ESB merges with So Energy: Review & Prices 2022

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The Irish company ESB has acquired the British energy supplier So Energy. The merger of So Energy and ESB Energy, the group’s UK retail brand, creates a company serving more than 300,000 customers. The company will continue to operate under the So Energy name, with ESB acquiring a 75% share in So Energy.
Last update: August 2022


ESB Energy ESB Logo
Founded 1927
Closed 2021
Client Email help@service.esbenergy.co.uk
Client Number 0345 60 70 372
Log in Log into your ESB Energy account here
Number of clients 1.3 million
Postal Address ESB Energy Ltd, Peter House, Oxford St, Manchester M1 5AN


Next steps for ESB Energy customers

Apart from the name that represents the company, nothing will change for the time being. So Energy has partnered with ESB, a stable company with long-term plans in the UK. There is no risk for So Energy and therefore all balances are safe.

Who is So Energy?

So Energy was a relatively small energy company. The main focus is on customer service and competitive tariffs. Founded in 2015, the company had more than 200,000 customers before the merger. So Energy only sells electricity tariffs that are 100% renewable and gives its customers the opportunity to have a say in where their electricity comes from.

I’m an ESB customer: Will my energy supply be interrupted?

ESB’s customer base can be relieved: The energy supply will not be interrupted. From 1 December 2021, customers automatically switched from ESB Energy to So Energy. You will continue to be supplied by ESB Energy until you receive a notification letter confirming your switch.

Will my bills go up with my new supplier?

A price increase is not expected for the time being. So Energy says in a statement on the merger: “You won’t notice any changes and don’t need to worry. Your supply will remain the same, your bills will continue to come from us and your prices will not change as a result of the merger.”

So Energy tariffs

Below you can find the cost information associated with these tariffs.


Plan name Tariff type Is the tariff live? Average electricity annual cost (£/year) Average gas annual cost (£/year) Average total annual cost (£/year) Exit fees (£/fuel) Green tariff?**
/ 12 Month Fixed Rate £ 992.95* £ 1,204.17* £ $UK_NRJ_So_DF_F12_annualc$* £ 10.00 ✖️

* Prices differ on a postcode basis, this table therefore displays national averages. Live tariffs are updated weekly to keep up with current price volatility.
* Based on the official TDCV (Typical Domestic Consumption Values): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
** $Green_tariff_def_So$
Prices incl. VAT.


So Fixed Rate Tariffs

So has one fixed rate tariff plan. The details of which you can see below.

The pricing on this tariff can be seen here:


Plan name Tariff type Type of fuel Is the tariff live? Standing charge (p/day) Unit rate cost (p/kWh) Average total annual cost (£/year) Exit cost (£/fuel) Green tariff?**
/ 12 Month Fixed Rate Electricity 27.39 p* 30.79 p* £ 992.95* £ 10.00 ✖️
/ 12 Month Fixed Rate Gas 26.11 p* 9.24 p* £ 1,204.17* £ 10.00 ✖️

* Prices differ on a postcode basis, this table therefore displays national averages. Live tariffs are updated weekly to keep up with current price volatility.
* Based on the official TDCV (Typical Domestic Consumption Values): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
** $Green_tariff_def_So$
Prices incl. VAT.


So Energy Economy 7 Tariffs

So Energy currently offers 1 Economy 7 plans for those who have an economy 7 meter. The only available plan is a 12 months fixed rate plan.

These tariffs have two separate unit rates, one for peak hours of consumption and another for off-peak.

Pricing on these tariffs can be seen here:


Plan name Tariff type Type of fuel Is the tariff live? Standing charge (p/day) Day Rate (p/kWh)* Night Rate (p/kWh)p* Average total annual cost (£/year) Exit cost (£/fuel) Green tariff?**
/ 12 Month Fixed Rate Economy 7 27.47 p* 36.09 p* 28.32 p* £ 10.00* £ 10.00 ✖️

* Prices differ on a postcode basis, this table therefore displays national averages. Live tariffs are updated weekly to keep up with current price volatility.
* Based on the official TDCV (Typical Domestic Consumption Values): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
* Assuming the average Economy 7 tariff user consumes around 58% of his energy on peak and 42% off peak.
** $Green_tariff_def_So$


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Who was ESB Energy and how did they compare to the competition?

ESB Energy was Ireland’s state energy supplier, and had generated electricity in Ireland for over 90 years. And while the name might appear fairly new to the UK energy market, they had actually had a power generating presence in Britain for 26 years, helping to grow the UK’s energy industry.

Who are ESB Energy?

ESB Energy had the same USPs as many of the UK’s smaller green suppliers, promising renewable energy at great rates. Yet, many UK energy consumers who might be wary of smaller suppliers could consider ESB’s pedigree very reassuring. After all, many smaller suppliers in the UK offer the same green energy fuel mix and low prices. But their very affordability could make them prone to cash-flow crises that cause them to fail despite making a great impression with customers.

In this regard, ESB could have be considered the best of both worlds.

They had many of the selling points that we expect from a smaller supplier with the longevity and pedigree that we might expect from one of the “Big 6” suppliers. One of which (EDF Energy) was also state-owned, with over 80% of the company belonging to the French government.

How much did ESB Energy cost?

Compared to national averages ESB Energy was not considered to be on the cheaper side of average, however, this could depend on a number of factors such as your energy consumption or location.

ESB Energy tariffs average annual total cost compared

ESB Energy offered four tariff plans, one basic standard variable tariff plan as well as three fixed rate tariff plans. The rates themselves were competitively priced but were slightly above the national average in terms of cost.

Below you can see the average annual total cost of each of these tariff options:


Plan Tariff type Average electricity annual cost (£/year) Average gas annual cost (£/year) Average total annual cost (£/year)
ESB Energy Electricity and Gas Standard Variable Rate £ 648.937* £ 489.264* £ 1138.201*
Brighter Future 12 v4 12 Month Fixed Rate £ 907.094* £ 764.650* £ 1671.744*
Brighter Future 24 v18 24 Month Fixed Rate £914.652* £984.567* £1899.219*
Brighter Future 36 v19 36 Month Fixed Rate £ 1078.274* £ 1141.841* £ 2220.115*

* Prices differ on a postcode basis, this table therefore displays national averages. Live tariffs are updated weekly to keep up with current price volatility.
* Based on the official TDCV (Typical Domestic Consumption Values): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
Prices incl. VAT.
Exit fees are £0.


ESG Energy Variable Rate Tariff Pricing

Here we can take a closer look at the pricing of ESG Energy’s standard variable rate tariff:


Plan Tariff type Type of fuel Standing charge (p/day) Unit rate cost (p/kWh) Average total annual cost (£/year) Exit cost (£/fuel)
ESB Energy Electricity & Gas Standard Variable Rate Electricity 27.290 p* 18.940 p* £ 648.937** £ 0.000
ESB Energy Electricity & Gas Standard Variable Rate Gas 26.520 p* 3.270 p* £ 489.264** £ 0.000

* Prices differ on a postcode basis, this table therefore displays national averages. Live tariffs are updated weekly to keep up with current price volatility.
** Based on the official TDCV (Typical Domestic Consumption Values): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
Prices incl. VAT.
Exit fees are £0.


ESG Energy Fixed Rate Tariffs Pricing

Here we will display the costs associated with each of the ESG Energy fixed rate tariffs:


Plan Tariff type Type of fuel Standing charge (p/day) Unit rate cost (p/kWh) Average total annual cost (£/year) Exit cost (£/fuel)
Brighter Future 12 v4 12 Month Fixed Rate Electricity 35.960 p* 26.750 p* £ 907.094** £ 0.000
Brighter Future 24 v4 24 Month Fixed Rate Electricity 27.390 p* 28.090 p* £ 914.652** £ 60.000
Brighter Future 36 v4 36 Month Fixed Rate Electricity 53.370 p* 30.460 p* £ 1078.274** £ 60.000
Brighter Future 12 v4 12 Month Fixed Rate Gas 62.820 p* 4.460 p* £ 764.650** £ 0.000
Brighter Future 24 v4 24 Month Fixed Rate Gas 26.110 p* 7.410 p* £ 984.567** £ 60.000
Brighter Future 36 v4 36 Month Fixed Rate Gas 93.810 p* 6.660 p* £ 1141.841** £ 60.000

* Prices differ on a postcode basis, this table therefore displays national averages. Live tariffs are updated weekly to keep up with current price volatility.
** Based on the official TDCV (Typical Domestic Consumption Values): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
Prices incl. VAT.
Exit fees are £0.


ESG Energy Economy 7 Tariffs Pricing

ESG Energy also offered special electricity tariff prices for homes that use E7 meters. The costs associated with these tariff packages can be seen here:


Plan Tariff Type Average Electricity Standing Charge (p/day)* Day Rate (p/kWh)* Night Rate (p/kWh)p* Average total annual cost (£/year)** Exit Fee (£)
ESB Energy Electricity E7 Standard Variable Rate 27.370 p* 20.230 p* 14.400 p* £ 615.630** £ 0.000
Brighter Future 12 v4 12 Month Fixed Rate 27.460 p* 20.150 p* 14.360 p* £ 614.125** £ 0.000
Brighter Future 24 v4 24 Month Fixed Rate 27.480 p* 31.450 p* 24.330 p* £ 925.699** £ 60.000
Brighter Future 36 v4 36 Month Fixed Rate 34.500 p* 34.500 p* 23.060 p* £ 987.172** £ 60.000

* Prices differ on a postcode basis, this table therefore displays national averages. Live tariffs are updated weekly to keep up with current price volatility.
** Based on the official TDCV (Typical Domestic Consumption Values): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
Prices incl. VAT.
Exit fees are £0.


However, according to Ofgem Guidelines, there is a ‘switching window’, of 49 calendar days before your fixed-term contract comes to an end. So you may switch within this period without incurring an exit fee. However, competition is so fierce that some suppliers may offer to pay your early exit fee for you if you would like to switch.

What was the ESB Energy fuel mix?

More and more UK consumers are coming to demand renewability from their energy suppliers so that they can enjoy cheaper energy that isn’t generated by burning fossil fuels.

All of the tariffs from ESB offered 100% renewable electricity. The Fuel Mix on their website stated that these tariffs used 100% renewable electricity from solar and wind farming, although the exact percentages were not disclosed. This means that their electricity generation was completely carbon neutral.

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Unfortunately, there was no information on how much (if any) of their gas came from renewable sources (such as animal or vegetation waste). However, ESB were keen to state that they had a clear focus on innovation and renewability.

It’s also worth noting that the company was invested in 18 wind farms and nine hydroelectric stations across Britain and Ireland.

The page also included energy fuel mix data for tariffs that have now been discontinued (as of 30th August 2019). These are as follows:


Energy Source: % of total
Coal 6%
Natural Gas 67%
Nuclear 8%
Renewables 15%
Other Fuels 5%
Total 100%


This resulted in 349 g of carbon per kWh, with 0.006 g of high-level radioactive waste generated per kWh.

Did ESB Energy use smart meters? And if so, what kind?

Smart meters can be a great way for energy consumers to better keep track of their energy use and ensure fair and accurate bills with no need to report meter readings on a monthly basis. They work by sending usage data to energy suppliers in real time, while also providing greater visibility of energy use for consumers.

However, not all smart meters are created equal. The first generation of “SMETS 1” smart meters use a 3g network to communicate with suppliers. And this can cause them to “go dumb” and stop reporting usage data if the user changes suppliers.

However, ESB Energy not only supplied smart meters, but they exclusively supplied second-generation “SMETS 2” smart meters. These use what is called a DCC network, meaning that even if you change energy suppliers in the future, your smart meter will remain fully functional.

ESB Energy customer reviews

ESB Energy offered reasonable prices, a flexible range of tariffs and 100% renewable electricity. But many energy consumers wanted to know what their customers say about a supplier before deciding to commit. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what ESB Energy’s customers said about them on Trustpilot.

At the time of writing, ESB Energy has 2,207 reviews with a very respectable average star rating of 4.5/5.

Of these 2,207 customer reviews:

  • 1,721 (78%) were “Excellent”
  • 259 (12%) were “Great”
  • 41 (2%) were “Average”
  • 30 (1%) were “Poor”
  • 156 (7%) were “Bad”

Positive reviews praised ease of switching, excellent customer service, friendly and knowledgeable staff and great value for money. One happy reviewer stated that a member of the team has “helped switch me from British Gas to ESB and is saving me a bomb in the long run”. Many of the positive reviews mentioned members of the customer service team by name. Something that consumers tend to do when they have experienced customer service that goes above and beyond.

The comparatively few negative reviews cite billing errors and miscommunications with customer service staff. For instance, one member of the team informed a reviewer that they would not incur an early exit fee by switching to ESB. However, the reviewer later found that they were subject to an exit fee and was (understandably) not impressed.

However, ESB have responded with sincerity to negative reviews on Trustpilot and attempted to seek resolution. ESB has responded to 98% of negative reviews, usually within 24 hours.

Think So Energy may be the supplier for you? Let us help you switch!

If what you’ve read leads you to believe that So Energy may be the supplier for you, you can trust us to manage your switch and ensure that you’re getting the very best value for money, and optimal savings based on your location and usage.

We can also manage every stage of your switch from end-to-end so you can enjoy greener, cheaper energy hassle-free.

Sound good?

Get touch with us today on 0330 818 6223. We’re available from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm.

Read more about different UK energy suppliers here:

Call us to switch your energy supplier for free!

0330 818 6223

Available Monday to Friday from 8.30 am until 5.30 pm

FAQ

What does ESB stand for?

ESB stood for the Electricity Supply Board. It was the state provider for energy in the Republic of Ireland, and had supplied energy to the Irish republic for 90 years.

How do I contact ESB Energy?

There were several ways you could contact ESB. You could call them between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday on 0345 60 70 372. You could also
click here to request a callback. Alternatively, you can email help@service.esbenergy.co.uk.

Is ESB a green energy supplier?

Yes. At present, ESB Energy offered 100% renewable electricity from wind and solar power. It is unclear, however, how much (if any) of their natural gas came from renewable or carbon-offset sources.

Do ESB Energy use smart meters?

Yes. And better yet, they exclusively used the second generation (SMETS 2) smart meters. These are superior to their predecessors as the network they use ensures that they remain fully functional even if you switch energy suppliers at a later date.

Updated on 10 Aug, 2022

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If S.O. Energy have joined up with ESB, what is the point of switching to ESB?