Utilita says it gives customers ‘total control’ over their energy, and has been installing smart prepayment meters since 2008. 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. They pride themselves on being 'the UK's first and only specialist Pay As You Go Smart Energy supplier'.
The My Utilita app lets customers see their balance, bills and payment history, and 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.
Set up in 2003, Utilita now has more than 800,000 customers, many of which the company says have joined through word of mouth. Utilita claims it can save you money and says it's one of the only suppliers with no standing charge, so if you don't use any energy you don't pay anything.
It has opened ‘energy hubs’ in Derby, Edinburgh, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton and West Bromwich, where customers can top up, and get energy efficiency advice and help from staff, face to face.
Utilita Extra offers customers competitions and prize draws to win vouchers and tickets to events.
Utilita Mobile sells Sim-only, pay-monthly deals.
Utilita has taken on the customers of Eversmart Energy, Omni Energy and Our Power over the last few years when the smaller suppliers closed.
Utilita came 5th out of 18 energy companies rated by 8,390 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey.
Customer ratings reflected a solid amount of satisfaction with this company, though nothing particularly outstanding about it.
I am satisfied, though not really convinced of a better rate at the moment
I've never had any issues with supply; prices are ok but not great.
The graphic below shows the breakdown of its score from our latest survey.
Scroll down to read the full Which? verdict on Utilita, plus how its prices compare with other energy suppliers.
|Overall customer score||63%|
|Customer service online or over the phone|
|How accurate energy payments are|
|How clear statements are|
|Value for money|
Pros: Generally decent value; easy to manage via app
Cons: Communication could be better
Customers were fairly satisfied with Utilita across the board, according to this years' survey. Scoring three stars for customer service, accuracy and clarity of statements, and value for money, Utilita narrowly missed out on being in our top-five.
Of all the Utilita customers we surveyed, 62% said its customer service was good and 71% told us they were satisfied with it overall as a supplier.
Almost two in 10 (19%) have felt a reason to complain in the last year, slightly higher than the average amount we found across all companies (15%). Ofgem reports show that complaints to Utilita have been steadily low for approximately the last 4 years, averaging 500 - 700 complaints per 100,000 customer accounts.
In our survey, of those who reported complaining to Utilita, over half reported that they complained regarding their bills or statements. 37% of those who said they complained regarding bills, payments or price rises reported that their supplier took a one-off payment without warning.
Utilita scored slightly worse on the resolving of complaints, though far from the worst. 19% of Utilita customers claimed they were satisfied with the resolution of their claim, compared to an average across the board of 28%.
Value for money received a ‘fair’ three-star 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 two kilowatt hours of energy used per day, then a lower one thereafter.
Utilita's Pay As You Go system allows customers to pay for what they use - and while many seem happy with this system, some customers reported being overcharged for the amount they use.
Utilita's app also encourages users to pay online rather than via a top-up point.
They've just put prices up but so have other companies.
The bill is not fair to the amount we use.
Yes. Utilita says it specialises in supplying customers with prepayment meters. You can also join it and pay by direct debit.
Around a third of the overall electricity Utilita sells is matched with renewable sources. It doesn’t generate renewable electricity or buy it directly from renewable generators. Its focus is on helping customers use less energy.
|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?|
Proportion of renewable electricity according to Utilita’s 2020/21 fuel mix. Other responses based on information provided by suppliers in August and September 2021.
Utilita explained that it buys REGOs from subsidised generators up to the amount of renewable generation that its customers have subsidised through their energy bills. Then it only buys REGOs from generators without subsidies to support new generation.
Utilita’s Sustainability Lead, Archie Lasseter, said that all customers should see the renewable generation they’re paying for in subsidies: ‘In a fair market everybody sees that electricity in their fuel mix’.
Utilita's Smart Score app uses smart meter data to calculate energy efficiency and give tips on how customers can reduce energy wastage in their homes.
November: Omni Energy's 9,000 customers moved to Utilita after the smaller supplier closed.
September: Utilita among many smaller energy companies forced to temporarily stop taking new customers amid the UK's energy crisis.
January: Energy regulator Ofgem decided not to impose a final order on Utilita, banning it from taking on new customers if it didn't meet smart meter targets, owing to the national lockdown restrictions. Utilita has committed to do its best to deliver against its smart meter plan. Ofgem says it will keep its progress under review.
November: Energy regulator Ofgem said Utilita continued to install first-generation smart meters, which can stop being smart when you switch, even though suppliers must 'take all reasonable steps' to install second-generation ones.
It had to install 15,000 second-generation meters by 31 July 2021 or it will be banned from taking on new customers.
October: Utilita overcharged almost 40,000 customers, energy regulator Ofgem revealed.
Affected customers were refunded plus a goodwill payment. Utilita reported itself to Ofgem when it discovered the problem.