A new survey by Datatmonitor, has placed independent supplier, SmartestEnergy, at the top of the table for customer satisfaction in an industry benchmark survey.

The major energy users’ survey is carried out on a six-monthly basis and ranks the performance of energy suppliers across areas including procurement, billing, account management and query resolution.

The results for the second half of 2011 place SmartestEnergy at the top of the league table for the duration of the year, and consolidate its position at the top of the table after it finished there in 2010.

Rhys Kealley, Lead Analyst for Energy & Utilities at Datamonitor, said the survey showed that business customers were benefiting from a highly competitive energy market with new entrants continuing to drive standards up. “Smaller suppliers like Smartest Energy have been able to set new benchmarks in service delivery by focusing on a specific target customer base and being able to react quickly to customer demands,” said Kealley.

Jane Hazell, Head of Retail Customer Services for Smartest Energy, said: “In a highly competitive market dominated by major utilities, our approach to customer service is one of the key ways we try to set ourselves apart.”

SmartestEnergy now boasts almost 500 retail customers including Marks & Spencer, Unilever, Toyota and Barnardo’s. The company holds a portfolio of more than 500 generation sites with half of all volumes purchased in 2010/11 coming from renewable sources.

David Taylor, Head of Retail Sales said the company’s progress also highlighted why it opposes Ofgem’s proposals in its Retail Market Review.

“Providing high levels of customer service should be something which suppliers do to attract and retain customers rather than to comply with a licence condition,” stressed Taylor.

“More red tape would just deter new entrants rather than encouraging more competition which would lead to product innovation and better levels of service for customers.”