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First Utility Tariffs: Compare Gas & Electricity Prices

First Utility tariffs

Prior to its rebranding as Shell Energy, First Utility was one of the UK’s largest independent providers of gas and electricity, offering low-price fixed and variable contracts. Our guide to First Utility tariffs breaks down each of these plans by unit rate, standing charge and annual cost.

First Utility tariffs

With hundreds of energy suppliers each offering a multitude of tariffs to choose from, it can be a mammoth task trying to work out which is right for you. Until its rebranding as Shell Energy, First Utility made things simple by offering just three tariffs: two fixed-rate plans and a flexible variable tariff.

Each of these First Utility tariffs were available as either electricity or dual fuel plans, though it was not possible to have gas supplied on its own.

In addition to their energy supply, customers on First Utility tariffs could benefit from discounted home services, such as boiler emergency cover and cheaper internet when signed up to one of the provider’s broadband plans.

First Utility became Shell Energy in March 2019.Are you a former First Utility customer unhappy with your new Shell Energy tariff? Selectra compares gas and electricity plans across the market to find the best deal for you. Give us a free call on 0203 936 0059 and start saving today!

Fixed tariffs

First Utility offered two separate fixed-rate tariffs for new customers: an online-only 12 month plan and a 3 year tariff for those who wanted to lock-in the prices long-term.

On a fixed-rate tariff, gas and electricity rates are set at the same price for the duration of the contract. More often than not, this type of tariff works out cheaper than a variable tariff, though this also means you could miss out from any savings to be had in the event of wholesale energy price drops.

1. First Fixed 12 Months

Features:

  • Price protection for 12 months
  • Online services only
  • Monthly Direct Debits
  • Monthly statements
  • Discounted boiler and central heating cover
  • Discounted broadband internet
  • Exit fees of £50 for each fuel

As this First Utility fixed tariff was online-based, customers did not have access to paperless bills and had to manage their account using their First Utility login. This meant everything from accessing bills to submitting meter readings had to be done through the online portal or app.

2. First Fixed 3 Years

Features:

  • Price protection for three years
  • Access to full services, including helpline and paper bills
  • Monthly Direct Debits
  • Monthly statements
  • Discounted boiler and central heating cover
  • Discounted broadband internet
  • Exit fees of £50 for each fuel

First Utility’s longest tariff was a more traditional energy plan, complete with paper billing and a customer service helpline. As a three year contract, the supplier marketed this as a stress-free option with long term protection against price rises.

Exit feesCustomers on fixed-rate First Utility tariffs wanting to move to another plan or switch provider before the contract end date were charged a fee of £50 for electricity and £50 for gas.

Variable tariffs

In addition to its fixed plans, First Utility offered a standard variable tariff with its First Variable plan. This tariff was fully flexible, with no fixed period and no exit fees.

With a variable tariff, the unit price of energy can fluctuate with wholesale energy market costs. Depending on how the market price changes over time, you could actually end up paying less for your energy with a variable tariff, though this can be a risk and many customers prefer the security of knowing what they’ll be expected to pay month-to-month.

First Variable

Features:

  • Variable prices
  • No fixed contract
  • No exit fees
  • Access to full services, including helpline and paper bills
  • Monthly Direct Debits
  • Monthly statements
  • Discounted boiler and central heating cover
  • Discounted broadband internet

Customers are automatically placed on a variable default tariff when their energy plan comes to an end. These are often the most expensive rates a supplier offers, so we advise customers finding themselves in this situation to either renew tariff or make the switch to a new energy supplier by giving Selectra a free call on 0203 936 0059.

Did First Utility do Business tariffs?

There are no new First Utility business tariffs available prior to the rebrand, as the supplier stopped accepting new commercial energy customers in 2016.

Looking for an energy supplier for your commercial premises?Check out our business energy guide to find a provider that works for you.

Tariff prices

Energy tariff calculator

So, how much did First Utility tariffs cost? There are a number of factors which influence the price of energy, such as location and how much energy you use.

For example, a single person living in a flat in the North West of England pays less per unit rate and will also expect to use less energy over the year than a household of four in London. To get a better idea of your own gas and electricity usage, use our handy energy consumption calculator.

While it’s impossible to put an exact figure on your energy costs without knowing your circumstances, we can give you a rough idea. In the table below you’ll find the unit rates and standing charges for all First Utility tariffs based on a medium sized household of three living in London.

We can save you money whatever your energy consumptionCall us for free and talk to one of our energy advisors to get the cheapest deal on the market right now. Call 020 3966 4692 or get a free callback now.

First Utility tariffs
Tariff Electricity unit rate Electricity standing charge Gas unit rate Gas standing charge
First Fixed 12 months 14.511p per kWh 33.21p per day 3.292p per kWh 23.63p per day
First Fixed 3 Years 17.559p per kWh 33.97p per day 4.171p per kWh 26.72p per day
First Variable 19.371p per kWh 5p per day 3.693p per kWh 27.50p per day

For a better understanding of how expensive First Utility tariffs were, we’ve worked out the average annual cost for customers on electricity-only and dual fuel plans.

Our findings are based on a medium-sized home in the south of England with an average energy consumption of 3,100kWh of electricity and 12,000kWh of gas. Depending on your own personal circumstances, you may expect to pay either more or less than this.

First Utility tariffs - annual cost
Tariff Electricity only Dual Fuel
First Fixed 12 months £697.80 £1,151.65
First Fixed 3 years £701.74 £1,329.69
First Variable £649.69 £1,220.41

*Information correct as of May 2020. All quotes are fixed tariffs paid monthly by Direct Debit and based on comparison for a three-bedroom house in London with an average annual electricity consumption of 3,100kWh and gas usage of 12,000kWh.

For an idea of what you should be paying for your gas and electricity, we compared these First Utility tariffs with the Ofgem energy price cap of £1,162. Although the price cap only applies to variable tariffs, it gives a clearer picture of what the upper limit for energy costs is.

Although it was known for offering tariffs at the cheaper end of the market, First Utility’s least expensive plan came in at just £10.35 less than the price cap in our tests.

On the other hand, its long term plan cost an astounding £167.69 more than the limit Ofgem recommends. While the price cap only applies to variable tariffs, it just goes to show that the convenience of having a longer contract with First Utility meant sacrificing the benefit of cheaper energy prices.

The verdict

While First Utility tariffs came with a number of benefits, such as homecare and broadband discounts, there are certainly cheaper providers on the market today.

Although Shell Energy also offers customers similar perks under its rebrand, those remaining with the supplier are likely to see price rises when it comes to renewing their tariff. Unfortunately, customer loyalty rarely pays when it comes to gas and electricity tariffs, as many keep their cheaper deals exclusively for new customers.

Because of this, we recommend former First Utility customers do some research into switching provider to see if they’d save more with another supplier. Speak to an energy expert today by calling Selectra on 0203 936 0059 - it’s free and there’s no obligation to switch should you prefer to stay with your current provider.

What do First Utility customers who stayed with Shell Energy think of their supplier since the rebrand? Read our Shell Energy reviews page to find out how it rates for customer service and value for money.

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