Octopus Energy vs Shell Energy (2021 Comparison)

Both Shell Energy and Octopus are two well-known UK suppliers. Shell is one of the largest energy suppliers outside of the big six.

Octopus, by comparison, has been around for six years and have only grown in popularity during that time.

Here we put them head-to-head in the areas that matter most to consumers to see the better supplier.

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Who are Shell Energy?

Shell Energy purchased Utility Point and its 700,000 customers back in 2018. Following that, they bought Hudson Energy Supply, the parent company of Green Star Energy, in 2019, which took their customer numbers close to one million.

Shell offers their customers 100% renewable electricity and fuel discounts.

In addition, Shell has taken on customers from Green. Energy and Usio Energy when they ceased trading.

Who are Octopus Energy?

Octopus Energy has been around for just five years. In that time, they have built a loyal customer base of over two million customers.

They state they offer great value for the long term and aim to make energy straightforward for their customers.

They have recently taken on customers of the following suppliers who have recently stopped trading: Avro Energy, Engie, Flow Energy, GB Energy Supply, Gen4U and Iresa.

Octopus vs Shell Energy: What’s the difference in price?

We compared energy quotes from both suppliers using the details below:

  • Dual Fuel supply
  • Standard/Smart Meter
  • Medium usage (3-bedroom house with four occupants)
  • 2900 kWh of electricity and 12000 kWh for gas
  • Postcode in the South East of England

Let us look at how they compared:

Shell Energy

Shell offered us a choice of two tariffs:

Flexible 6 Direct Debit Ebill costing £107 per month, estimated to be £1283 per year. Which offers no fixed contract and what Shell state as flexible rates.

Go Further December 2023 plus Shop Vouch Direct Debit ebill. This is a fixed rate tariff until 2023 and costs £146 per month or £1757 per year.

Octopus

We used the same parameters to obtain a quotation from Octopus energy. Again, we were offered a choice of two tariffs:

The cheapest tariff offered was Octopus Fixed at £144.47 per month or £1733.64 a year.

Octopus also offered their Super green Octopus costing £146.99 per month, or £1763.88 for a year.

Conclusion: Shells Flexible 6 tariff is certainly considerably cheaper than the others on offer at £107 per month and offers the best value for money. However, you should change with caution as this is a flexible rate tariff that could rise at any time.

Shell wins on Value for Money.

Octopus vs Shell Energy: What’s the difference in tariff options?

Shell offered us two tariffs, let’s compare them quickly:

Flexible 6 Direct Debit Ebill is a flexible rate tariff with no fixed contract. These flexible rates are subject to the Ofgem price cap, meaning they can rise and fall at any time.

In addition, on this tariff 100% of your electricity will be supplied from renewable resources. There are no early exit fees should you want to change supplier or tariff. Customers can also benefit from rewards from Shell Go+, and they offer discounts on Broadband.

Shells second tariff offering is Go Further December 2023. This is a fixed rate tariff when rates are fixed until December 2023. If you want to exit the contract early, there is an early exit fee of £75 per fuel (£150 combined). Customers on this tariff will also get 100% renewable electricity, carbon credits for electricity and gas, and money off the smart tech in the Shell Energy Shop. In addition, you will have price rise protection until December 2023.

Octopus

They are currently offering two tariffs based on the details above:

Octopus Fixed

Their most popular tariff, Octopus Fixed. As the name suggests it’s a fixed rate tariff that runs for two years, meaning your rates are locked in for that period. If you decide to switch suppliers earlier than this there are no early exit fees for changing. Which is something quite unique on fixed price tariffs. With Octopus fixed, 100% of the electricity supplied to your home comes from renewable sources.

Super Green Octopus

Octopus Energy’s greenest tariff is Supergreen Octopus. Just like with Octopus Fixed, your rates are locked in for two years when you sign up, and if you choose to change tariff early for any reason, there are no early exit fees. Octopus Green customers will also benefit from 100% renewable electricity. In addition, all the gas used by Supergreen customers is offset, making your home carbon neutral.

Conclusion: There’s no doubt that Octopus Energy’s customers are given a fair deal. With the locked-in prices and the fact, they don’t charge exit fees. This means that if rates become more favourable in the future, you are free to switch to a better tariff without paying the penalty.

Shell also offers a fixed and variable rate tariff. However, if you want the security of locking in your unit rates on their fixed tariff, you’ll also have to pay a hefty penalty if you choose to leave earlier. Shell also offers customers fuel discounts and money off smart technology which could be an incentive to switch.

Octopus wins here with its fair prices that secure customer rates and doesn’t penalise customers who want to change suppliers in the future.

Octopus vs Shell Energy: Who offers the greenest energy?

Both Shell and Octopus Energy market themselves as green suppliers, but what does that actually mean? Is one greener than the other?

We compared them to find out:

Shell Energy

Shell offers 100% renewable as standard across all tariffs. Their electricity is certified by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin or REGO for short.

For Shells customers, that means the electricity they buy from them is matched with the same number of units from 100% renewable energy generators across the UK.

Currently, Shell Energy do not invest in the production of green gas.

Octopus

Octopus is one of the energy suppliers that has led the way in supplying greener energy into our homes. 100% of the power the Octopus Group generates is from renewable sources. Renewable electricity is standard on all tariffs they offer.

In addition, octopus energy supplies 40% of the UK’s solar energy. They are also contributing to the development of new renewable energy solutions to replace fossil fuels.

Conclusion: Both energy suppliers are undoubtedly doing their bit to support green energy. However, with their green initiatives, in house renewable power generation and offering a carbon-neutral gas, Octopus is the winner here.

Octopus vs Shell Energy: Who has better customer reviews?

To compare customer reviews, we consulted Trustpilot to see how Shell Energy and Octopus customers rate their experience with them. Both companies have 10,000s of customer reviews.

Here is what we found:

  • Shell Energy scored 4.0 out of 5 based on over 53,000 reviews
  • Octopus scored 4.8 out of 5 based on over 70,000 reviews

From checking their stats, 49% of Shell Energy’s customers rate them as excellent, compared to 90% of Octopus energy’s customers. 15% of Shell’s customers rate them as bad compared to just 3% of Octopus’s customers giving Octopus the same reason.

From reading some of the reviews, it seems that their customers are generally not dissatisfied in both cases. However, we have noted that Shell receives frequent complaints about how hard it is to speak to a customer service team member. For fairness, there seem to be several negative reviews relating to their broadband service, which is not something we are looking at today.

Octopus energy customers frequently praise the quick and efficient service they have received, stating that they are easy to deal with and their communications are always clear. Shells customers note they receive a better service using the online chat and Facebook contact functions than calling customer services. When Shell customers do speak to an advisor, they are usually happy with the outcome.

Conclusion: The stats speak for themselves. Octopus clearly outshines Shell when it comes to positive reviews.

Octopus vs Shell Energy: Who has the better website and app?

Both Shell and Octopus energy customers can manage and access their accounts online. The websites are clean and easy to use. You can view your bills, tariffs and contact the supplier easily. In addition, Shell has a webchat function that seems popular with its customers. However, when it comes to websites, they appear to be evenly matched.

When it comes to apps, however, there is a stark difference. Both suppliers offer an app for their customers to manage their accounts and view their bills and usage online. The difference is the Shell energy has built a much more user-friendly app. Octopus customers frequently report that their offering crashes often and is sluggish. On the app store, Shell’s app scores an impressive 4.5 out of 5. On the other hand, Octopus’s app scores just 1.6, with many of their customers choosing to manage their account via the browser rather than the app.

Conclusion: In both cases, the suppliers offer a good website where customers can manage their accounts. However, when it comes to the app Shell have clearly done a better job. Shell wins this section.

Octopus vs Shell Energy: Who has the better customer service?

We use CitizensAdvice for an unbiased customer service comparison for energy suppliers. They have details of how suppliers perform in the areas that matter, such as call wait time, complaint resolution time, and contact their supplier via different methods.

This table gives a summary of how both suppliers compare:

OctopusShell Energy
Average call centre wait time02:2403:23
Emails responded to with 2 days67.8%73.2%
% customers with an accurate bill96.6%90.2%
Switches completed < 15 days98.6%99.2%
Opening hours9 am – 5 pm (4 pm Friday)8 am – 8 pm (9 am – 4 pm Saturday)
Contact via PhoneYesYes
Contact via EmailYesYes
Contact via WebchatNoYes
Source: Citizens advice

According to CitizensAdvice, both suppliers offer a good level of customer service. If you call Octopus, your call will be answered a minute later than with shell on average. With Shell, you are slightly more likely to receive a reply to an email within two days. However, with Shell almost 10% of their customers reported having an inaccurate bill compared to less than 4% of Octopus customers.

Both companies have regular opening hours. Shells customers can contact them up to 8 pm during the week, which may be more convenient for some customers.

Conclusion: Based on the call time and accuracy of bills, Octopus energy takes the lead here. Although in all other areas they are pretty evenly matched.

Octopus vs Shell Energy: Who has less complaints?

We looked at the complaint data each energy provider openly provides. To make sure we cover the same period for both, we will look at Q1 for 2021.

We have summarised the data in the below table:

Octopus EnergyShell Energy
Complaints per 100,000 customers4881652
Resolved next working day57%38%
Resolved in 8 weeks88%87%
Sources: Octopus Energy Q1 2021. Shell Energy Complaints
Conclusion: When it comes to complaints data, there is a clear winner here. Octopus received far fewer complaints and resolved more of them than shell both within the next working day or within eight weeks.

Octopus wins!

Octopus vs Shell Energy: What are the main differences between the two?

These are two well-known suppliers who supply millions of customers across the UK. They both offer different tariff options and have invested in green energy generation. We put them head-to-head in a variety of categories to give you a fair comparison of how they perform, and here is a recap of how they did:

  • In the price category, Shell came out with its low-cost variable tariff.
  • Octopus won due to their fair fixed tariffs with no early exit fees when it comes to tariff choices.
  • Both Shell and Octopus are environmentally friendly suppliers and support green energy. However, as Octopus generates their own green electricity and supports green gas generation, they win here.
  • When we compared customer reviews, Octopus came out miles ahead.
  • Shell offer webchat and have an app that works better than the one Octopus use. Shell win here
  • Octopus received considerably fewer complaints per 100k customers and resolved them faster than Shell, making them the winners again.

Is Octopus energy better than Shell Energy?

The results are 4-2 to Octopus Energy proving they are one of the UK’s all-around best energy providers. While Shell took the lead in some categories, they have some work to do, especially regarding complaints and customer reviews.

And the winner is… Octopus Energy!

🏆 Our top rated supplier Octopus Energy is currently offering £50 credit to any new customer that uses our referral link. Click below to see why we rate them so highly and get your £50.

Read our review

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Rob

Rob runs Energy-Review.co.uk. The project initially began when he switched energy suppliers for the first time and found there wasn't a website that provided simple, data backed reviews on all the suppliers available. Since then, Rob has spent considerable time looking at all publicly available data about each supplier and writing reviews using this information. Reviews are updated as regularly as possible and any data is backed up by a source where necessary. If you find any issues, please use our contact form to let us know.

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