A small independent energy supplier that promises to prioritise customer service and offer a 'Platinum Customer Service to both new and existing customers' with the aim of being a great energy company so customers won't want to switch again.
Manchester based energy supplier Zebra Power is indeed a small provider that was limited in 2016 and from their website description looks like they intend to remain small in order to focus on providing a good level of customer. They have a contact telephone number (0161 498 8100) and an email address (email@example.com) as their main way for you to contact them.
Unusually they do not appear to have any social media presence which is uncommon for an energy provider these days. They do offer both paper and paperless bill tariffs but do not offer renewable electricity or carbon offset gas.
If you are unlikely to want to compare and switch every year to ensure you are getting the best deal and you want paper bills, a number to call should you need help from a provider that has a good level of customer service then Zebra is for you. You won't get the cheapest prices (see below) but they do state they have a fair price strategy.
Zebra Power tariffs
Zebra Power has a number of tariffs, on the review quote I was offered 12 different tariffs which included one variable rate and 11 fixed rate offers. The offers are at least ordered in price order so the cheapest tariff shows up first. The quotes ranged from £83.85 to £93.08, for comparison the cheapest energy deals on the market right now start from £72.72 a month from London Power and £72.94 from Neo Energy.
At this price point Zebra are competing with the likes of Bulb, Octopus Energy and Green who all offer 100% renewable energy and have about the same or better Trustpilot ratings.
They do offer paper and paperless bill versions of their fixed energy tariffs although they do not state whether their variable rate tariff is paperless. There are 12 month and 24 month fixes which have a £30 per fuel early exit fee which for most dual fuel customers means a £60 exit fee if you wanted to switch to another supplier before your 1 or 2 year tariff ended.
|Month price checked||Tariff||Electricity daily standing charge||Electricity pence per KWh||Gas daily standing charge||Gas pence per KWh|
|January 2021||Zebra Born Free Variable||23.768||17.164||26.063||2.926|
|January 2021||Zebra Fixed Rate January 2022 v1 Paperless||21.000||15.900||21.000||3.000|
|January 2021||Zebra Fixed Rate January 2022 v1 Paper Billing||28.000||15.900||25.000||3.000|
|January 2021||Zebra Auto 12 Months v2 Paperless||22.750||15.600||22.750||3.000|
|January 2021||Zebra Gold 12 Months V5 Paperless||22.000||16.100||22.000||3.150|
|January 2021||Zebra Gold 12 Months V5 Paper Billing||29.000||16.100||27.000||3.150|
|January 2021||Zebra Fixed 24 Month Exclusive V3 Paperless||20.000||16.100||21.000||3.300|
|January 2021||Zebra Fixed 24 Month Exclusive V3 Paper Billing||26.500||16.100||23.000||3.300|
|January 2021||Zebra 24 Months V5 Paperless||21.000||16.100||21.000||3.300|
|January 2021||Zebra 24 Months V5 Paper Billing||27.000||16.100||23.000||3.300|
|January 2021||Zebra Assist 24 Months V4 Paperless||22.000||16.200||22.000||3.450|
|January 2021||Zebra Assist 24 Months V4 Paper||29.000||16.200||26.000||3.450|
Zebra Born Free Variable
The 'Zebra Born Free Variable' tariff is the only variable rate they offer which would cost the average household £88.76 a month or £1.065.14 per year.
Zebra Fixed Rate January 2022 v1 Paperless
At £83.85 a month or £1,006.20 a year the 'Zebra Fixed Rate January 2022 v1 Paperless' tariff was the lowest priced deal they offered at the time of the quote. It is a 1 year fix which means the rate they charge you for each unit of energy you use does not change. If you prefer they offer you the same 12 month fix with paper billing but it will cost you about £4 extra a month.
Zebra Fixed Rate January 2022 v1 Paper Billing
Zebra Powers's 'Zebra Fixed Rate January 2022 v1 Paper Billing' is the paper billing version of their dated 12 month fix costing £87.20 a month or £1,046.35 over the course of a year. You pay about an extra £40 a year to receive a paper bill in the post.
Zebra Auto 12 Months v2 Paperless
Their 'Zebra Auto 12 Months v2 Paperless' tariff is also fixed for 12 months but is slightly more expensive than their comparable 12 month fix they offer. This deal would cost you £84.14 per month or £1,009.67 a year.
Zebra Gold 12 Months V5 Paperless
The 'Zebra Gold 12 Months V5 Paperless' seems to offer the same as their Auto 12 month Paperless tariff except it costs about £2 more a month. This deal comes in at £86.48 a month or £1,036.70 a year for the average UK dual fuel household.
Zebra Gold 12 Months V5 Paper Billing
If you prefer to receive a paper bill then the 'Zebra Gold 12 Months V5 Paper Billing' tariff which is the paper version of their Zebra Gold 12 month fix then it will cost you a further £4ish extra a month making the gas and electricity bill for the average UK household £90.13 a month or £1,081.50 for the year.
Zebra Fixed 24 Month Exclusive V3 Paperless
The 24 month fixed tariff 'Zebra Fixed 24 Month Exclusive V3 Paperless' costs less than some of their 12 month fixed price energy tariffs. A typical UK household would see a monthly dual fuel bill of £87.06 a month or over the year £1,044.75.
Zebra Fixed 24 Month Exclusive V3 Paper Billing
The paper billing version of their 24 month exclusive fix 'Zebra Fixed 24 Month Exclusive V3 Paper Billing' will cost you £89.65 a month or £1,075.78 a year. That's about £2 more a month or about £30 more a year for the privilege of getting a bill in the post.
Zebra 24 Months V5 Paperless
The 'Zebra 24 Months V5 Paperless' tariff cost about the same as their 24 month paperless exclusive deal at £87.37 a month or £1,048.40 a year, only about £4 more per year. However there doesn't seem to be any difference in the two paperless energy deals except the minor price difference except the daily standing charge for electricity being a penny more per day..
Zebra 24 Months V5 Paper Billing
Again if you prefer to get paper bills the 'Zebra 24 Months V5 Paper Billing' tariff is the 2 year v5 fix with paper bills. It will cost you £89.80 a month or £1,077.60 a year, just under £30 extra a year to receive your energy bill in the post.
Zebra Assist 24 Months V4 Paperless
The 2 year Assist fixed tariff 'Zebra Assist 24 Months V4 Paperless' would cost the average UK home £89.73 a month or £1,076.80 a year. Again the offer two other paperless 24 month fixed deals but do not explain the difference, This is their most expensive of the three paperless 2 year fixes they offer.
Zebra Assist 24 Months V4 Paper
The paper based version of their Assist 24 month tariff, the Zebra Assist 24 Months V4 Paper will cost you an extra £40 a year more coming in at £93.08 monthly or £1,116.95 yearly.
Zebra Power review
The first thing that I want to mention is that their quoting system is clunky and unclear and they offer you too many tariffs. During the quoting process they ask for far too much information which may put some people off. As an example they ask the optional question (that may not be obvious to a lot of people when they see the site) of how long you have lived at your property and the required question of whether you are a homeowner and you have to tell them your current supplier and tariff you are on.
Not every person is going to know this information, most other suppliers allow you to say that you don't know as an easy to see tick box or button rather than having to find the unknown option from within the dropdown list. If you do select unknown as the supplier option it won't let you progress with your quote anyway.
When you do finally get to the quote screen you are greeted by a mass of black and white (I guess that's the Zebra theme) tariff options, I was offered 12 different quotes which is way too many and will confuse a lot of potential customers. If you happen to be using a mobile device the quote screen does not display properly making the information really hard to read. The fonts are too large and the layout is not suitable for a mobile.
The range of tariffs they offer are self explanatory in most cases such as the difference between the Zebra 'Assist 24 Months V4 Paper' and the 'Zebra Assist 24 Months V4 Paperless' tariff being that with the former you get a paper bill in the post although you will have to pay around £4 a month extra for this privilege.
Why they have several versions of the same tariff on offer is not explained. There is no discernible difference between all three paperless 24 month fixed tariffs except the kWh unit rates and daily standing charge. If you were to switch to Zebra as I'd imagine most potential customers visiting the site would just choose the cheaper of the deals.
Zebra Power does have a good Trustpilot rating of 4.7 out of 5 but it is from a small number of reviews, 265 at the time of this review in January 2021. The poor feedback percentage is also comparatively low at 6% which in context would put it at the lower end of the best UK suppliers so not quite as good as the likes of Bulb, Octopus or So Energy.
All of the negative ratings they have received on Google Reviews and Trustpilot seem to revolve around a mismatch in energy usage at the time customers get a quote compared to what customers actually use when they join Zebra Power. I checked the quotes given on their website to the quotes on energy comparison sites and the quote rates match based on giving the same energy usage figures being used.
Review feedback from Zebra Power
I reached out to Zebra Power, partly to check how quickly they respond to emails and also because I had some queries about their quoting service. I got a reply back from Liam Danson at Zebra within 20 hours which I was quite impressed with seeing how long my email was and being more in depth than a standard customer enquiry.
Liam confirmed that the Zebra Power website is due to be upgraded for a smoother and easier customer experience. They also confirmed the reason for the large number of available tariffs Zebra offers is due to different offers they have that are only available through comparison partner sites.
Most utilities can be found on energy comparison and auto switching sites and many of them have exclusive offers that are often cheaper if you go through selected partners rather than direct with the supplier. You can find Zebra deals on Energy Helpline and on auto switching sites like Look after my BIlls. Switchd is also a great automatic energy switching service as they can switch you to suppliers across the whole of the market meaning better potential savings.