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Octopus Energy vs Utility Warehouse (UW) (2024 Comparison)

Last updated: 2nd January 2024

Octopus and Utility Warehouse have made their mark as two of the biggest names outside of the traditional ‘big 5’ energy suppliers. Octopus has become known for its commitment to renewable energy with innovative tariffs and is often recommended by Which?, Utility Warehouse has also built a strong customer base around bundling utilities together like phone, broadband and energy.

This guide will delve into the details to compare the two energy brands and see which might be the best supplier for you.

Who are Octopus?

Octopus was founded in 2015 making the company relatively new in the world of energy. With this said, it has quickly become established as a leading name and today it provides energy to more than 8 million customers across the country.

Favoured for their cheap rates and innovative tariffs, Octopus is certainly living up to being an impressive energy supplier. Octopus has also recently created a £15 million fund for customers facing challenges in managing their energy expenses. This fund enables customers to seek grants aimed at alleviating the financial burden of their gas and electricity payments.

Who are Utility Warehouse?

Utility Warehouse (UW) was established in 2002 and is known for offering ‘an all-in-one’ service to its customers. This is a comprehensive package combining energy, broadband and home insurance amongst other living essentials.

With over 800,000 customers across the country, Utility Warehouse charges customers just one bill for these utilities, claiming to save you money by bundling them together. Customers can also benefit from a cashback card which earns them 10% of what they spend across a wide range of online and in-person retailers. 

Octopus vs Utility Warehouse: What’s the difference in tariff options? 

The first part of our comparison article will look at the various tariff options that each energy name offers its customers.

Octopus

Octopus currently offers four tariff options that are appealing to many of its customers. The details are below: 

Flexible Octopus

– This is a variable rate tariff
– Offers 100% renewable electricity
– No exit fees

Loyal Octopus 12M Fixed September 2023

– This is a 12 month contract with prices fixed for that time.
– Exit fees of £75 per fuel
– Only available to existing customers

Tracker Tariff

– Unit rates change on a daily basis
– No exit fees
– Only available with a smart meter
– Not available on signing up – see below for more details
– Unit rate is capped at 100p/kWh for electricity and 30p/kWh for gas (including VAT)

Utility Warehouse

Utility Warehouse is unique in the sense that they aim to provide you with energy, broadband, mobile phone and insurance all in one package. However, they do allow you to sign up for energy on its own.

As you can see below, some of their tariff options are only available to customers who also have other utilities through Utility Warehouse.

Gold

– This is a standard variable tariff
– Does not have any exit fees or fixed contract length
– £50 off your bill for having smart meters installed
– Does not use renewable electricity

Double Gold

– This is a standard variable tariff
– Does not have any exit fees or fixed contract length
– Does supply 100% renewable electricity
– £50 off your bill for having smart meters installed
– Only available if you also sign up for two other services (broadband, mobile or insurance)

UW Fixed 9

– A 1-year, fixed tariff
– £75 exit fee per fuel if you choose to leave early
– Smart meters required
– £50 off your bill for having smart meters installed
– £13 dual fuel discount
– Again, not renewable electricity
– Only available if you also sign up for one other service (broadband, mobile or insurance)

UW Fixed Saver 9

– One-year fixed contract
– £75 exit fee per fuel
– £13 dual fuel discount
– 1 tree planted for every new customer
– Smart meter required
– £50 off your bill for having a smart meter installed
– Only available if you also sign up for two other services (broadband, mobile or insurance)
Conclusion: If you are only looking for an energy supplier, then Octopus win this round with more tariff options. If you are happy to sign up for two other services with Utility Warehouse, which unlocks their Double Gold and Fixed Saver tariffs, then this round is a draw.

Octopus vs Utility Warehouse: What’s the difference in price?

Price is the most important factor for most of us when looking to switch energy suppliers. To keep things fair, we used the exact same information for both suppliers to get an online price for each tariff option.

You can see the details below that we used:

  • Dual fuel supply
  • Standard meter
  • Payment by Direct Debit
  • 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas consumption (Moderate usage – a 3-bedroom home with a family of four)
  • Postcode located in the South East of England

Let us look at how they compare and see if Octopus Energy is cheaper than Utility Warehouse or vice versa:

Octopus provided us with these prices for 3 different tariffs above:

Tariff NameTariff DescriptionMonthly Cost
Tracker TariffSmart tariff where prices change daily. No contract. No exit fees.*£92.99
Flexible OctopusFlexible tariff where prices go up and down with the market. No contract.£155.47
Loyal Octopus 12M Fixed September 202312 month, fixed rate contract. £75 exit fee per fuel.**£155.47
*Using an average rate over previous months for both fuels. Only available to existing customers. ** Available to existing customers only.

Utility Warehouse was not as easy to get a price for each tariff as we had to add in additional services to see all the options, but the prices we got for each tariff are below:

Tariff NameTariff DescriptionMonthly Cost
GoldVariable tariff. Available on its own.£155
Double GoldVariable tariff. Only available with 2 other services also included.£153
UW Fixed 912-month fixed tariff. £75 exit fees. 1 other service required.£167
UW Fixed Saver 912-month fixed tariff. £75 exit fees. 2 other services required.£157
Conclusion: As you can see, the smart Tracker Tariff from Octopus is the cheapest option by far.

By taking out 2 additional services with UW, you unlock their cheapest fixed tariff but this is still more expensive than the comparable tariff available through Octopus. The variable tariff from UW does become cheaper than the Octopus alternative, however.

Overall, Octopus is likely to be cheaper than Utility Warehouse, especially if you are just looking for energy. If you are happy to bundle other services with UW, then you may save money although it is unlikely to be much, if any, on your energy bills. Octopus wins this round!

Utility Warehouse vs Octopus: Who offers the greenest energy?

Many customers choose companies based on their commitment and actions towards protecting the environment – and it’s no different for energy suppliers, in fact, it is probably more important. Energy names are all demonstrating their efforts but what exactly and Utility Warehouse and Octopus doing to supply the greenest energy? Let’s compare. 

Octopus says that they are on a mission to make the world’s energy 100% green in the near future. Currently, the energy name operates 3.4 billion worth of renewable generation which is enough to power around 2 million homes. The company also pays customers to solar power their homes with its green initiative. Octopus offset 708,700 tones of CO2 between the years of 2018 and 2021. They have also invested £10 million to build the U.K.’s only low-carbon heat R&D centre.

All of the company’s smart electricity tariffs are 100% green and it stands as one of Europe’s largest investors in renewable power (Source: Octopus).

Utility Warehouse have various green initiatives also. They supply 100% renewable electricity to customers on certain tariffs and plant a tree for every new customer that takes out all of their services. The company also installs free smart meters to encourage customers to be more mindful of controlling their energy use.

They do not appear to own or control any of their energy sources (solar or wind farms for example) or make any direct investments into renewable energy.

Conclusion: When it comes to green energy, Octopus wins on this. They make it easier for customers to receive 100% renewable electricity (on all their smart tariffs by default) and they are also investing significant amounts of money directly into renewable sources.

Octopus vs Utility Warehouse: Who has better customer reviews?

When comparing customer reviews of suppliers, there is no better place to look than their Trustpilot reviews.

Here are each supplier’s scores as of December 2023: 

  • Octopus is rated 4.8/5 based on over 212,000 reviews
  • Utility Warehouse is rated 4.2/5 based on over 41,000 reviews.

89% of Octopus’ reviews were 5-stars compared with 68% of Utility Warehouse’s.

Octopus actively ask for either positive or negative reviews and feedback from customers in order to improve. Utility Warehouse also does this. Octopus replied to 90% of its negative reviews, whereas Utility Warehouse replied to 99% of its negative reviews. 

Octopus are praised for their tariff options and prices with customers leaving mainly gleaming reviews on the first page of its Trustilot profile. Utility Warehouse is also commended for customer service and fast resolve times.

It should be noted that UW reviews cover customers of all their services, not just energy, but it is not possible to only look at their reviews that cover energy customers.

Conclusion: When it comes to customer reviews, Octopus is the clear winner here. They have a much higher overall score and receive a much higher percentage of 5 star reviews.

Utility Warehouse vs Octopus: Who has the better website and app?

Many people use apps these days to manage their energy account so it’s important that energy brands ensure their apps are well-designed.

As per the ratings on the app store, Octopus’ app scores 4.8/5. The high score can be attributed to how easy customers find the app to use along with customer service via the app. 

Utility Warehouse’s app scores 4.5/5, which is also very high. Customers seem to enjoy the app for its clear data presentation along with the ability to submit meter readings easily. 

When it comes to both of the energy supplier’s websites, there is also a lot to be impressed by. Octopus’ website is eye-catching, easy-to-use and follows a simple login process for customers. This means that customers can quickly view bills and enter information. Utility Warehouse’s website may not be as appealing visually but it is also great to use. Pages load quickly and customers can quickly access their account.

Conclusion: This one is a close one, but when it comes to reviews of their apps, Octopus just edge it and therefore win this round.

Octopus vs Utility Warehouse: Who has the better customer service?

Energy supplier’s customer service is another important area to look at. If you have any issues with your supplier, then you want to know how easily you can get in contact with them.

We used the Citizens Advice website to get a clear idea of which energy provider is best for customer service. You can see the results from their independent survey below:

OctopusUtility Warehouse
Average call centre wait time3:443:39
Emails responded to with 2 days56.8%96.3%
% customers with accurate bill97.8%95.5%
Switches completed < 15 days98.1%99.9%
Opening hours9 am – 5 pm (4 pm Friday)9 am – 5 pm (4.30 pm Friday)
Contact via PhoneYesYes
Contact via EmailYesYes
Contact via WebchatYesYes
Source: Citizens Advice
Conclusion: As you can see, both suppliers have similar average call centre waiting times along with similar open hours and accurate bill and switch completion rates.

Utility Warehouse however perform much better when it comes to responding to emails within 2 days which means they win this round.

Energy suppliers have to publicly post their complaint rates online every quarter. We have taken the key parts of that data for each supplier and compared it below:

OctopusUtility Warehouse
Complaints per 100k customers1,1261,293
Resolved per 100k customers1,157917
Resolved next working day71%74.44%
Resolved in 8 weeks90%99.42%
Sources: Octopus Q2 2023. Utility Warehouse Q2 2023.
Conclusion: This is another close round. Octopus receive fewer complaints per 100,000 customers and also resolve more. UW however resolve a higher percentage both by the next wording day and within 8 weeks. This round is a draw.

Octopus vs Utility Warehouse: What are the main differences between the two?

AreaSummaryWinner
Tariff OptionsUtility Warehouse offer a similar number of tariffs, but these are harder to access unless you want to bundle your utilities together.Octopus
PriceIf you are just looking for energy, then Octopus are the likely to be the cheaper of the two suppliers.Octopus
Greenest EnergyWith their investments in renewable energy, Octopus wins this round.Octopus
Customer ReviewsOctopus perform much better when it comes to customer reviewsOctopus
Website/AppBoth offer highly-rated apps, but Octopus score slightly higherOctopus
Customer ServiceBoth have similar call waiting times, but UW respond to a higher percentage of emails within 2 days.Utility Warehouse
ComplaintsThis is very close, Octopus receive slightly fewer complaints but UW resolve slightly more by the next working day and within 8 weeks.Draw

Who is the best?

From our comparison between Octopus and Utility Warehouse, we have to declare Octopus as the winner. They perform better when it comes to customer reviews and their app appears to be slightly better. They also have better tariff and price options if you are only looking for an energy supplier.

Utility Warehouse do perform better however when it comes to customer service, and maybe a better option if you are looking to move more than one utility to the same supplier.

To find out more Octopus, check out our Octopus Energy review.

Rob
Rob

Hi, I'm Rob and I run Energy-Review.co.uk. I initially started this project 5 years ago when I was looking to switch energy suppliers and found there wasn't a website that provided simple, data backed reviews on all the suppliers available. Since then, I spent have a lot of time (too much some may say!) looking at all publicly available data about each supplier and writing reviews using this information. These reviews are updated as regularly as possible and any data is backed up by a source where necessary. I have also started writing guides on various energy related topics which hopefully you will find useful. If you find any issues, please use our contact form to let us know.

2 Comments
  1. Based on your advice I have decided to stay with Octopus.
    You have a great, clear website. I am 73 and not computer savvy but you have helped me to navigate the info easily.
    Thanks very much.

  2. Hi Rob. Thank you, these are very helpful information. Not sure if you are allowed to say but I was wondering what energy provider are you with right now?

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