Utilita says it gives customers ‘total control’ over their energy, and has been installing smart prepayment meters for more than 10 years. Now, 90% of its customers have smart meters.
Thanks to its smart-metering technology, Utilita’s customers can top up online, by mobile app and text, as well as over the phone or at a PayPoint outlet.
Set up in 2003, Utilita now has around 780,000 customers, many of which the company says have joined it through word of mouth. Utilita claims to offer a ‘simple tariff’ and ‘fair prices’ for its smart energy products.
It has opened ‘energy hubs’ in Portsmouth and Southampton where customers can top up, get energy efficiency advice and help from staff, face to face. It plans to open others in Edinburgh and the Isle of Wight in early 2020.
Utilita Extra offers customers competitions and prize draws to win vouchers and tickets to events.
Utilita recently launched Utilita Mobile which offers Sim-only, pay-as-you-go deals.
In September 2019, it took on Eversmart Energy's 29,000 customers after the smaller firm stopped trading. Find out what happens now for . Utilita also acquired failed supplier 's 31,000 customers in January 2019.
Utilita customer score
Customers were most satisfied with its customer service and accuracy of bills and charges, which were both rated four stars out of five.
Utilita score breakdown
The graphic below shows the breakdown of its score from our latest survey.
Which? verdict on Utilita
Only the top-scoring energy company achieved a higher star rating for customer service than Utilita, showing that customers generally think well of both its online and telephone support.
And when we gave live chat a go, Utilita’s was unavailable on 11 of the 12 occasions we tried. On the one occasion it was available, it took us 12mins and 17secs to get a reply. Utilita wasn’t the only company with poor live chat availability in our snapshot investigation though – Bulb Energy also only had live chat available on only one occasion we tried.
Customers’ feedback also gave Utilita a four-star rating for how it handles complaints.
This tallies at odds with data from the energy regulator Ofgem though, which shows that Utilita only resolved a quarter or less of complaints within two days in the first half of last year. The best companies in our survey managed to solve more than 90% of the complaints they received in the same time period.
Plus, between April and June 2019, Utilita had one of the highest numbers of complaints per 1,000 customers of companies included in our survey, and solved just 13% of them in two days. After eight weeks still only 60% were sorted.
Feedback from customers in our survey about Utilita’s complaints handling were mixed.
Utilita also achieved four stars for the accuracy of its bills. Since most customers pay in advance for their gas and electricity, this indicates that they feel that what they use matches what they pay for.
All other aspects of Utilita’s service received ‘fair’ ratings from customers: value for money, how clear bills are and digital tools.
The MyUtilita app lets customers see their balance, bills, payment history, submit meter readings and change their details. Customers with smart meters can also apply for Power Up – a top-up when you’ve run out of credit.
Value for money also received a ‘fair’ rating from customers in our survey.
Utilita has different tariffs depending on whether or not you have a smart meter. Its tariffs have two unit rates, rather than a unit rate and standing charge like many tariffs from other suppliers. You pay a higher unit rate for the first few kilowatt hours of energy used per day, then a lower one thereafter.
Pros: Customer service, accurate bills and complaints handling are good, according to customers
Cons: Its live chat isn’t reliably available