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16 July 2021

Utility Warehouse

Utility Warehouse says it offers all your essential services in one, and sells energy bundled with broadband, home phone, mobile, home insurance and boiler care. Is it the best energy firm for you?
SI
Sarah Ingrams

Utility Warehouse is one of the oldest energy firms besides the traditional six, having been set up in 2002.

In 2013 it bought two subsidiary companies from Npower, making it the seventh largest independent energy supplier in the UK at the time.

It currently has over 650,000 customers across the services it sells, all of which are bundled into one bill. It says this approach 'saves families time and money by simplifying their home services’.

Utility Warehouse doesn’t advertise heavily, but relies on agents and customer recommendations instead. Its 45,000 partners (or agents) are given incentives to sign up new customers.

Besides gas and electricity, Utility Warehouse sells contracts for other services including home phone, mobile, broadband and home insurance. It charges customers for these in one monthly bill. Customers can benefit from discounts the more services they buy from Utility Warehouse.

It also replaces light bulbs with LED bulbs for free for customers who buy all of its services or take out its energy bundle.

Utility Warehouse customers can get a cashback card, which earns cashback of up to 7% at a range of shops and online retailers (how much depends on the retailer). The cashback you earn is taken off your monthly bill.

Find out if Utility Warehouse's prices are right for you by comparing gas and electricity prices using our independent energy comparison service Which? Switch.

Utility Warehouse customer score

Utility Warehouse came 7th out of 25 energy companies rated by 7,460 members of the public in the annual Which? energy customer survey.

They dealt with my one complaint quickly and efficiently.

Utility Warehouse customer

It's a little expensive and I could probably get cheaper if I looked around.

Utility Warehouse customer

Utility Warehouse score breakdown

The graphic below shows how Utility Warehouse’s customers rated it across various elements in our latest survey.

Scroll down to read the Which? verdict on Utility Warehouse and find out how its prices compare with other energy firms.

We reveal how Utility Warehouse compares with other energy companies – click to see the full results of the best and worst energy companies.

Which? verdict on Utility Warehouse

Utility Warehouse scored well on two of the four aspects of service we were able to rate in our survey and fair on the other two. 

Three years ago Utility Warehouse topped our energy companies table and also received the Utilities Brand of the Year at the 2018 Which? Awards for its mobile, broadband and energy services. It won this award again in 2020. 

Customers were positive about its bills, rating it four out of five stars for how accurate they are and how easy and clear they are for customers to understand.

Although Utility Warehouse received an excellent customer score, we couldn't make it a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) for energy as it scored below average in our procedures assessment and had to make an Ofgem redress payment for overcharging customers in January 2020. It is a WRP for broadband and mobile though.

It scored an average three stars for customer service and value for money. No company achieved the top rating of five stars for customer service this year and only Outfox the Market was rated five stars for value for money. We didn't get enough responses to rate how well it handles complaints.

Utility Warehouse receives low levels of complaints according to data from the energy regulator Ofgem, but it’s not the speediest firm to resolve them – less than half were resolved within two days in the first six months of 2020. However, almost all of the complaints it received were resolved within eight weeks.

They answer the phone quickly, are polite and deal with things quickly.

Utility Warehouse customer

My bill is so easy to understand. They make it all so clear.

Utility Warehouse customer

Utility Warehouse’s business model is unique, with some customers also working as ‘agents’ to recruit new customers and earning money by doing so. These partners might give a rosier view because of that relationship but there were only five out of the 66 Utility Warehouse customers in our survey this year, which isn't enough to affect its score.

When we included Utility Warehouse in our snapshot investigation into customer waiting times, it picked up the phone in 2 minutes 16 seconds, significantly faster than the median average of all 31 firms we called (5 minutes 57 seconds). 

Email queries were responded to in 2 days 14 hours, which was faster than the nearly five days Ecotricity averaged but a long way from E's 45-minute average reply time.

Pros: Single monthly bill bundling all utilities

Cons: You’ll need to buy multiple services to get the cheapest deals, which might not work for everyone

Can I join Utility Warehouse with a prepayment meter?

Yes, if you have a traditional prepayment meter. If you have a smart prepayment meter, Utility Warehouse will need to change it into 'credit mode'. This means that you'll get monthly bills instead and won't be able to pay-as-you-go.

Prepayment customers can top-up at PayPoint, Payzone or Post Offices.

Utility Warehouse electricity sources

Utility Warehouse in the news

Utility Warehouse in 2021

March: Utility Warehouse is paying 2,700 of its customers a total of £95,500 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.

Utility Warehouse’s affected customers will receive £35.08 each, on average, the highest average amount across all suppliers involved. 

Utility Warehouse in 2020

January: Utility Warehouse had to pay £650,000 for overcharging customers in relation to the price cap, energy regulator Ofgem announced. 

The firm had to refund and compensate 3,430 customers in receipt of the Warm Home Discount after it charged them more than the price cap between January and November 2019. 

A system error caused the issue, Ofgem said, which was corrected. 

Affected customers received a refund. Utility Warehouse also made ‘goodwill’ payments.

Utility Warehouse in 2019

June: Utility Warehouse announced a 4% increase in customer numbers, taking it to around 635,000 customers in total.

Think you're paying too much for energy? Use Which? Switch to find the cheapest gas and electricity.