As is generally expected nowadays from smaller energy suppliers, First Utility performs pretty well on the customer satisfaction scale. Out of the 31 British energy suppliers that were reviewed in the 2017 Which? Customer service survey, First Utility came joint 12th, scoring well above all the Big Six suppliers. According to said survey, First Utility scored equally in all areas of the test, coming out with 4 out of 5 stars on all sub-categories, with 68% overall satisfaction.
Even on Trustpilot, which is known for its extremely critical reviews, has seen 28,529 people contribute towards First Utility’s 4 out of 5 star rating, with a 7/10 total ‘TrustScore’. First Utility have a great reputation also for replying and resolving all customer complaints made through this service, showing the great efforts that they make towards customer experience. To have such a massive number of people review your service, as an energy provider, and come out with 46% 5 star reviews, you really do deserve a pat on the back!
From the above we can see that First Utility have an extremely competent customer service operation. We see this happen with many independent suppliers that first rank highly, then drop off fast; however, First Utility were set up in 2004 and have become the most successful small energy supplier, and have not seen a drop yet, so watch this space, but we think they’re here to stay! If you are having doubts about signing up to First Utility, then we certainly recommend that you don’t disregard them for their customer service abilities.
If you are a new or existing customer of First Utility, you can login to your online account to carry out a whole host of tasks that you would otherwise have to do over the phone. You can access your account by using your username, account number or email address. If you have forgotten your password, you can click the ‘Forgotten your password?’ option on the login screen. Once you are logged into your account, you will be able to do the following:
- See usage history
- Pay bills
- View historic bills
- Submit meter readings
- Update personal details
If you would like to access your online account, you can use the following link to be redirected to the login screen:
Tariffs & Prices
Despite being a ‘small’ supplier, First Utility have a huge variety of tariffs that get updated every month. As such, the best way to get an updated estimate of any First Utility tariff would be to give us a call directly. First Utility’s main four tariff categories are as follows:
- Smart First
- First Short
- First Long
First Utility will make a suggestion as to which tariff suits your needs best based on three simple options. Below you can see the Tariff Label Information (TLI) for First Utility’s First Variable tariff:
|Region||Elec price per kWh||Elec yearly price||Elec TCR||Gas price per kWh||Gas yearly price||Gas TCR||Dual Fuel Yearly|
|North East EN||19.943p||£636.48||20.53p||3.428p||£528.88||4.23p||£1,165.36|
|North West EN||21.716p||£691.45||22.30p||3.436p||£529.88||4.24p||£1,221.33|
|Merseyside & N Wales||20.720p||£660.57||21.31p||3.106p||£488.63||3.91p||£1,149.20|
|South East EN||19.805p||£632.21||20.39p||3.451p||£531.75||4.25p||£1,163.96|
|South West EN||20.051p||£639.83||20.64p||3.448p||£531.38||4.25p||£1,171.21|
At time of writing (Jan 2018) First Utility are close to the top of the cheapest energy tariffs. First Utility’s ‘Smart First March 2019 online’ has an average yearly cost of around £914.74 (in Yorkshire region), just slightly beaten by Big Six competitor Eon, with their ‘E.ON Go Online 1 Year v6’, which costs around £914.74, a £22.29 difference annually. Even so, we can see that First Utility are extremely competitive with their prices.
At present, First Utility do not offer any 100% renewable energy tariffs, which is unusual for a smaller supplier. That said, they have been focusing on improving their overall energy mix, pushing passes the national average for renewable energy by 5%, as you can see below.
Due to a change in regulation, meaning all British energy suppliers needing to supply public information regarding their energy mixes, First Utility’s fuel mix is now readily available on their website. This change was made to push the much needed increase in renewable energy generation. The national average for renewable fuel mix percentage currently sites at around 24%. This has been surpassed finely by First Utility with a percentage of 29.4%.
The biggest part of First Utility’s supply comes from natural gas, which would not be surprising for one of the Big Six suppliers, but it is rather surprising for an independent like First Utility. Many independents find their edge by being a responsible, environmentally friendly supplier, but it does not seem like First Utility have bothered to go this way. That said, like all providers nationwide, First Utility will have to improve its renewable percentage in the not so distant future to comply with national guidelines.
Just like many of the larger suppliers, First Utility are currently in the process of rolling out their new state of the art smart meters. This is in accordance with the Government's plans to have every single home and business installed with a smart meter by 2020. Each company’s smart meters are designed differently and have slightly different features; however, they all work on the same network. This means that if you want to switch your supplier, you can do so without worrying about any repercussions or meter changes.
All smart meters available through First Utility are completely free, including the installation and set up. If you would like to find out more about smart meters you can click here, but if you are already sure about installing your property with a smart meter, go right ahead and book your installation through the following link:
If you don’t have the above (a smart meter) and you need to know how to submit your meter readings, we have all the information for you right here. In order to avoid any kind of estimated billing, submitted meter readings is essential. You can do so via a few different methods for First Utility. These are:
- Via the First Utility app
- Through your online account
- Over the phone
- Via email
The quickest way, according to First Utility, is to submit them via the app; however, all of the other options work just as well. If you aren’t sure how to read your meters, you can click the following link to see a tutorial:
About First Utility
First Utility are the UK’s largest independent energy supplier outside of the Big Six, giving them a market share of 3% with over one million household and business contracts. The company was launched as a spin-out from First Telecom in 2008 by co-founders Mark Daeche, Darren Braham and Marcus Citron; however, it is now headed by former lastminute.com CEO Ian McCaig. Although the company do not have a generation business, they do have a very good relationship with international oil company Shell, meaning they have an intermediary in order to purchase oil from the international wholesale market.
In late 2014, First Utility made a big step on behalf of the whole energy industry, forcing the commonplace switch time from 4-5 weeks to 2.5 weeks, making the switching process easier for the general public. They have also developed an extremely interesting technological device that allows you to remotely monitor and control your home energy usage. This smart thermostat has been named ‘Cozy’ and is available on most First Utility tariffs upon request.
First Utility is an independent energy supplier, meaning they are not owned by any external shareholders. They are 100% funded by themselves, which seems to be an attractive business model at the moment for many energy suppliers. First Utility only operates within the British supply market and does not currently undertake any generation themselves. As such, 100% of their revenue comes from their supply business.
In their latest public accounts report (2016), they declared a total revenue of £908.4 million, a 7.2% increase from the previous year. This amounted to a total profit (after taxation) of £9.6 million, a 210% increase from the previous year.
Within this statement, they also revealed how much they paid their highest paid staff. In this document we can see that their directors were paid over £1.4 million each per year. Their total wage bill for staff, including directors, came to just under £37.3 million, a pretty huge feat for a ‘small’ supplier.
You can read more about First Utility’s financial activity by clicking the link below: