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21 October 2021

Shell Energy

Shell Energy is one of the largest energy providers outside of the original six. But is it also the best gas and electricity firm for you? Find out what customers think of its prices, service and more.
SI
Sarah Ingrams
Shell energy logo main 480513

Shell Energy supplies around one million customers. 

It bought First Utility to become a home energy company in 2018, then bought Hudson Energy Supply (the parent company of supplier Green Star Energy) in October 2019.

Shell Energy says all customers get 100% renewable electricity, as well as fuel discounts. Customers who sign up to the Shell Go+ rewards programme get a 3% discount on fuel at Shell service stations; this is valid on up to 60 litres of fuel per household per month. It also gives customers 'personalised offers' and 'other surprises'.

Shell Energy took on the customers of several smaller suppliers - including Goto Energy, Green, Pure Planet and Usio Energy - when they stopped trading.

It also sells broadband and smart home technology.

Read on to find out more about Shell Energy. Or see how its prices compare by using Which? Switch to find the cheapest gas and electricity.

Shell Energy customer score

Shell Energy came 17th out of 25 energy companies rated by 7,460 members of the public in the annual Which? energy supplier satisfaction survey – the biggest of its kind. 

I haven't had any issues with its customer service.

Shell Energy customer

It could be more competitive.

Shell Energy customer

Shell Energy score breakdown

Below we reveal the breakdown of Shell Energy's score from our latest survey. Keep reading to find out what its customer service is like, plus what customers think of the value for money of its tariffs. 

Find out how Shell Energy compares with other energy companiesclick to see the full results of the best and worst energy companies.

Which? verdict on Shell Energy

Shell Energy is among the biggest 10 energy firms but not among the best, according to customers in our survey. It can be found in the bottom half of our table. However, it ranks higher than all the traditional big firms. 

Customers found Shell Energy’s bills accurate, and its ‘good’ rating on this aspect equalled that of four of the firms ranked in the top 10 overall.

Some 73% of customers said the accuracy of its bills was either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, compared with an average of 78% across firms (but 90% for the highest-scoring supplier overall in this category).

It has an app where customers can input their own meter readings, so there shouldn't be any need for estimated bills.

On every other aspect we asked about – bill clarity, customer service and its handling of complaints – its ratings were average.

It resolved 46% of complaints on the same or next working day in the first half of last year. While it’s far from the worst, the best firms manage to solve 90% or more in the same timeframe.

Some 22% of customers said that it offers 'excellent' value for money, but other firms' customer feedback was far better. The highest percentage for this category was for Avro Energy and Octopus Energy, which were rated 'excellent' for value for money by 38% of their customers in our survey.

Shell Energy offers a range of tariffs, including different-length fixed deals. In June 2020 it launched a 100% carbon neutral tariff including carbon neutral gas as well as the standard 100% renewable electricity.

Its bills have always been accurate and easy to understand.

Shell Energy customer

It offered a good deal at the time and I get reward incentives.

Shell Energy customer

In our September 2020 energy companies' call waiting snapshot investigation, Shell Energy answered the phone in 4 minutes 6 seconds, which was quicker than the median average wait time for all 31 companies we called (5 minutes 57 seconds).

It also offers live chat, but here it didn't do so well in our investigation. Of the 18 companies we contacted this way, it was the slowest, responding in 33 minutes 39 seconds. The average was 3 minutes 6 seconds. For comparison, Outfox the Market averaged 10 seconds for a response.

Pros: Customers generally think its bills are accurate

Cons: Customer service is only average; slowest to respond to live chat in our snapshot investigation

Can you join Shell Energy with a prepayment meter?

Yes, Shell Energy can support customers both with traditional prepayment meters and smart prepayment meters. 

Customers with smart prepayment meters can top-up online and check their credit balance on their digital in-home display. 

See other firms for prepayment meter customers, plus how to change to a credit meter.

Does Shell Energy sell renewable energy?

Shell Energy buys some renewable electricity directly from generators and matches the rest of its customers’ electricity use with renewables by buying renewable energy certificates.

Proportion of renewable electricity sold to domestic customers
Generates renewable electricity?
Buys renewable electricity directly from generators?
Proportion of customers’ renewable electricity matched by REGO certificates?
Generates or buys directly from fossil fuels?
Sells green gas?
100%
No
Yes (17%)
100%
No
No

Proportion of renewable electricity according to Shell Energy’s 2020/21 fuel mix. Other responses based on information provided by suppliers in August and September 2021.

Shell Energy doesn’t generate renewable power itself. It buys power, via its sister company Limejump, from renewable generators and also buys REGO certificates. 

Shell Energy doesn’t sell green gas. It says it’s focussed instead on cutting gas consumption, offering a tariff that offsets CO2 emissions, and looking for long-term alternatives to gas heating. 

Find out more about the differences between energy companies’ renewable electricity.

Shell Energy in the news

Shell Energy in 2021

October: Shell Energy took on  total of 281,000 customers from Colorado Energy, Daligas, Goto Energy and Pure Planet when they stopped trading.

September: Shell Energy took on 255,000 customers from Green when it stopped trading.

March: Shell Energy is paying over 225,000 customers £1.2m after overcharging them when they switched supplier or tariff between 2013 and 2020. It was one of 18 energy firms found by regulator Ofgem to have failed to uphold these rules. Over 1 million customers were affected.

Shell's affected customers will receive £5.39 each, on average. This includes reimbursing customers and paying some compensation.

Shell Energy in 2020

December: Shell Energy reported a loss of almost £32m for 2019, in part blaming falling customer numbers as a result of lower prices being offered by other suppliers.

July: The Advertising Standards Authority banned Shell Energy's radio ad for its Shell Go+ loyalty scheme for being misleading.

These ASA said the advert it implied that it was a carbon neutral fuel rather than a loyalty scheme that offset the carbon emissions of the fuel its members bought.

Shell Energy in 2019

October: Shell Energy bought Hudson Energy Supply, including its domestic retail arm Green Star Energy, in October 2019. It's reported to have paid up to £8.5m. 

It gained 200,000 household customers. 

June: Shell Energy said it will pay customers a total of £190,000 in compensation after Ofgem found that First Utility had overcharged 12,000 customers between January and March 2019. 

March: First Utility rebranded as Shell Energy.

Don't pay your energy company more than you need to. Use Which? Switch to find the cheapest gas and electricity deals.