Utilitia Energy Review Summary
- Free smart meters for new customers, including pre-payment customers
- No standing charges
- Excellent website
- Bad reviews online
- Energy is not environmentally friendly
- Above average complaint numbers
Who are Utilitia?
Utilita were founded in 2003.
The company currently has over three quarters of a million customers in the UK. In part this number of customers is thanks to the fact that they took on Our Power’s 31,000 customers and Eversmart Energy’s 29,000 customers after thoe two energy suppliers ceased trading.
Ultilta are one of the UK’s largest pre-payment energy suppliers with 99% of their customers on pre-payment accounts.
They are also committed to smart meters, and 90% of their customers are currently using smart meters to monitor and manage their energy use.
Utilita offers a range of variable-rate tariffs, some standard and some Economy 7. None of these tariffs have an exit fee.
Unlike other energy suppliers, Utilita do not have a standing charge. Instead, customers pay a higher unit charge for their first units of energy each day and then a lower unit charge for any other energy that they use during that day once a customer has hit a certain threshold.
Utilita do not offer and fixed-rate tariff, and there isn’t a tariff aimed specifically at electric vehicle owners.
Utilita do not offer a green energy tariff, but they are a mandatory Feed-in Tariff licensee and offer a ‘feed-in’ tariff. They are also a Green Deal Licensee and a mandatory Smart Export Guarantee licensee.
Which? scored Utilita three out of five stars for value for money in its most recent survey, although as Utilita specialises in the pre-payment market, perhaps this is not surprising as pre-payment accounts tend to cost more than credit accounts.
Utilita score four out of five stars at TrustPilot, with 69% of the reviewers rating the company good or excellent. In particular, Utilita’s customer service is praised.
However, 27% of the TrustPilot reviewers rate the company bad or poor. Most of the complaints are related to poor customer service and billing issues.
Billing was also a problem in the most recent Citizen’s Advice energy supplier survey. Only 76.4% of customers said that they had received their bills on time and only 81.9% said their bills were accurate. This led to an overall score of 1.65 out of five stars, putting Utilita in last place out of the 40 energy suppliers that took part in the survey.
However, in the most recent Which? energy supplier survey Utilita scored four out of five stars for billing accuracy. Which? placed Utilita in joint 20th place out of 35 energy suppliers.
Although Utilita are a Feed-in Tariff licensee, a Green Deal Licensee and a Smart Export Guarantee licensee, Utilita’s energy is not particularly green. Only 9% of the electricity comes from renewable sources. Most (60%) comes from gas, with nuclear (18%) and coal (9%) also featuring prominently in the fuel mix.
At 325g/kWh, Utilita’s carbon emissions are exactly the same as the UK average carbon emissions from energy suppliers.
Utilita can be contacted by phone or live chat or you can talk to them in person at one of their three Hubs. The Hubs are in Southampton, Portsmouth and Edinburgh, and they are open from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5:30pm. The phone lines are open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and 8am to 5:30pm on Saturdays, which is longer than many other energy suppliers.
Which? scored Utilita four out of five stars for customer service in its recent energy supplier survey, despite the fact that it took Utilita an average of 15 minutes to answer the phone and they only answered one out of twelve live chat requests. Citizen’s Advice say that Utilita answer the phone in three minutes and 38 seconds, although this is still longer than the average time it takes an energy supplier to respond.
Utilita has more complaints that most other energy suppliers as well, at 37.2 complaints per 10,000 customers. According to Ofgem, less than a quarter of these are resolved within two days and 40% of them were still not resolved within eight weeks.
Utilita’s website contains a large amount of information and is easy to navigate. The online portal lets customers manage all aspects of their energy supply, and pre-payment customers can even top up their accounts remotely without having to go to a PayPoint retailer.
There is an app that is compatible with Android devices and Apple’s iOS devices. This app also lets customers manage their energy supply, including topping up pre-payment accounts. However, the app only scores 2.8 out of five stars at Google’s Play Store and 2.3 out of five stars at Apple’s App Store, with most users criticising the recent update which appears to have made the app less reliable.
The majority of Utilita’s customers are on pre-payment. They can either pay for their energy at a PayPoint retailers or top up their accounts via Utilita’s website or their app. Pre-payment accounts can also be topped up by phone or SMS.
Utilita also offer credit accounts. These can either be paid monthly via direct debit or quarterly upon receipt of a bill. Customers choosing to pay quarterly can pay at a PayPoint retailer, or via a credit or debit card via the Utilita website, app or over the phone.
New Utilita customers get smart meters as standard, including pre-payment customers. 90% of Utilita’s customers currently have a smart meter.
Customers who already have a smart meter who switch to Utilita may find that their smart meter loses its smart functionality although it will still work as a traditional energy meter. However, they may find that they have to submit meter readings manually.
Do Utilitia offer a recommend a friend referral scheme?
Utilita operate a friend referral scheme. The referrer gets £30 energy credit and the new customer gets a £30 Amazon voucher once the switch has completed. There are no limits to the number of people who can be referred.
Do they work with pre-payment meters?
Yes. 99% of their customers are on pre-payment customers. Utilita pre-payment customers can have smart meters.
Do they accept Economy 7?
Utilita has tariffs for Economy 7 customers.
Are they signed up to the Warm Home Discount?
Utilita are signed up to the Warm Home Discount scheme. Customers in the CORE group automatically qualify and do not need to apply. Customers in the BROADER group need to apply.
Are they signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee?
Utilita are not signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee. According to Citizen’s Advice only 42.8% of switches are completed within 21 days.
Do they mention about the Priority Services Register?
Utilita operate a Priority Services Register. They explain what extra help is available to vulnerable people on their website and eligible customers can register via that website.
Do they offer a ‘Dual Fuel’ discount?
Utilita offer a dual fuel tariff but do not offer a specific ‘Dual Fuel’ discount.
Will they offer to pay a customer’s exit fees when they join them?
Utilita will not pay an exit fees imposed by a customer’s previous energy supplier. Any such fees would remain the responsibility of the customer. However, as the vast majority of Utilita’s customers are pre-payment customers, in practice this is not an issue.
What happens if you move home whilst with them?
If you move home while you are a Utilita customer you will need to provide meter readings when you move out. This will either result in a refund if you are in credit, or a final bill if you owe money. You can either do this by phone or via a form on the Utilita website.
Do they offer any incentives for joining?
Utilita do not offer any specific incentives for joining, although all new customers get a smart meter. However, they operate Utilita Extra, a loyalty scheme that rewards customers with special offers.
How to contact Utilitia Energy
Address: Hutwood Court, Bournemouth Road, Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh SO53 3QB
You can contact Utilitia’s customer service by calling: 0345 207 2000
Monday - Friday 8am – 8pm
Saturday – 8am to 5pm
Closed on Sundays and Bank holidays.
Switch to Utilitia Energy
The easiest way to switch to Utilitia Energy is through Energy Helpline’s comparison website here. This will allow you to check if Utilitia Energy 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.