Shell Energy, previously known as First Utility, is one of the largest independent UK energy suppliers, narrowly missing out on the big six. With an emphasis on renewables in its electricity plans and smart meter integration, Shell Energy joins the ranks of Octopus, OVO and Bulb as mid-size providers valuing renewables over traditional energy production sources.
Previously known as First Utility (founded 2008)
Total customers: 750,000+
Originally operating as First Utility, Shell Energy acquired this company in 2019 and soon after switched 100% of its customers to renewable electricity. The acquisition saw the major oil and gas conglomerate Shell enter the household supplier industry. Serving 750,000 customers with 100% renewable electricity, Shell Energy hopes to challenge the big six energy providers in the UK by modernising the energy industry with smart meters and renewables. Along with providing electricity and gas, Shell Energy offers broadband and smart home technology bundles, creating an all-in-one package for consumers who hope to simplify their monthly tariffs.
Although Shell Energy is a small-to-medium-size player in the UK energy industry, the larger Shell brand is a leading international corporation. As of 2018, Shell was the third-largest and most profitable company in the world. Pairing this massive global presence with a progressive, medium-sized energy provider creates an opportunity for quick growth and could become a clear threat to the big six UK providers.
Early accounts and reviews state that Shell Energy tariffs are slightly higher than other providers with the size and renewable energy emphasis. Shell Energy does offer a range of fixed price plans that give slightly more variety to the standard 12 or 24-month tariffs. Shell electricity and gas plans range from 14 and 17 months up to 34 months.
Shell Energy tariffs are primarily paid for through the supplier’s website. This allows for safer and quicker payments and lets customers check the status of their energy plans tariff online, what they owe or if they have any credit with Shell.
Shell electricity is fully renewable and comes as standard on all available Shell Energy tariffs. When the transfer from First Utility to Shell Energy was made, Shell implemented 100% renewable electricity, making them one of the few medium/large providers to offer renewable power across its plans.
Shell claims that all its energy comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass. Furthermore, the energy sources they use are certified by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs). As the demand for REGOs becomes greater, this will also emphasise the importance for more renewable generators within the UK. With the acquisition of First Utility, Shell hopes to challenge the big six energy providers in the UK with a focus on sustainable, renewable energy.
Shell Energy’s fuel mix displays that they are 100% dependent on renewable energy sources. Whereas traditional UK energy providers use about 5% coal, 41% natural gas and 19% nuclear to provide electricity, Shell relies on fully renewable sources.
The provider offers Shell Energy smart meters to all customers. Smart meters send your energy usage directly to your provider, meaning manual readings are no longer needed. Along with the direct reporting to your energy provider, smart meters also supply you, the customer, with up-to-date energy usage data making it easier to conserve energy and earn lower tariffs. Shell’s online portal allows customers to stay up to date with their usage from anywhere in the world.
You can have a Shell Energy smart meter for gas usage, which is battery powered and meant to last more than ten years before a replacement battery is needed. Electricity smart meters are powered through an electrical outlet anywhere in the home, and Shell allows customers to book appointments for installation where an engineer will complete the switch within an hour.
Shell Energy also offers broadband and smart home technology services. Shell Energy broadband services offer fibre optic options up to 76 Mbps as well as packages with more modest speeds of 11Mbps.
Shell Energy is diving head-first into the energy sector with its home technology services. Along with smart meters, which they are rolling out to all energy customers, Shell Energy also offers Google Nest Thermostat E and electric vehicle home charging ports. The common theme between this technology is its focus on creating a more sustainable, environmentally friendly home.
Operating under the Shell name gives this energy supplier an added edge when it comes to extra benefits for its customers. The Shell Go+ rewards programme offers Shell Energy customers a 3% saving on fuel from participating Shell petrol stations. Other benefits include discounts on the food sold at its garages and money off Shell’s range of vehicle care products.
Being a new player in the energy industry, consumers may be wary of switching to Shell Energy, however with such a large parent company, it comes with a greater sense of security than other small suppliers. Shell’s offerings align with the more popular and fastest-growing providers right now, making them worth considering, especially if you’re opting for renewable energy.
Another attractive aspect of Shell Energy is its corporate backing, which should be beneficial for it within the industry at a time of great fluctuation and increased competition. Due to this, there is an excellent opportunity for the company to become one of the major players in future years.