First Utility Review Summary
In the UK energy companies have a fierce rivalry but as my First Utility review as discovered there is a lot of competition outside the big six energy companies. First Utility isn’t one of the big six but it is very close to being one of the top contenders.
In 2013 First Utility was ranked as the seventh largest energy company in the UK and its position as fluctuated around the upper echelons in the following years. First Utility as a score of 7.1 on TrustPilot with 71% percent of reviews giving it a great or excellent rating.
It’s still a good score although there are certainly other energy suppliers with higher scores. However, we also need to take the number of reviews into account, First Utility has over 32,000 reviews making them one of the most reviewed energy suppliers.
First Utility was founded in 2008 and was purchased by Shell in February 2018 and it’s now part of Shell’s New Energies division. As one of the largest independent energy providers in the UK First Utility is a popular choice but is it the right choice for you? Let’s find out with my in-depth First Utility review.
Like many energy suppliers nowadays First Utility offers a variety of different tariffs. These will vary depending on your location but finding out what they can offer you is easy. Simply follow this link and enter your postcode.
Many of the tariffs on offer from First Utility are fixed plans although there are flexible plans available as well. First Utility also offers both gas and electricity although you can only find information about their dual and single electricity tariffs on their website.
If you want a gas only tariff you will need to contact them directly. While First Utility grew rapidly thanks to offering competitive pricing Which found that its standard tariff was actually one of the more expensive on the market.
However, they did conclude that First Utility did offer some competitive deals especially for customers using a smart meter. As part of my First Utility review, I’ve compiled some of the main points to consider when examining First Utility’s tariffs.
- They offer dual tariffs and single ones for both gas and electric.
- Exits fees are not included on variable tariffs.
- Single gas tariffs are available but you will need to contact First Utility directly to ask about them.
First Utility offers a wide range of different tariffs and as mentioned previously their competitive deals are one of the main reasons for their popularity. However, as Which found their standard tariff is not the most affordable. In June of this year, First Utility also announced that it was increasing its price on their first variable tariff by 5.9%. Check out this link to see the full details of the price increase.
So, while First Utility might not be the most affordable energy supplier right now they are by no means the most expensive. Although it is advisable that you inspect the tariffs closely due to the increases in price.
A good energy supplier isn’t all about price, is it? No, the customer service is also very important and uSwitch’s report did highlight First Utility’s customer service as one of their main positives. First Utility also came in at joint 12th place (out of the 31 energy companies) during Which’s customer survey.
Many of the reviews on TrustPilot also positively highlight First Utility’s customer service as well. The Citizens Advice website was more average awarding them 3.4 stars in total, although it did highlight their speed of service as a positive.
My First Utility review as already examined some of the main reviews but let’s summarise it all shall we? With a score of 7.1 on TrustPilot, First Utility receives 4 stars and a “great” rating it’s a good score but could be improved. However, First Utility has received a very high number of reviews.
The reviews themselves are quite positive although there are some negative opinions on their current prices. First Utility have also replied to a number of reviews both positive and negative which is always good to see.
Similar sentiments are echoed on uSwitch with their review highlighting the fact that First Utility was ranked at number 2 in their past customer satisfaction reports. But while the reviews are certainly still good you do get the sense that they may have been better in previous few years.
First Utility have a modern and simple website which in my opinion is exactly what you want from an energy supplier. Navigating the sections on its website is easy and the help section and FAQ is very easy to find and use.
The customer portal is also easy to access and something that is positively highlighted in a number of customer reviews along with the First Utility app. Speaking on the app it’s available for both IOS and Android devices and allows you to monitor your energy usage, do meter readings, refer friends and much more. Reviews for the app are mixed but First Utility is continuing to support it for the latest devices.
How green is First Utility’s energy?
Unlike many of the alternative energy suppliers (meaning those outside of the big 6), First Utility doesn’t overly market its-self as a green energy supplier. This is reflected in their fuel mix, while it is still pretty good it’s not anything like the 100% renewable energy you see on offer from some suppliers. Renewables make up 29.4% of First Utility’s energy, while natural gas makes up the most with 41.4%. Check out this link for more detailed information on First Utility’s fuel mix.
The Citizen’s Advice website found that First utility received 279.4 complaints for every 100,000 customers. This might sound bad but it’s ranked as an average score by the Citizens Advice so while there is certainly room for improvement it’s not a bad score by any means.
Which also highlighted a speedy live chat response as one of the main positives of First Utility’s service. And as mentioned previously First Utility did respond to both negative and positive feedback in reviews and in the case of the latter were very professional and offered help if they could.
So, even if there were complaints about their service First Utility were keen to help and wanted to learn from their mistakes.
First Utility login
Logging on to the First Utility customer portal is simple and can be easily done on their website or app. Follow this link if you want to sign in directly, from either the app or customer portal you can monitor your usage levels, update payment information, refer friends and much more.
Do they work with pre-payment meters?
My First Utility review found that unlike some other alternative providers First Utility still had a dedicated service towards pre-payment meters. They would even install them if you get in contact with their team. To find out more information about the pre-payment services on offer from First Utility check this link.
Do they accept Economy 7?
Yes, First Utility do accept economy 7 for both electricity and gas which makes it a great choice for people looking to save money.
Are they signed up to the Warm Home Discount?
Yes, First Utility is signed up to the Warm Home Discount you can register for the discount on this link.
Are they signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee?
Yes, First Utility is signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee which makes switching to them easier. Follow this link for more information.
What billing options are available?
There are numerous billing options on offer from First Utility and you can pay your bill in a number of ways including bank payments, cheques, manual payments and credit or debit. Direct debits are strongly recommended in their FAQ page as they do offer discounts/ rewards for paying using this method. To find out more information about your billing options check out this link.
Do they offer a smart meter? Do they accept smart meters?
Yes, First Utility does offer smart meters and you can even book your smart meter installation by following this link.
Do they charge exit fees?
Yes, First Utility does charge exit fees however this only applies for fixed tariffs, if you’re on a variable tariff you won’t be charged.
Will they offer to pay a customer’s exit fees when they join them?
No, currently First Utility does not offer to pay a customer’s exit fees when they switch to them.
Do they offer any incentives to customers to refer friends/family?
Yes, First Utility does have a referral scheme in place and you can find out all the information you need to know on this link.
What happens if you move home whilst with them?
Moving with First Utility is very simple and there is a dedicated section on their website about it. You can fill out all the information you need to on either the customer portal through the website or you can even use the app.
Do they mention about the Priority Services Register?
Yes, First Utility does mention the Priority Service Register and have both an online form and postal address. You can also contact them using a phone number as well, check out this link for all the information.
How to contact First Utility
To conclude my First Utility review let’s look at how you can get in touch with them.
Westwood Business Park,
Customer Service Number:
01926 320 700
Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturday 9am – 4pm
How do I switch to First Utility?
The easiest way to switch to First Utility is through uSwitch’s comparison website here. This will allow you to check that First Utility is one of the cheapest suppliers for you (tariffs vary based on your area) and will allow you to quickly and easily switch to them.