Energy Suppliers: Our UK Guarantee

As you may have heard on the news, the UK energy market is currently under an immense amount of stress as a result of a global gas shortage, driving up costs and putting several energy suppliers out of business. To learn more about this and stay updated you can read our page on the UK energy crisis or you can reach out directly to our energy experts at 0330 818 6225.

In the UK, we have a wealth of energy suppliers. At Papernest, we’re passionate about helping you find the perfect energy supplier and plan for your needs. In this post, we’ll look closely at the different kinds of energy suppliers so that you can decide which is the best fit for your needs. We’ll also try and identify the best energy suppliers for you, the cheapest energy supplier on the market, what makes green energy suppliers different and which ones are the greenest, and how to compare different energy suppliers by scrutinising customer reviews.

Last update: October 2021

You probably don’t want to hear this, but statistically speaking, it’s likely that you’re overpaying for your energy. Believe it or not, the average household could save around £300 per year on its energy bills every year. All you have to do is keep switching suppliers regularly and this article will help decide which one to switch to.

As you may have heard on the news, the UK energy market is currently under an immense amount of stress as a result of a global gas shortage driving up costs and putting several energy suppliers out of business. To learn more about this and stay updated on a daily basis you can read our page on the UK energy crisis.

List of active energy suppliers


The UK energy market is both very fluid and also very competitive, which means is that it is constantly changing and seeking to provide the best possible services to energy consumers in the UK. There are constantly new competitors emerging that challenge existing energy suppliers and drive suppliers that fail to innovate out of business.

At the moment, there are a total of 35 active energy suppliers within the UK and we’ve listed them here:


Supplier Logo Supplier Name Trustpilot Rating Description
British Gas logo British Gas 3.8/5 with 65,100 customer reviews The UK’s biggest energy company, British Gas was the state energy supplier until the industry was privatised in 1990.
edf logo EDF 4.2/5 with 21,905 customer reviews Majority-owned by the French government, EDF mostly uses nuclear power, although it also has some renewables.
eon logo E.ON & E.ON Next 3.4/5 with 30,849 customer reviews German company E.On (formerly Powergen), is a good all-rounder that currently supplies energy to over 5 million UK homes. E.On Next is their new subsidiary that focuses on delivery clean, renewable energy to customers.
Scottish Power logo Scottish Power 3.6/5 with 31,629 customer reviews Scottish Power provides energy to roughly 1 in 10 UK homes and generates its own clean wind energy.
ovo energy logo OVO Energy 4.3/5 with 49,287 customer reviews Upon acquiring SSE in 2020, OVO became one of the biggest suppliers in the UK. It also owns Boost Energy and Spark Energy.
logo octopus Octopus Energy 4.8/5 with 66,510 customer reviews Octopus Energy exploded onto the scene in 2015 and have since won multiple “supplier of the year” awards, with 100% renewable energy, carbon-offset gas, great value and excellent customer service.
bulb logo Bulb 4.5/5 with 74,318 customer reviews Bulb has only one variable rate tariff that’s one of the best value on the market, as well as 100% renewable electricity and carbon-neutral gas.
utility warehouse logo Utility Warehouse 3.8/5 with 17,084 customer reviews Part energy company, part MLM company Utility Warehouse offers energy, phone, TV and broadband packages.
shell energy logo Shell Energy 4.0/5 with 52,576 customer reviews Shell may be known as an oil giant, but they offer surprisingly renewable (and affordable) energy after buying First Utility in 2019.
utilita logo Utilita 4.3/5 with 39,126 customer reviews Another company dedicated to providing affordable tariffs for customers with Pay As You Go meters.
avro energy logo Avro Energy 4.4/5 with 67,183 customer reviews They’ve only been around for 5 years, but Avro Energy have made a big impression on customers with excellent value for money and tariffs to suit all needs.
so energy logo So Energy 4.3/5 with 6,557 customer reviews In 5 short years, So Energy has made a huge impression on customers, with impeccable customer service and affordable renewable tariffs.
outfox energy logo Outfox The Market 4.5/5 with 30,121 customer reviews As the name suggests, Outfox the market constantly reviews wholesale energy prices and adjusts their prices accordingly to offer the best value for money.
together energy logo Together Energy 3.0/5 with 11,485 customer reviews Scotland’s fastest-growing supplier currently has some of the cheapest fixed-rate energy deals in the UK.
ecotricity logo Ecotricity 3.9/5 with 2,947 customer reviews Arguably the UK’s greenest supplier, and its only vegan energy supplier, Ecotricity provides 100% renewable electricity and biomethane as well as supporting anti-fracking campaigns.
COOP Energy 4.7/5 with 4,281 customer reviews COOP Energy among the UK’s most environmentally conscious energy suppliers. As the result of a new partnership with Octopus Energy, all the energy that COOP Energy customers receive is actually supplied by Octopus Energy. However, COOP Energy is still responsible for bringing in and managing their own customers.
boost energy logo Boost Energy 4.2/5 with 13,086 customer reviews Part of the OVO Energy Group, Boost Energy specialises in affordable tariffs for customers who have prepayment meters.
esb energy logo ESB Energy 4.4/5 with 3,917 customer reviews Ireland’s state energy supplier has made its way to the UK, offering affordable renewable energy.
good energy logo Good Energy 4.4/5 with 5,128 customer reviews The UK’s first renewable supplier, Good Energy have been delivering clean energy to UK households since 1999.
click energy logo Click Energy 1.8/5 with 17 customer reviews “Northern Ireland’s top energy supplier”, Click Energy combines affordable green energy with support in conserving energy.
pure planet logo Pure Planet 4.5/5 with 20,914 customer reviews A “digital only” supplier, Pure Planet offers renewable energy without call centres, passing the savings onto the customer.
orbit energy logo Orbit Energy 3.4/5 with 6,484 customer reviews A partner of Shell Energy, Orbit offers 100% renewable tariffs as well as the ability to “track the cap” and stay below the Ofgem energy price cap.
Enstroga Logo Enstroga 2.9/5 with 1,185 customer reviews An increasingly familiar name across Europe, Enstroga has a simple range of affordable tariffs.
e energy logo E Energy 4.2/5 with 679 customer reviews A prepayment meter specialist, E Energy offers hassle-free customer service and competitive prices.
zog energy logo Zog Energy 4.7/5 with 249 customer reviews A gas-only supplier with a commendable record for customer service.
zebra power logo Zebra Power 4.5/5 with 320 customer reviews Determined to eliminate “grey areas” in the energy sector, Zebra Power offer a customer-focused approach that’s proven a big hit with energy consumers.
bristol-energy-logo Bristol Energy 3.0/5 with 2,521 customer reviews 100% municipally owned, Bristol Energy has a strong focus on renewability, ethics and supporting local communities.
Entice Energy 4.1/5 with 135 customer reviews Driven by the desire to make energy tariffs more straightforward and transparent, Entice Energy offers a few simple tariff options that has been satisfying their customers since 2015.
igloo energy logo Igloo Energy 3.9/5 with 2,118 customer reviews Although they’ve only been in the market since 2017, Igloo Energy has proven popular with customers, offering interest paid on the credit that customers build.
m&s energy logo M & S Energy 4.9/5 with 3,467 customer reviews The beloved supermarket chain has paired with Octopus Energy to deliver renewable energy.
green energy logo Green Energy UK 4.4/5 with 986 customer reviews Green Energy UK offers 100% renewable electricity as well as renewable biomethane gas. Not the cheapest supplier, but outstanding green credentials!


Energy Suppliers That Have Gone Bust or Ceased Trading

As we mentioned, the energy market in the UK is constantly shifting, which is nice because it can drive innovation, but also, unfortunately, leads to a lot of energy suppliers going bust. As a result, we’ve put together this shortlist of notable energy suppliers that have gone bust in the last 2 years as well as which supplier their customers were shifted to.

You can find this list below:


Supplier That Went Bust When They Ceased Trading Supplier Their Customers Were Transferred To
Utility Point September 2021 EDF
Peoples Energy September 2021 British Gas
MoneyPlus Energy September 2021 British Gas
PFP Energy September 2021 British Gas
HUB Energy August 2021 E.ON Next
Nabuh Energy April 2021 British Gas
Green Network Energy January 2021 EDF
Simplicity January 2021 British Gas
Lumo Energy 2020 OVO Energy
Yorkshire Energy December 2020 Scottish Power
Tonik Energy October 2020 Scottish Power
GnERGY September 2020 Bulb
EBICO (Robin Hood Energy) September 2020 British Gas
Avid Energy July 2020 Nabuh Energy
Better Energy March 2020 PFP Energy
Breeze Energy March 2020 British Gas
SSE January 2020 OVO Energy
NPOWER September 2019 E.ON


Who are the best energy suppliers in the UK?


That’s a tricky question to answer. It all depends on your personal priorities, and what you value most in an energy supplier. Every home has different energy needs and the tariff plan that you select should reflect that, after all, a university student doesn’t consume energy the same way a family of five would.

As a result, we’ve compiled some lists of the most commonly asked questions regarding active energy suppliers in the UK. Questions such as, who the “Big Six” are, what are some good “smaller” suppliers, or even which suppliers are the greenest, are all answered below.

What are the cheapest energy suppliers?

Despite what you may think, there really is no one singular cheapest energy supplier because every home and person consume energy differently. There are a number of factors such as where in the UK you’re located, what type of meter your house has, how often you’re using energy, or even in some cases what time of the day you’re using energy. However, knowing that you won’t be scared to see your energy bill at the end of the month is a peace of mind that you cannot undervalue.

The following list is made up of the cheapest variable-rate tariff options available in the UK at the moment:


Energy Supplier Energy Tariff Electricity Annual Cost (£) Gas Annual Cost (£) Total Annual Cost (£)
AVRO Energy Simple Energy £ 540.30* £ 446.54* £ 986.84**
Outfox the Market One Green Flex £ 640.21* £ 456.97* £ 1,097.18**
Igloo Energy Flexible 5 Direct Debit ebill £ 595.58* £ 478.76* £ 1,074.33**
Orbit Energy 5% OFF 4 LIFE £ 645.532* £ 485.984* £ 1131.515**
Together Energy Green Together Smart Sum ExcVar £ 548.30* £ 502.91* £ 1,051.21**

* Please note that these prices are for indicative purposes only and can shift on a regular basis. Indeed, prices are post-code based and can vary significantly from one region to another. However, we attempt to maintain as up to date pricing information as possible for your convenience. To get the most accurate information possible, you can call our experts today to get current prices for your location.
** Based on the Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) defined by Ofgem. On average: 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas per year.
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.
No exit fees.


And here you can see the cheapest 12 month fixed rate tariffs available in the UK:


Energy Supplier Energy Tariff Electricity Annual Cost (£) Gas Annual Cost (£) Total Annual Cost (£)
AVRO Energy Simple and ReSuper 12M £ 548.75* £ 405.01* £ 953.76**
E.ON Next Next Online £ 633.727* £ 493.150* £ 1126.877**
Enstroga Energy Evergreen Fix £ 623.07* £ 488.36* £ 1111.42**
EDF Energy Easy Online £ 607.917* £ 443.496* £ 1051.413**
So Energy So Cherry £ 992.95* £ 1,204.17* £ 2,197.12**

* Please note that these prices are for indicative purposes only and can shift on a regular basis. Indeed, prices are post-code based and can vary significantly from one region to another. However, we attempt to maintain as up to date pricing information as possible for your convenience. To get the most accurate information possible, you can call our experts today to get current prices for your location.
** Based on the Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) defined by Ofgem. On average: 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas per year.
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.
Exit fees may vary.


Who are the greenest energy suppliers?

The UK has made great strides in terms of progressing towards a green future, but this is an effort that requires cooperation from all sides. As consumers, it falls on all UK residents to do their due diligence and identify where the energy they are using comes from because there are still a number of suppliers that use harmful fossil fuels as a core part of their energy supply. However, with every supplier claiming to be green it can be difficult to see past the greenwashing and find suppliers that are genuinely green.

The first thing to consider is if the supplier is producing genuinely renewable energy or if they have purchased the ability to claim they have 100% renewable energy by paying for a REGO certificate. Suppliers are able to purchase a REGO certificate, which stands for Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin, which is a document that proves the energy being provided is from a renewable source. As a result, many energy companies have been noted to advertise 100% renewable energy in their tariffs even though they don’t produce any renewable energy themselves.

This is what we refer to as greenwashing, which is when a company falsely claims to be more environmentally friendly than they are to gain more customers. Companies can supply their customers with energy from fossil fuels while claiming to be green and it is completely legal because they’ve purchased enough REGO certificates. One such example would be Shell Energy, when they purchased First Unity in 2019, their energy went from being considered 3% renewable to 100% renewable overnight as a result of taking advantage of this scheme.

In order to avoid greenwashing suppliers and save you the amount of time that it would take to research all of this, we’ve compiled a shortlist of some of the most sustainable energy suppliers in the UK below. Each of these suppliers offer 100% renewable electricity and either 100% green gas or carbon offset gas.

  • Green Energy UK – 100% renewable electricity + 100% green gas
  • Ecotricity – 100% renewable electricity + carbon-offset gas
  • E.ON/E.ON Next – 100% renewable electricity + 100% carbon-offset gas
  • Octopus Energy – 100% renewable electricity + partial carbon-offset gas
  • Good Energy – 100% renewable electricity + 90% carbon-offset gas
  • Pure Planet – 100% renewable electricity + 100% carbon-offset gas

Below you can find an example of one tariff option from each of the suppliers mentioned above with all of its pricing information included.


Energy Supplier Energy Tariff Tariff Type Electricity Annual Cost (£) Gas Annual Cost (£) Total Annual Cost (£)
Green Energy UK Sparkling 24 Month Fixed-Rate £ 754.264775* £ 668.759775* £ 1423.02455**
E.ON Next Next Online 12 Month Fixed Rate £ 633.727* £ 493.150* £ 1126.877**
Ecotricity Fully Charged Bundle (only for electric vehicle owners) Variable Rate £ 651.798* £ 722.749* £ 1374.548**
Octopus Energy flexibleOctopus Variable Rate £ 649.88* £ 479.51* £ 1,129.39**
Good Energy SVT Standard Variable Rate £ 671.97* £ 573.91* £ 1,245.87**
Pure Planet 100% Green Variable Variable Rate £ 646.50* £ 489.43* £ 1,135.94**

* Please note that these prices are for indicative purposes only and can shift on a regular basis. Indeed, prices are post-code based and can vary significantly from one region to another. However, we attempt to maintain as up to date pricing information as possible for your convenience. To get the most accurate information possible, you can call our experts today to get current prices for your location.
** Based on the Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) defined by Ofgem. On average: 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas per year.
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.


Who are the “Big Six” suppliers?

In the UK’s energy market, the “Big Six” are the six most powerful and largest energy suppliers in the business. Each of the “Big Six” is unique in some regards, however, what they all have in common is a massive presence across the entire UK. These suppliers are handling the energy needs of millions of UK energy homes and businesses, so while they are going to be stable in a sense that they are not going out of business any time soon, they may not be able to offer the same personalized experience you could find at a smaller supplier.

The “Big Six” is currently made up of the following suppliers:

Below you can find examples of what their standard variable tariffs look like when directly compared:


Energy Supplier Energy Tariff Electricity Annual Cost (£) Gas Annual Cost (£) Total Annual Cost (£)
British Gas Standard Variable £ 1,034.09* £ 576.61* £ 1,610.71**
E.ON / E.ON Next Next Flex £ 754.666* £ 640.424* £ 1395.090**
Octopus Energy flexibleOctopus £ 649.88* £ 479.51* £ 1,129.39**
EDF Energy Standard Variable £ 699.763* £ 576.603* £ 1276.367**
OVO Energy Simpler Energy £ 633.24* £ 511.16* £ 1,144.40**
Scottish Power Standard Variable £ 704.228* £ 576.567* £ 1280.795**

* Please note that these prices are for indicative purposes only and can shift on a regular basis. Indeed, prices are post-code based and can vary significantly from one region to another. However, we attempt to maintain as up to date pricing information as possible for your convenience. To get the most accurate information possible, you can call our experts today to get current prices for your location.
** Based on the Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) defined by Ofgem. On average: 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas per year.
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.


What are some of the best smaller suppliers?

If you’re looking for smaller suppliers, you may run the risk of choosing a supplier that can eventually go bust, which is unfortunately quite common in the UK energy industry. Despite this, there are a large number of energy suppliers that have found success without sacrificing their customer-first philosophy.

We’ve selected the following notable “smaller” suppliers from the UK market based on reliability, costs, tariff options, sustainability, and of course customer satisfaction.

Below we can see some of the pricing information for one of each supplier’s popular tariff options. However, is important to note that the tariffs listed on this table are all variable-rate tariffs, which means that their costs will change to reflect the ongoing cost of energy in the UK market.


Energy Supplier Energy Tariff Electricity Annual Cost (£) Gas Annual Cost (£) Total Annual Cost (£)
Together Energy Green Together Smart Sum ExcVar £ 548.30* £ 502.91* £ 1,051.21**
Entice Energy Flexible Saver £ 599.46* £ 453.61* £ 1,053.06**
Bulb Energy Vari-Fair £ 692.626* £ 581.974* £ 1058.161388**
M & S Energy M&S Everyday Energy £ 649.88* £ 489.52* £ 1,139.40**
Outfox the Market One Green Flex £ 640.21* £ 456.97* £ 1,097.18**

* Please note that these prices are for indicative purposes only and can shift on a regular basis. Indeed, prices are post-code based and can vary significantly from one region to another. However, we attempt to maintain as up to date pricing information as possible for your convenience. To get the most accurate information possible, you can call our experts today to get current prices for your location.
** Based on the Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) defined by Ofgem. On average: 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas per year.
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.


solar and wind energy farm

How to compare suppliers?


With 35 active energy suppliers to choose from, you could be forgiven for wondering how you could hope to accurately compare them. At Papernest, we strive to do the hard work for you, finding energy deals that are perfectly suited to your needs. We take the time to get to know your needs in order to find you the perfect supplier.

Our experts will consider the following when matching the perfect energy plan to your household:

  • Do they offer 100% renewable electricity?
  • Do they offer carbon offset / carbon neutral gas?
  • Will they offer you a free smart meter to track your energy use?
  • Do they track wholesale energy prices and adjust their rates to ensure that customers always get good value for money?
  • Do they offer a wide range of tariffs to make it easy to find one that suits your usage?
  • If so, do they offer the second-generation SMETS 2 meter that will remain fully functional if you switch suppliers in the future?
  • Will they charge you an exit fee if you want to change suppliers later?
  • Do they offer boiler servicing/cover at reduced rates for energy customers?

So you can rest assured that you’re getting the best possible energy deal.

Which energy tariff is best for me?

There are a lot of different tariffs plans out there, and it can certainly be overwhelming if you don’t know. We’ve made a created shortlist below explaining each tariff type and what consumers it may be a good fit for.

Variable Rate – Variable rate tariffs’ prices will reflect the UK energy market and can change regularly, as often as every month or depending on the plan. These plans can be more expensive than fixed-rate tariffs, but they typically have no contract and no exit fee so customers can switch whenever they want to a different tariff. These tariffs are typically the default plans that most customers are switched to when joining a new supplier or if the contract expires, we don’t recommend these tariffs to many customers regardless of their situation.

Fixed Rate – Fixed rate tariffs are tariff plans that have contracts that are signed by the customer that ensures the costs within the tariff will not change throughout the duration of the contract. These fixed-rate contracts can range between 12 months, 24 months and even up to 36 months depending on the supplier. We highly recommend these tariffs to a majority of homeowners because they lock in an agreed-upon rate, ensuring you won’t be surprised by sudden price changes each month. If you are a homeowner that does not plan to move, we recommend these tariffs formats for you.

Dual Rate Electricity – Dual rate electricity is only available to homes that have an Economy 7 or Economy 10 power meter, and what this tariff format does is it provides the consumer with two separate unit rates for the cost per kWh of electricity. The first unit rate will apply to peak hours and the second for off-peak hours, typically the off-peak hours are at night and at a lower cost, making this an ideal tariff type for consumers that use more energy at night. We recommend this tariff type to people that tend to use more power at night or just aren’t home during the day and electric vehicle owners that tend to charge their car overnight.

picture of home with lights on from outside in the snow

Prepayment – Prepayment tariffs are only available in homes that have a prepayment or pay as your go meter, and tend to be more expensive than other tariff options. However, we believe that they are great for homes that are not using a lot of energy, such as holiday homes or short term rentals. Over an extended period of time, you are likely to be overspending if you opt for prepayment, so we suggest being aware of how long you plan to stay on your property before you select a prepayment tariff.

How does switching energy suppliers work?

Switching energy suppliers can actually be a very simple process, in theory when you contact a new supplier you can initiate the process of the switch and then your new supplier is supposed to handle contacting your old energy supplier about you leaving them.

Our role is going to be to help you take that step, before you decide which supplier to go with you can call our resident energy experts and we can help compare every energy supplier in the market to find the best one for you! Give us a call today at 0330 818 6225 to find out more!

What details do I need to compare energy prices?

The first thing you’ll need to know is what kind of energy meter you have in your house, knowing this will narrow down the types of tariffs that you’ll be attempting to compare and make finding the best tariff for you that much easier. While it is certainly possible for you to change meter types in your property it could require time or money because installing a new meter may require some minor renovations such as relocating the meter location on the property.

In addition, you’ll need to know the following information:

  • Your postcode.
  • The name of your current supplier.
  • The name of your current energy tariff.
  • Your annual energy usage or costs.

When is the best time to switch energy suppliers?

While it depends on the contracts that you have signed on for, which may include a hefty exit fee, we suggest changing your energy supply every 12 to 18 months. This will ensure that you aren’t overpaying for your energy needs and it will keep the energy market competitive, ultimately lowering the average energy costs in the UK market.

To summarize, the best time to change your tariff plan is every 12 to 18 months or whenever your fixed tariff contract expires. Rather than simply resigning you should expand your search each year to considering switching to different tariffs or even entirely new suppliers. Here at Switch Plan we can assist you with this process and make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible.

Can I compare gas prices or electricity prices separately?

Absolutely! You do not need to have both your gas and electricity from the same suppliers, there are plenty of suppliers that offer only one form of fuel and because they are specialised they might offer a competitive rate. That being said, sometimes bundling both your gas and electricity supply into a dual fuel plan from one supplier can be the most cost-effective tariff option or feature the most benefits.

To compare the gas and electricity seperately you will need the following information:

  • Your postcode.
  • The name of your current supplier.
  • The name of your current energy tariff.
  • Your annual electricity usage or cost.
  • Your annual gas usage or cost.

Once you have the above information you can call us directly and we can explore your options, or you can check out web pages about the cheapest electricity and gas suppliers in the UK.

Papernest makes it easy to switch energy suppliers

It couldn’t be simpler. Just get in touch with the Papernest team today on 0330 818 6225. We’re available from 9am to 7pm. We’ll take the time to scour the market for the perfect energy deal for your needs, area and usage. Including exclusive deals that you won’t find on price comparison sites!

Read more:

Call us to switch your energy supplier for free!

0330 818 6225

Notice

FAQ

How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?

Arranging the switch takes a matter of minutes. Once you let us know what you’re looking for in an energy supplier, where you live, and how much energy you use, we’ll take care of the rest. Once we’ve provided a quote that you’re happy with, the switch itself typically takes a maximum of 15-17 days.

When can I switch energy suppliers?

You can technically switch energy suppliers any time you want. However, if you’re currently on a fixed-rate energy plan, you may incur an early exit fee from your supplier. These are typically between £30 and £50 per fuel. However, the savings you make may more than make up for this. And some suppliers will even pay your exit fee for you.

How often can I switch energy suppliers?

In theory, you can switch energy suppliers every 28 days. But this is obviously impractical for households. Ofgem recommends switching suppliers every 12-18 months to ensure that you’re getting great value for money and keep the energy market competitive.

How easy is it to switch energy suppliers?

It really couldn’t be easier. Especially with the Papernest team at your side, scouring the market for the best energy tariffs on your behalf. You’re just a few minutes and a handful of simple questions away from huge energy savings!

Updated on 7 Oct, 2021

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Alex

Consumer Energy Expert