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Trickiest energy companies to leave

A record 5.5 million people switched electricity supplier last year, but not every switch goes smoothly. We’ve dug deep into our research of more than 8,000 energy customers, so we reveal the companies it’s hardest – and easiest – to leave. Co-operative Energy, First Utility, GB Energy and Ovo Energy are the trickiest of 11 big energy firms to leave*.

At least 6% of customers switching away from them said they found it difficult or very difficult. Read on to find out which is the trickiest transfer overall and what the most common problems were. Plus, check out our expert tips to make sure your switch is hassle free.

If you’re planning to switch, compare gas and electricity prices[1] with Which? Switch to make sure you get a good deal.

Most difficult energy companies to leave

Overall, the trickiest transfer was from EDF Energy[2] to Npower[3]. A fifth of customers who made this switch rated it difficult or very difficult.

British Gas[4] or Eon[5] to Npower were the next trickiest switches (8% and 9% found it difficult to move between these firms, respectively). We can work this out because our survey asks which company respondents switched away from and the company they moved to. We can’t tell which company caused the problems, so keep reading to find out how you can help make sure your own switch goes smoothly.

Our survey also reveals the best and worst energy companies, according to their customers. This year, we have ratings for 31 gas and electricity companies in Great Britain and all six Northern Ireland energy firms[6]. You can use our results to help you pick the right energy firm for you – see the best and worst energy firms[7].

Easiest energy firms to leave

The big companies customers found easiest to leave were Sainsbury’s Energy[8] and SSE[9] – 92% or more of those who left them found it easy or very easy.

Switching from British Gas to First Utility[10] was rated the easiest switch overall, with 97% saying it was easy or very easy.

Why is switching energy firm difficult?

The switch being slow is the most common reason people give to explain why they said they found the process difficult.

Financial factors, including trouble getting a refund from the previous supplier and difficulty paying the previous supplier, are also common explanations. Don’t let this put you off switching, though. Depending on which energy firm you’re with, you could save more than GBP300 a year by switching your supplier.

How to switch energy supplier hassle-free

Follow our tips to help your switch go as smoothly as possible:

  • Use your actual energy use (in kWh) to get the most accurate quote when you compare energy prices.

    You can find this on your annual statement or latest bill.

  • Pick a company signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee for a speedier switch – these companies promise to complete your move within 21 days. Find out which firms are signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee[11].
  • Submit meter readings to your old and new energy suppliers to keep your bills accurate.
  • If you’re in debt, arrange with your old supplier how you will pay (if you pay by direct debit it may be able to take the amount owing automatically).

For more tips, check our advice on how to switch energy supplier[12].

Which? energy companies research

We carried out an online survey of 8,397 GB energy customers in September 2017. *Only companies with at least 30 respondents who had switched away from them are included in this analysis.

Sample sizes: British Gas (616), Co-operative Energy (48), Eon (543), EDF Energy (300), First Utility (178), GB Energy Supply (31), Npower (347), Ovo Energy (107), Sainsbury’s Energy (130), Scottish Power (295) and SSE (288).


  1. ^ compare gas and electricity prices (
  2. ^ EDF Energy (
  3. ^ Npower (
  4. ^ British Gas (
  5. ^ Eon (
  6. ^ Northern Ireland energy firms (
  7. ^ best and worst energy firms (
  8. ^ Sainsbury’s Energy (
  9. ^ SSE (
  10. ^ First Utility (
  11. ^ Energy Switch Guarantee (
  12. ^ how to switch energy supplier (

Best cheap American fridge freezer we’ve reviewed

A quality American fridge freezer will offer tons of storage, have handy features as standard and look great in your kitchen – but could also end up costing you a small fortune. One of the priciest models we’ve reviewed costs nearly GBP3,000. Fortunately, our tests have shown that you don’t always need to pay over the odds to bag yourself an impressive appliance.

We’ve found Best Buy American fridge freezers costing less than GBP700. The cheapest of those that topped our tests is just GBP500. Go straight to all our fridge freezer Best Buys[1].

American fridge freezer pros and cons

When you’re spending hundreds or even thousands of pounds on an American fridge freezer, excellent cooling and freezing power, ease of use and plenty of shelving should be a given.

It should also stay at a stable temperature and not be a nightmare to clean. But our tests have revealed that not all models impress. One American fridge freezer scored just 44% and costs around GBP1,000.

We found that it had a poor freezer, a fridge where the temperature shot up in certain conditions and it was extremely awkward to clean.

Three things to check before you buy an American fridge freezer

Energy use

If you don’t want to spend lots of extra pennies on your energy bill, then it’s wise to check out the efficiency of each model. American fridge freezers usually cost more to run than conventional models, partly because of their size. We measure the energy usage of each model we test.

To find the most efficient, look for four or five stars in our fridge freezer reviews[2]. The good news is that an efficient American fridge freezer needn’t cost you the earth either. A good number of our Best Buy American fridge freezers have been awarded our Energy Saver logo.


More storage means more bulk.

These fridge freezers are large, and you will want to make sure you have enough space in your kitchen to cater. If you’re planning to integrate the appliance into your kitchen units, you will also need to take into consideration any extra space that might be needed for air to circulate.


One of the biggest draws for people buying an American fridge freezer is the perceived vast amount of usable storage. While this is typically correct for the fridge section, the freezer side is slimmer and normally has fewer drawers than a conventional model.

So, if you’re more likely to bulk-buy frozen meals than a week’s worth of fresh food, it might be more practical to opt for a standalone freezer instead. Get more advice on buying an American fridge freezer.[3]

What do you get if you pay more?

From automatic ice makers to transparent doors, there are plenty of extras you can get if you’re happy to spend more on your fridge freezer.

The LG Instaview[4] (pictured above) has a large rectangle of black glass on the fridge door that becomes clear when you knock on it twice with your knuckle and, in doing so, turns on the inside light. This will keep warm air from entering, saving on energy usage.

It sounds great, but will set you back GBP1,699. Individual temperature-controlled drawers are handy for ensuring certain foods are kept as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Pay GBP1,484 for the Samsung RFG23UEBP[5] and this feature is all yours.

The Bosch KAI90VI20G[6], meanwhile offers a child lock, sleek stainless-steel finish and a fast-freeze setting that provides a burst of quick chilling power, all for a cool GBP1,419.

Still not found the one for you?

Here’s our round-up of the top five American fridge freezers[7] for 2018.


  1. ^ fridge freezer Best Buys (
  2. ^ fridge freezer reviews (
  3. ^ buying an American fridge freezer. (
  4. ^ LG Instaview (
  5. ^ Samsung RFG23UEBP (
  6. ^ Bosch KAI90VI20G (
  7. ^ top five American fridge freezers (

Avoid spending thousands on damp-proofing

Serious damp issues can cost as much as GBP16,000 to rectify. But, thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to identify and fix the problems yourself, before resorting to professional help. From droplets of condensation on your window panes to crumbling skirting boards, peeling wallpaper and unsightly patches, damp problems have many different symptoms.

The video below reveals the things you should know about damp – and the steps you can take to prevent or fix it yourself. [embedded content] Can’t see the video? Head to Which?[1] to view this page in full.

Keep reading for a more in-depth look at the types of damp that might be plaguing your home. For our detailed rundown of the potential problems and solutions, visit our guide to dealing with damp[2].

Types of damp and how to treat them

There are three main types of damp: condensation, rising damp and penetrating damp. But damp isn’t always clear cut – you may have two types that are intermingling, or different types in different areas.

Condensation problems

A very common form of damp, condensation occurs when warm, moist air inside your home comes into contact with colder surfaces, often windows and exterior walls, and releases water in the form of droplets.

If the moisture isn’t removed, mould can quickly grow. Problems with condensation tend to occur when a building has a high moisture content, often due to a lack of adequate ventilation. There are five simple, cheap condensation solutions:

  • Wipe away condensation as often as you can to keep surfaces dry.

    A cloth will do the job, but you can also buy specialist window vacs. We’ve tried out the Karcher Window Vac WV 5 Plus[3].

  • Control humidity levels. Cooking, showering and drying laundry all release lots of moisture. Install extractor fans in these rooms, and keep the doors closed while the fans are on to help them work more efficiently.
  • Ventilate your home. If possible, add air vents, including air bricks, window vents, roof ventilation tiles and ventilated sofits.

    Failing that, open the windows as often as you can.

  • Keep your heating on at a constant but slightly lower temperature. Whacking your heating up when the house is freezing can contribute to damp problems.
  • Consider buying a dehumidifier – they’re a cheap way to draw moisture out of the air. Visit our dehumidifier reviews[4] to find one that does the job quickly and quietly.

For more advice, read our dedicated page on how to stop condensation[5].

Penetrating damp problems

Penetrating damp appears where walls and joinery are subject to concentrated, prolonged wetting. Externally, this can come from poorly maintained rainwater fittings, leaks in your roof, or hairline fractures in pointing or render.

Internally, it might be caused by overflowing baths, sinks or shower trays, cracked or damaged tiles or burst pipes. The result is unsightly patches of damp on walls and ceilings, as well as peeling wallpaper and paint. These patches often darken when it rains, and they usually spread horizontally instead of vertically.

While you may find that your home needs extensive work, some basic maintenance can go a long way to curing or managing a damp problem:

  • Clear overflowing gutters. Overloaded gutters can force water to spill down your walls.
  • Locate and mend leaking pipes. Look for leaks from which water is escaping on both internal and external pipes, which can rust through at the back.
  • Fix roof problems, wall cracks and window damage. These can all let excess moisture into your home.
  • Replace old bricks that have become porous, or paint with an exterior silicone water-repellent paint or limewash.
  • Clear wall cavities. If walls are consistently getting damp, it may be that debris lodged into the wall cavity is providing a direct route through to the inner walls.

For more details, head to our dedicated page on how to get rid of penetrating damp[6].

Rising damp problems

Rising damp is quite rare, but it’s one of the hardest types of damp to fix. It tends to be caused by moisture below the ground that creeps up to your floors and can rise up your walls. It can cause crumbling skirting boards, tide marks on walls and mineral deposits that leave a white, powdery substance on walls and floors.

The most important thing is to make sure your building can breathe. While it may be tempting to completely waterproof your floor to seal it off, this can exacerbate a damp problem as, with nowhere to go, the moisture will soak up the walls instead. To treat rising damp, you may have to call in the professionals.

But there are some things you can check and do yourself first:

  • Check your damp-proof course. It should be at least 15cm above ground level. If it’s not, see if you can lower the floor level outside yourself.
  • Make sure your walls can breathe. Hard cement render or pointing will trap moisture from the ground in your walls, while breathable lime-based mortar will allow them to dry out naturally.
  • Paint over small damp patches underneath the floor covering with two coats of bitumen latex waterproof emulsion, which you can buy from many DIY stores.

Visit our dedicated page on how to deal with rising damp[7] for more. Paying for damp proofing

Damp can be a complex issue, and it may be that your home is being affected by more than one type. Plus, trying to solve one problem can sometimes create another. If the solutions above don’t seem to help, it may be time to call in a professional.

We’d recommend asking three companies to assess the problem, make suggestions for repair work and give you a quote, as professional solutions and costs can vary.

Meeting a few tradesmen should help you choose what the best course of action is for your home. You can visit Which? Trusted Traders[8] to find a recommended damp specialist in your area who has been through our rigorous checks.

To help you ascertain whether a quote you’ve been given for a job is roughly right or way off, we’ve worked with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which publishes average costs for building work and repairs. We’ve looked at costs for everything from clearing blocked wall cavities and lowering the floor below the damp-proof course, to inserting a new damp-proof barrier and coating walls and ceilings in a damp-proof material. Visit our page on damp costs[9] to find out how much you should expect to pay for these treatments.


  1. ^ Head to Which? (
  2. ^ dealing with damp (
  3. ^ Karcher Window Vac WV 5 Plus (
  4. ^ dehumidifier reviews (
  5. ^ how to stop condensation (
  6. ^ how to get rid of penetrating damp (
  7. ^ how to deal with rising damp (
  8. ^ Which?

    Trusted Traders (

  9. ^ damp costs (

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