax Energie
  4. badenova
  5. Bodensee Energie
  6. BS ENERGY
  7. Citiwerke
  8. DREWAG
  9. E WIE EINFACH
  10. EBLD Schweiz Strom
  11. eins
  12. Elogico
  13. EMB Brandenburg
  14. EMMA
  15. enercity
  16. Energie SaarLorLux
  17. energieGUT
  18. enerSwitch
  19. enno energie
  20. ENPURE
  21. ENSO
  22. enviaM
  23. eprimo
  24. Erdgas Schwaben
  25. Erdgas Südwest
  26. EV Filstral
  27. FairEnergie
  28. fünfwerke
  29. Fuxx
  30. GASPAR
  31. GGEW
  32. goldgas
  33. Greenline
  34. Greenpeace Energy
  35. Grüner Funke
  36. Hamburg Energie
  37. idealenergie
  38. immergrün! Energie
  39. innogy
  40. Jura Strom
  41. Kiss me green
  42. Leu Energie
  43. LEW
  44. LogoEnergie
  45. LUDVIKK
  46. MONTANA
  47. NaturEnergiePlus
  48. N-ERGIE
  49. nbv
  50. ORIGINAL ENERGIE
  51. ovag Energie
  52. priostrom
  53. PROKON
  54. Regionale EnergieW
  55. Regionalw Bodensee
  56. RevierKraft
  57. schwarzwald energie
  58. SE StadtwerkeVerbund
  59. Stadtwerk am See
  60. Stadtwerke Bochum
  61. Stadtwerke Duisburg
  62. Stadtwerke Fellbach
  63. Stadtwerke Flensburg
  64. Stadtwerke Schwerin
  65. Stadtwerke Wedel
  66. STIEBEL ELTRON
  67. STROGON
  68. Strom.Manufaktur
  69. Süwag
  70. Sw Augsburg
  71. Sw Düsseldorf AG
  72. Sw Elmshorn
  73. Sw Hamm
  74. Sw Memmingen
  75. Sw Pulheim
  76. SW Rostock
  77. Sw Springe
  78. Sw Tübingen
  79. Sw Wismar
  80. SWM
  81. SWU Energie
  82. Systemstrom
  83. team energie
  84. VereinigteStadtwerke
  85. Wunderwerk

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