Shell Energy is a big brand that’s fairly new on the UK energy scene. Taking over First Utility in 2018 and rebranding to become Shell Energy in 2019, the supplier has a big customer base and a well established service. It offers customers a good range of energy tariffs, lots of smart technology to make your home more efficient and 100% renewable electricity.
Shell Energy summary
|Electricity: Renewables||100% renewable electricity|
|Fuel mix score: ★★★★★||Lots of smart home technology|
|Domestic market: Great Britain||Reasonable prices|
|Customers: 900,000||Rewards for loyal customers|
|Selectra score: ★★★||Average customer reviews|
Shell Energy Retail Limited
Shell Energy Retail Limited (Shell Energy) is one of the biggest energy suppliers in the UK, outside of the famous Big Six. Boasting a whopping 700,000 customers in March 2019, it is set to take this impressive figure up to 900,000 with the acquisition of Green Star Energy in early 2020.
Believe it or not, the Shell Energy UK brand was only created in March 2019, after taking over another well known British supplier, First Utility.
Is First Utility now Shell Energy?
Yes. In 2017, Shell reached an agreement to buy UK energy supplier First Utility. The sales process was completed in February 2018 and, in March 2019, the company underwent a thorough rebranding to become Shell Energy.
What does this mean for First Utility customers? All First Utility customers are now Shell Energy customers. In essence, the change is simply a name change rather than a supplier change. Your supply will not be interrupted, your tariff will stay the same, your payment date won’t change and any credit or debit you had on your First Utility account will be carried over. All that will change is your energy bill will now read Shell Energy instead of First Utility.
Former Usio Energy customers who were aquired by First Utility in 2018 are now also supplied by Shell Energy.
History of Shell Energy
As mentioned, Shell Energy was only created in March 2019, so there is little to discuss in terms of history. However, as it is not really a new supplier, just a rebranded one, we can take a look at the history of its predecessor for a bit of insight.
First Utility was founded in 2008. The supplier had a big customer base and was the first UK provider to introduce smart meters. It worked a bit differently to other UK energy suppliers. Rather than generating its own electricity, it purchased it from international markets and sold this on to its customers. This is how it first came into contact with Shell, as it acted as an intermediary for the oil and gas company to purchase energy on the global market.
The supplier was bought by Shell in 2018 and was rebranded to Shell Energy in March 2019. At the end of 2019, Shell Energy reached an agreement to purchase Hudson Energy, the parent company of UK supplier Green Star Energy. This means the supplier will soon acquire Green Star’s 200,000 customers, taking its customer base close to the one million mark.
- 2008 - First Utility is founded as a UK energy supplier.
- 2017 - An agreement is reached between Shell and First Utility for the former to buy the provider.
- 2018 - The sale is completed and Shell now owns First Utility.
- 2019 - In March, the supplier is rebranded to Shell Energy.
- 2019 - In November, Shell Energy takes over Green Star Energy.
Shell Energy in the news
In recent months, Shell Energy has hit the headlines a number of times, but not exactly for the right reasons. In June 2019, it was reported that the supplier was required to pay around £190,000 in compensation to customers after Ofgem found that between January and March 2019 (while the company was still trading as First Utility) it overcharged customers on its variable tariff.
The provider has also featured in the news for enforcing dreaded price rises. In June 2018, it announced a 5.9% price increase for customers on its variable tariff (around 165,000 people). Similarly, following the increase in Ofgem’s price cap in April 2019, Shell Energy rose its prices to the maximum allowed under the new regulations.
Fuel mix: Shell renewable energy
Some good news for Shell Energy customers, all of the supplier’s tariffs have 100% renewable electricity. The shift to 100% green electricity only took place when the company rebranded to Shell Energy. Before this, under the name First Utility, it only got 10.53% of its electricity from renewable sources, with most of its fuel coming from natural gas.
This is a great improvement for the supplier. Its energy now comes from wind, solar and biomass sources and every unit is matched by a Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) certificate.
Shell Energy: fuel mix - ★★★★★
Shell Energy jobs
As a big company, Shell Energy offers a variety of jobs in a wide range of different areas and departments. From PR and marketing to sales and technical operations, it might have a vacancy for you. If you’re interested in a career with Shell Energy, you can find all the current vacancies on the careers page on its website.
Shell Energy UK tariffs & prices
Shell Energy currently offers five different energy tariffs to new domestic customers. Four of these are fixed rate tariffs, meaning the unit rates stay at the same price for the duration of the contract, and one is a variable tariff, meaning the unit rates can change depending on the market price of energy.
All of the tariffs have Economy 7 options, are available as dual fuel tariffs (gas and electricity), and all bar one (the fixed for 23 months tariff) can be taken out as electricity only tariffs. Remember, all Smart Energy tariffs use 100% renewable electricity too!
Shell Energy does not offer any gas only or prepayment tariffs online. If you have a pay-as-you-go meter or want a gas only tariff, you will need to give Shell Energy a call on 0330 094 5800 for more information on what the supplier can offer you.
Fixed rate tariffs
There’s quite a lot of choice when it comes to the length of Shell’s fixed rate tariffs, ranging from 14 months to 35 months. Unlike a lot of suppliers, it does not offer a 12 month option (as of Dec.2019). The current Shell Energy fixed rate tariffs are:
- Fixed for 14 months (£30 exit fee per fuel)
- Fixed for 19 months (£30 exit fee per fuel)
- Fixed for 23 months (£50 exit fee per fuel)
- Fixed for 35 months (£50 exit fee per fuel)
Shell only has one variable tariff for new customers. Currently this is called the Flexible 2v2 tariff. Variable tariffs have no contract so you are free to leave whenever you want without facing exit fees. While the unit rates can increase or decrease in line with the overall price of energy on the UK market, increases are protected by Ofgem’s price cap (£1,254), which means you cannot be charged more than this amount per year.
For a more detailed look at the supplier’s tariffs, including a breakdown of charges, average prices and more information on terms and conditions, head to our Shell Energy tariffs page.
Prices: how does it compare to other suppliers?
When switching energy suppliers, it’s important to compare price to ensure you get the best deal for you. To help you in this process, we have compared Shell Energy’s variable /default tariff against Ofgem’s price cap and other UK suppliers.
First things first, with an average cost of £1,130 per year*, Shell Energy’s variable tariff comes in safely under Ofgem’s price cap, which is good news for all customers and shows the provider’s prices are reasonable according to the energy regulator.
However, it is not the cheapest supplier. In the table below, we’ve compared Shell Energy’s variable tariff to the variable tariff offered by a range of UK suppliers, including some of the Big Six, a few medium suppliers and other providers offering 100% renewable electricity. In our comparison, Shell Energy comes out in the middle of the pack - not the most economical option but not the most expensive either.
Annual Price of Variable tariff
*all figures based on a 2-3 bedroom house with 3 occupants in London
Shell Energy perks & smart technology
Besides actual energy tariffs, Shell Energy offers a number of extra services and products that both reward customers for being with the supplier and help them be smarter and more efficient with their energy supply. You must be a Shell Energy customer in order to benefit from most of these extras.
Shell Energy smart home concept, the supplier makes it easier and cheaper for customers to make their home more energy efficient by installing smart technology. Let’s take a look at some of the products available.
1. Shell Energy smart meters
Shell Energy is currently installing the second generation of smart meters (SMETS2). These are the latest smart meters in circulation and can offer you a day-by-day breakdown of your energy usage. If you wish, you can even opt for half-hourly meter readings for an even more accurate breakdown, helping you be more in control of your consumption.
How much energy do you use in a year? Find out with Selectra’s energy consumption calculator.
In collaboration with SMS PIC, Shell Energy can install a smart meter in your household in around two hours. To request an installation, you need to log into your online account and book an appointment. If you’re interested in finding out more about Shell’s smart meters, give our Shell Energy smart meter guide a read.
The supplier can read most smart meters so chances are, if you already have a smart meter and want to switch to Shell, your smart meter will not be affected, but make sure you double check by giving the company a call first.
2. Google Nest Thermostat E
This is a smart thermostat that lets you easily set up a ‘heating schedule’ that fits in with your needs. Rather than manually adjusting your heating, it will automatically adjust in line with your schedule. The schedule is easily adjusted from the handy mobile app, which also means you can control it when you’re not at home. Moreover, the thermostat will automatically turn down at night and when you leave the house, helping you save energy and money.
The thermostat is compatible with most heating systems and even comes free with certain Shell Energy tariffs.
3. Electric vehicle home charging
Shell Energy has partnered with NewMotion to offer its customers a Home Fast charge point for a reduced price. This electrical vehicle charger can be used with all electric cars, is weather proof, safety certified and comes with round the clock customer support.
As well as the reduced price, the charger is OLEV approved, meaning the government’s OLEV grant is available for customers wishing to purchase and install one.
4. Sonnen Battery Storage
Through a partnership with sonnen, the supplier is also starting a scheme to offer the sonnenBatterie, an energy storage system for households. Working with solar panels, it stores extra solar energy so it can be used at another time, letting you use solar energy anytime of the day or night. The scheme is not currently in operation, but current customers can register their interest in participating through their online account.
Shell Energy Warm Home Discount
Warm Home Discount scheme helps people struggling to pay their energy bills during the cold winter months. The £140 grant is supplied through energy suppliers and lucky for Shell Energy customers, the provider takes part.
If you’re eligible for the scheme, you can apply through Shell Energy’s online form. Shell Energy offers the scheme on a first come first served basis, so make sure you keep an eye out and apply as soon as the application process opens.
Core group members who switch to Shell Energy after they’ve made an application with their old supplier will receive their Warm Home Discount from their old supplier and do not need to reapply with Shell (for that given year). However, Border Group members who switch after making an application will need to reapply with Shell Energy.
Rewards and ‘refer a friend’
To reward loyal customers, Shell Energy has a rewards programme that gives discounts on fuel and other products, such as snacks and hot drinks, at Shell service stations. To benefit from the Shell Go+ scheme, customers must register through their online account. Then, using a digital card on the Shell Energy app or a physical card, you can receive a 3% saving on fuel on up to 60 litres a month, further fuel rewards and other discounts and offers.
Customers can also receive a reward through the ‘refer a friend scheme’. If someone switches to Shell Energy through your link (which can be found on your online account), both you and your friend will get a reward. Shell does not specify on its website what this reward is but any free reward is a good incentive!
Shell Energy has partnered up with insurance provider AXA and now offers boiler cover too. This cover comes in four different levels (Boiler Cover, Boiler Cover Plus, Home Emergency, Home Emergency Plus), all of which include 24/7 assistance for any heating, plumbing and other boiler related emergencies in your home. You do not need to be a Shell Energy customer to purchase one of these boiler care products.
Contact Shell Energy
Shell Energy has a number of different contact methods, each relating to a different contact purpose or query. For example, there is an online live chat where you can chat with a virtual assistant, or, if you prefer more of a human touch, there’s a Shell Energy phone number to call. You can find all the contact methods on our Shell Energy contact page.
Shell Energy login: online account & app
Managing your energy tariff and account with Shell Energy is made easy through the supplier’s online account system and handy mobile app. On these you can submit meter readings, view your monthly energy bills and top up the credit in your account. Your customer online account is also where you can register for Shell Go+ rewards, book a smart meter installation and register your interest in Shell’s various smart energy products.
For more information on the online portal, how to log in and set up a Shell Energy online account, visit our Shell Energy login page.
Customer reviews and Selectra’s verdict
Online reviews of Shell Energy are quite average. With a 3.7/5 rating on Trustpilot, the supplier performs neither shockingly bad nor outstandingly on review sites. The same is reflected in Which?’s annual review, with the supplier coming in 16th out of 30 energy providers (although this was conducted when Shell Energy was still branded as First Utility, it’s still relevant as Shell has kept the same tariffs and customer service). While customers here awarded the supplier good marks in most areas, it didn’t shine in any.
Positive reviews tend to praise how easy it is to switch to the supplier, as well as its efficient customer service. Negative reviews are quite mixed in theme, but a number focus on problems with Shell Energy installed smart meters.
In our dedicated Shell Energy reviews page, you can find a more detailed analysis of customer reviews. Here we take a more in depth look at specific areas of the supplier’s customer service, such as call wait times, billing and complaints handling.
As a big supplier in the UK, Shell Energy performs pretty well across the board. It’s prices are reasonable, especially compared to the Big Six who are its biggest competitors, and it offers customers a good choice of tariffs.
A 100% renewable fuel mix obviously gives the supplier bonus points, as does its wide range of smart home technology that help customers be more energy efficient, save money and encourage greater green energy use. The customer rewards are also a nice little bonus.
Where the supplier falls down is customer service. Judging from its average performance in online reviews, it seems there is clear room for improvement in this area. For these reasons, we award Shell Energy 3 out of 5 stars.
Shell Energy Selectra score - ★★★