Utility Warehouse (UW) is a multi-utility provider that supplies UK households with a full range of services – in addition to offering gas and electricity it also supplies landline, mobile telephone, and broadband.
HQ: Colindale, United Kingdom
Total customers: over 600,000
The brand is part of Telecom Plus, which launched Utility Warehouse back in 2002 to manage its residential energy, telephone, and broadband offerings. After initially outsourcing its gas and electricity supplies to npower in 2006, it bought back over 500,000 customers from the energy giant in 2013. This has made Utility Warehouse one of the UK’s largest energy suppliers outside of the big six – some commentators have even speculated it could lead to the big six becoming the big seven in the UK.
Utility Warehouse’s position as a multi-utility provider gives it a unique advantage in its fight to remain competitive against the big six: the ability to bundle up its services to offer heavily discounted packages to customers. Not only will you save hundreds of pounds when you opt to take your energy, phone, and broadband from a single supplier, you’ll also benefit from being able to manage all your services from just one location, combine them into a single bill, and enjoy the support of Utility Warehouse’s award-winning customer service. This model helped it win Utilities Brand of the Year at the 2018 Which? Awards followed by third place in the Uswitch Energy Awards in 2019.
Utility Warehouse offers several tariffs based on which of its services you decide to take.
If you take its standard gas and electric tariff, Utility Warehouse promises you’ll save at least 0.5% on the average of the cheapest variable tariffs offered by the big six suppliers. If they lower their prices, UW offers an additional guarantee that it’ll follow suit within 90 days.
To maximise your savings, however, the brand offers bundle deals that offer even better value for money. These include:
The Energy One bundles gas and electricity with both broadband and landline services to offer its Gold Energy tariff, which is cheaper than Utility Warehouse’s energy-only tariff, and 2.5% cheaper than the big six. It also comes with free LED light bulbs for both landowners and tenants to help cut a further 15% from your electricity bill.
The Everything One bundle adds mobile to the Energy One bundle. This package provides access to UW’s cheapest energy tariff – and is at least 5% cheaper than the big six. If you’re currently locked into a contract with another supplier that comes with early exit fees, UW will cover the cost of switching up to £200 – note, if you’re a tenant, you’ll need to be over 30 years old and agree to have a Utility Warehouse smart meter installed. Switching to this tariff could save you up to £979 per year compared to taking out separate contracts for your energy, phone, and broadband bills.
Both bundles also combine your services into a single bill to simplify the payment process.
Pay-as-you-go electric and gas is also available by requesting Utility Warehouse installs a prepayment meter, which you’ll top up by card at any store offering PayPoint services. Note, however, that there are no special bonuses or top-up services to customers on pay as you go tariffs.
You can also use the Cashback discount scheme to earn money off your utility bills – Utility Warehouse offers a Cashback card that gives cashback on your utility bills when you make purchases in-store or online. It’s not a credit or debit card – you simply top it up like a PAYG mobile phone, then spend the credit to earn cashback of between 1-7%. Note, the card costs a one-time fee of £5, deducted from your next bill, plus comes with a £2 monthly fee, so many not be suitable for everyone.
On both standard and bundle tariffs, UW provides the Utility Warehouse app, which lets you control your utilities from your mobile. If you’re on a bundle package, you can manage your energy, phone contract, and Cashback card from the same app.
UW offers smart meters to anyone on its Energy One or Everything One bundles as part of its commitment to being both price-competitive and focused on customer experience.
There are several benefits to using a smart meter. Like all smart meters, Utility Warehouse’s meter records your energy use and automatically sends these readings to your supplier, so no more estimated bills or remembering to read the meter. The smart meter also provides real-time information about consumption, allowing you to see which appliances are using the most energy as well as when it’s being used most. Armed with this information, you can make smarter decisions about your energy usage.
The UW smart meter is both free and installed by experts – indeed, it’s a pre-requisite for some of the supplier’s special tariffs and bundles, so if you want to take full advantage of Utility Warehouse’s offers, you may need to get one installed.
Another way in which UW goes toe-to-toe with the big six has been with its highly rated customer service – the supplier received an 83% overall satisfaction rating in a YouGov survey commissioned by uSwitch. Its website contains an extensive searchable support section that covers all its services, and there’s a support phoneline if you need it that runs weekdays (8am-8pm) and Saturdays (9am-4.30pm) along with a 24-hour hotline if you need to report a fault.
Utility Warehouse’s main selling point is its simplicity – allowing you to combine your energy, landline, mobile and broadband in one place with just one bill to worry about. Take advantage of one of its multi-service bundles, and the savings can really add up – and if you make full use of its offerings, from Cashback card to UW smart meter and app, there’s huge potential to save money.
One slight fly in the ointment is that 100% renewable electricity is only available when you sign up to The Everything One bundle. For those concerned about their energy’s environmental impact, UW does not have a strong focus on green energy provision – its fuel mix contained only 8.9% renewables in 2018-19 compared to the UK average of 32.8%. You’re also likely to find better deals elsewhere if you wish to keep your energy bills separate from your other utilities.