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Other energy companies reviews

Utility Warehouse

By Sarah Ingrams

Article 25 of 25

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Utility Warehouse

Utility Warehouse brands itself the discount club and offers energy bundled with other utilities. Is Utility Warehouse the best energy firm for you?

Utility Warehouse became an energy supplier in 2013, having bought its 770,000 customers from Npower. It’s now one of the largest energy firms besides the Big Six and currently says it has more than 600,000 customers.

Utility Warehouse doesn’t advertise heavily, but relies on agents and customer recommendations instead. Partners (or agents) are incentivised to sign up new customers.

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

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

Congratulations to Utility Warehouse. It came top out of 31 energy companies rated by 8,761 members of the public in the annual Which? energy customer survey - the biggest of its kind.

'I have been with Utility Warehouse over a number of years and always found it fair and helpful.’

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 scores consistently well year-on-year, and regains the top spot for 2018. It last topped our table in 2011.

It’s one of just three suppliers this year to score a full five stars out of five for bills, phone customer service and value for money.

It missed out on becoming a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) for energy, however, as it scored below average on our procedures and practices assessment. Utility Warehouse is a WRP for broadband and mobile.

To be an energy WRP, energy companies must meet criteria for these, plus performance, pricing and customer satisfaction. Our only energy WRP is Octopus Energy

‘Excellent services and prices’

Utility Warehouse customer
Utility Warehouse has the highest proportion of customers who’d definitely recommend it – an impressive 63%.
Customers also told us they’re happy with the way it handles complaints and helps them understand and reduce their energy use. At the moment, Utility Warehouse is offering to replace new customers’ light bulbs with LEDs free of charge.

‘They changed all of our lightbulbs to help reduce our energy costs.’

Utility Warehouse customer
Utility Warehouse’s business model is unique, with customers also working as ‘agents’ to recruit new customers. These agents might give a rosier view because of that relationship, so we also checked the customer score excluding them. Even then, Utility Warehouse still does very well, with a 74% customer score.

Pros: Sends a single monthly bill for all the utilities you bundle together, Utility Warehouse is a Which? Recommended Provider for mobile and broadband

Cons: To get the cheapest deals, you have to also sign up for its phone and broadband services. This might not work for everyone - for example, if you have existing contracts 

Utility Warehouse fuel sources

Utility Warehouse prices

The graph above shows how Utility Warehouse’s value tariff  compares with its cheapest tariff and the cheapest tariff on the market. Its value tariff allows you to buy just energy, while its cheapest tariff (usually called Double Gold) requires you to buy a bundle of services to get the cheapest rates.

As you can see, customers on Utility Warehouse’s value variable tariff would always have saved money by switching to the firm’s cheapest deal. However, the cheapest deal often involves bundling several household services together (for example broadband), so might not be an option for everyone. Customers could always save more by switching to the cheapest deal on the market overall.

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

Utility Warehouse in the news

2018

June: Utility Warehouse will increase the prices of its variable tariffs by 4.4% from 1 July 2018. Its Value, Gold and Double Gold variable tariffs will increase by between £47 and £50 per year, for the average user.

It also emerged that Utility Warehouse is being investigated by energy regulator Ofgem for the way it handles customers who are in debt.

Ofgem is examining if it broke rules on:

  • Giving indebted customers appropriate repayment plans
  • Doing enough to contact customers at risk of debt
  • Installing pre-payment meters appropriately as a means of recovering debt, especially when they are installed under warrant

2017

In September, Utility Warehouse increased prices for customers on its variable tariffs. Those on its Double Gold and Gold tariffs buying dual-fuel saw an 8% price rise. Customers on its Value variable tariff saw a 3% increase.

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