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Review Utilita Energy: Compare latest tariffs & prices

Utilita is an independent supplier specialising in prepayment energy. As of January 2020 the provider holds a 2% market share and supplies gas and electricity to approximately 600,000 customers throughout the UK. The company is even big enough to have their own Utilita arena. Read on for the absolute essentials on Utilita Energy, their tariffs and the right Utilita number to call if you need to get in touch with the provider.


Electricity: Coal, natural gas, nuclear, renewable, other  Largely positive customer reviews
Fuel mix score:  No standing charges or exit fees
Domestic Market:England, Scotland, and Wales  Confusing tariff breakdown
Customers: 600,000  Heavily reliant on natural gas
Selectra score: ★★  Premium tariff higher than energy price cap

About Utilita

Utilita or Utilita Energy is a medium-sized, independent gas and electricity provider with a penchant for ‘smart energy’ and prepayment tariffs. As such, it specialises in prepayment (pay as you go) smart tariffs that offer customers total control over their energy.

Having operated in the UK energy market for over 15 years, Utilita has become one of the most recognised independent prepayment suppliers around. Of the more than 600,000 domestic customers Utilita supplies energy to, 99% are on prepayment tariffs.

Quick facts

  1. Utilita was the first supplier in the UK to install smart meters back in 2008. Since then, Utilita has rolled out over 25,000 smart meters.
  2. In January 2019, the supplier acquired Our Power’s customers.
  3. Utilita now holds 2% of the market share, supplying energy to over 600,000 customers.
  4. 99% of Utilita customers are on prepayment tariffs.
  5. 58% of customer reviews on Trustpilot rate the supplier 'Excellent', which is the highest rating possible.

Reviews

Customer reviews for Utilita Energy are quite mixed, though more positive than negative. As of January 2020, the supplier’s TrustScore on the customer review website TrustPilot is 3.6 out of 5. Although this marks a significant improvement on its January 2018 score, the supplier still has some way to go to catch up to its rival suppliers Boost and Robin Hood Energy.

Of the 15,492 reviews left on the site, the majority of reviewers gave Utilita the highest rating possible (Excellent). In contrast, 29% of the reviews are negative.

Over on the Which? Annual Survey, Utilita’s customer score is 71%, putting it in joint 20th place out of 35 energy providers reviewed in the survey.

Complaints

According to the energy regulator Ofgem, Utilita received 576 complaints per 100,000 customers in the first quarter of 2019. This is a much improved return compared to previous years. In 2016 and 2017, the supplier received the most complaints of all medium-sized energy providers in the UK.

The most cited reasons for complaints submissions are:

  • Billing and payment
  • Smart meter readings
  • Smart meter installation
  • Sales

Read the full Utilita Selectra review!For the full Selectra review of Utilita’s services, complaints handling, call waiting times, and tariffs, take a look at our dedicated Utilita Reviews page.

Tariffs and prices

Utilita Energy has seven domestic tariff options for electricity only, gas only and dual fuel supplies. All are variable tariffs, meaning that the rates customers are charged for gas and electricity may increase or decrease throughout the term spent on a given tariff. A minimum notice period of 30 days will be provided by Utilita to customers in the event of a price adjustment.

Notably, there are no standing charges or exit fees applied by Utilita. And all but one of the supplier’s tariffs - the Freedom Energy Prepayment tariff - are available on prepayment (pay as you go) and direct debit/credit payment plans. See the sections below for more information about each tariff (last updated: 28/01/2020).

Want to find out which energy company has the best deals?Get the best tariffs for your home by speaking to one of our trained energy experts - it's free! Call 020 3966 4692 or get a free callback now.

Utilita Smart Energy

Smart Energy is Utilita’s leading tariff for customers with smart meters. It offers two variable unit rates which are applied daily based on a set energy threshold. Customers will be charged Unit Rate 1 for the first 2kWh of energy use (electricity or gas) in a day. Unit Rate 2 will apply for energy usage beyond that threshold.

Unit rates will also vary depending on whether you opt for the prepayment or direct debit/credit plan. Below you can find the rates for both.

Direct Debit/Credit
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2
Electricity 28.83p/kWh 17.46p/kWh
Gas 17.00p/kWh 3.79p/kWh
Prepayment
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2
Electricity 30.94p/kWh 17.28p/kWh
Gas 21.48p/kWh 3.74p/kWh

*5% VAT included in charges for energy supply.

Utilita Smart E7

Smart E7 is the Economy 7 variant of the Smart Energy variable tariff. It has not two, but three unit rates applied daily based on the following criterion:

  1. Unit Rate 1 applies for the first 1 kWh of energy (gas or electricity) used during the day.
  2. Unit Rate 2 applies for energy usage throughout the day beyond the first 1kWh.
  3. The third unit rate - or the night rate - applies for all usage throughout the night, as would be the case with all Economy 7 tariffs.

Much like Smart Energy, unit rates will vary depending on whether you opt for the prepayment or direct debit/credit plan. Below you can find all Smart E7 rates.

Direct Debit/Credit
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2 Night rate
Electricity 47.42p/kWh 24.60p/kWh 4.39p/kWh
Prepayment
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2 Night rate
Electricity 48.83p/kWh 21.42p/kWh 8.41p/kWh

*5% VAT included in charges for energy supply.

Utilita Premium Energy

The standard variable tariff for those without smart meters. Premium Energy works by applying two different rates for electricity and gas, much like the Smart Energy tariff. The first rate is applied for the first 1kWh of electricity or gas used on a given day. The second rate is applied for all other electricity and gas used throughout the day.

For a breakdown of the different unit rates for gas and electricity, see the table below. This includes the different rates for direct debit/credit and prepayment customers.

Direct Debit/Credit
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2
Electricity 45.82p/kWh 18.39p/kWh
Gas 35.28p/kWh 3.99p/kWh
Prepayment
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2
Electricity 44.87p/kWh 17.28p/kWh
Gas 39.49p/kWh 3.74p/kWh

*5% VAT included in charges for energy supply.

Utilita Premium E7

Premium E7 is the standard Economy 7 tariff for customers without smart meters. In addition to the two daily rates applied for energy consumption, this tariff applies a third unit rate for energy usage during the night.

  1. Unit Rate 1 for the first 1kWh of gas or electricity use
  2. Unit Rate 2 for all other consumption in the day.
  3. Night rate for consumption during the night.

For a breakdown of the different unit rates for gas and electricity, see the table below. This includes the different rates for direct debit and prepayment customers.

Direct Debit/Credit
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2 Night rate
Electricity 53.57p/kWh 24.07p/kWh 4.39p/kWh
Prepayment
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2 Night rate
Electricity 49.10p/kWh 21.42p/kWh 8.41p/kWh

*5% VAT included in charges for energy supply.

Utilita Freedom Energy

Freedom Energy is the prepayment-only tariff that applies Utilita’s original formula - two monthly rates for the supply of gas and electricity. Unlike all other tariffs, Freedom Energy charges Unit Rate 1 for a monthly energy consumption up to 200kWh of electricity or 488kWh of gas. Unit Rate 2 is charged for consumption beyond the threshold until the end of a given month.

Please see the relevant rates in the table below.

Direct Debit/Credit
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2
Electricity 21.43p/kWh 17.28p/kWh
Gas 5.95p/kWh 3.74p/kWh

*5% VAT included in charges for energy supply.

Utilita My Time

The My Time tariff is for customers with Economy 10 electricity meters. Three separate rates are applied for electricity, and two separate daily rates for gas.

Rates for electricity on this tariff are as follows:

  1. Two daily unit rates during the day:
    1. Unit Rate 1 for the first 1kWh of electricity used
    2. Unit Rate 2 for all other consumption
  2. One off-peak rate applied during ten set off-peak hours.

The supply of gas receives no off-peak rate. As such the two daily rates for gas are as follows:

  1. Unit Rate 1 for the first 2kWh hours of gas
  2. Unit Rate 2 for all other gas consumption

To find out more about Economy 10 meters, take a look at the Selectra Economy 10 guide. For details of all rates on the My Time tariff, see the table below.

Direct Debit/Credit
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2 Off-peak rate
Electricity 47.42p/kWh 24.60p/kWh 4.39p/kWh
Gas 17.00p/kWh 3.79p/kWh -
Prepayment
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2 Off-peak rate
Electricity 48.83p/kWh 21.42p/kWh 8.41p/kWh
Gas 21.48p/kWh 3.74p/kWh -

*5% VAT included in charges for energy supply.

Utilita My Time Basic

This is the second Economy 10 tariff in Utilita’s arsenal. Three rates are charged for the supply of gas and electricity. These are applied as follows:

  1. Two daily unit rates during the day:
    1. Unit Rate 1 for the first 1kWh of electricity used
    2. Unit Rate 2 for all other consumption
  2. One off-peak rate applied during ten set off-peak hours.

The supply of gas receives no off-peak rate. As such the two daily rates for gas are as follows:

  1. Unit Rate 1 for the first 1kWh hours of gas
  2. Unit Rate 2 for all other gas consumption
Direct Debit/Credit
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2 Off-peak rate
Electricity 53.57p/kWh 26.07p/kWh 4.39p/kWh
Gas 39.49p/kWh 3.74p/kWh -
Prepayment
Supply Unit Rate 1 Unit Rate 2 Off-peak rate
Electricity 49.10p/kWh 21.42p/kWh 8.41p/kWh
Gas 39.49p/kWh 3.74p/kWh -

*5% VAT included in charges for energy supply.

Price rises

Utilita changed unit rate prices for gas and electricity in October 2019 after Ofgem adjusted the prepayment and default tariff price caps. The sections below outline the effects of both price cap changes on Utilita’s pay as you go and direct debit/credit rates.

To find out more about Ofgem’s energy price cap and how it affects energy prices, take a look at our ‘Ofgem changes the energy price cap again: How do I save?’ guide.

Prepayment tariff adjustment

Changes to the way the price cap for prepayment energy was calculated resulted in a decrease of £25, from £1,242 to £1,217 per year. Accordingly, Utilita adjusted each unit rate it charges to its pay as you go customers - although not all were decreased.

Utilita’s prepayment unit rates were adjusted on all relevant tariffs as follows:

  1. Electricity: Unit Rate 1 decreased; while Unit Rate 2 increased.
  2. Gas: Unit Rate 1 increased; while Unit Rate 2 decreased.

The adjusted rates mean that low electricity and high gas consumption users are more likely to benefit. On the other hand, high electricity and low gas consumption users are more likely to see increased energy bills.

Direct Debit/Credit tariff changes

Ofgem’s default (direct debit/credit) tariff price cap decreased from £1,254 to £1,179 per year in the tail end of 2019. Utilita customers on direct debit/credit tariffs benefit from unit rate decreases across the board. Both Unit Rate 1 and Unit Rate 2 for gas and and electricity were decreased, meaning that direct debit/credit customers are set to see a general decrease in their energy costs.

Plan for rising prices!Don’t get caught out by price changes, use the Selectra energy consumption estimator to help you budget for your energy use and save.

How does Utilita compare to the rest of the market?

What is the market average? Here at Selectra, we use Ofgem’s energy price caps for prepayment and direct debit/credit as benchmarks by which to assess tariff prices. The price caps set the maximum price suppliers can charge you per unit of gas or electricity. These caps are calculated based on the average UK household energy usage.

What is Ofgem’s price cap? Currently, the price cap for prepayment energy is set at £1,217 per year, and £1,179 for direct debit/credit. This includes additional charges associated with the supply of energy to your home.

What would you spend with Utilita? Taking the average UK household energy usage (3,100 kWh for electricity and 12,000 kWh for gas), we calculated that Utilita’s leading Smart Energy tariffs fall just under the price cap, while the supplier’s Premium Energy tariffs charge more than the price cap amount.

Is this good or bad? It’s both good and bad. However, you could pay much less for your energy with a rival pay as you go energy supplier, such as Boost. Beat the price cap and get the best deal for your household by speaking to a Selectra energy expert.

Compare the cheapest energy tariffs on the marketOur trained advisors can find you the cheapest deals in just a few minutes. Call 020 3966 4692 or get a free callback now.

Fuel Mix

Ofgem regulations require all energy suppliers in the UK to publish their fuel mix compositions. Generation sources are split into percentage representations and made publicly available, which puts pressure on companies to increase renewable energy sources.

At just 9%, under one-tenth of Utilita's fuel mix is from renewable sources, which is well below the UK average of 33%. The supplier is most reliant on Natural Gas, with 60% of its supply made up of the fossil fuel. The second most abundant fuel in its mix is Nuclear (18%), followed by coal (9%).

Login: online account and app

You can view your account info, manage your payment and bills, submit meter readings, top up and keep track of your energy usage on your My Utilita online account, which is made available to you upon signing up with the supplier. Access your My Utilita account on any device browser, or through the My Utilita app - available for download in the Google Play Store and Apple store.

Extra services: smart meters & more

There are a range of other services offered by the supplier to make life easier for its customers - from emergency credit, to usage-tracking apps. See all of the suppliers additional services in the sections below.

Smart meters

We have already mentioned that Utilita specialises in ‘smart energy', having been one of the first energy providers in the UK to install and make use of smart meters. With a smart meter, you can keep track of your energy usage, expenditure and remaining prepayment credit (if applicable). Additionally, you will never have to worry about estimated bills again - your smart meter will submit automatic meter readings to your provider for you.

Utilita customers can request smart meters from the supplier once they have signed up to a smart-tariff. The supplier will arrange a date to have smart metering equipment installed. To find out how to contact Utilita to get a smart meter, skip through to the ‘How to contact Utilita’ section of this page.

Emergency & Friendly credit for Smart Energy

If you are a Smart Energy pay as you go customer, you can get up to £15 of emergency credit on your prepayment smart meter when you run out, giving you a little extra time to top up if you have forgotten. You can access this emergency credit through your smart meter; all you have to do is hit the ‘E-Credit’ button after you have received a low credit alert.

With Friendly Credit, you won’t have to worry about being left in the dark if you have run out of credit during evening’s, weekends and bank holidays. Friendly Credit is activated automatically on your smart meter from 2pm everyday until 10am the following working day.

Please be aware that you must repay all Emergency and Friendly Credit used in order to restore your power the following working day.

Weekly rewards with Utilita Extra

The weekly rewards scheme is a way for Utilita to give back to its customers. With Utilita Extra, customers can enter prizedraws for cash jackpots, gift cards for select retailers and restaurants, and tickets for a variety of events. You can access prizedraws through the Utilita Extra website or through the My Utilita app.

Energy Hub

Utilita’s Energy Hubs are physical high-street stores where you can switch suppliers, get expert energy advice, request a smart meter, and top up if you are on pay as you go. You can find an energy hub in the following cities:

  1. Portsmouth
  2. Southampton
  3. Edinburgh (February 2020)
  4. Isle of Wight (March 2020)

Warm Home Discount

If you need help with your energy costs during the winter, you may be eligible for the Government’s Warm Home Discount scheme through Utilita. The scheme will provide you with an £140 rebate from the total cost of your energy bills in the coldest winter months.

If you would like to speak to Utilita about the Warm Home Discount, you can send an email to WHD@utilita.co.uk. The advised response time for this email address is up to five days.

Utilita number: How to contact the provider

Existing and prospective customers can find all the Utilita contact information they need in our dedicated Utilita contact guide. In the guide, we have organised all of the supplier’s published contact numbers, as well as email and postal addresses, by department and query categories.

If you are trying to get in contact with Utilita for the purpose of switching energy providers, why not get advice from an energy expert at Selectra? We can compare Utilita’s tariffs with that of its competitors across the market to get you the best deal for your home.

Talk to a real person - FastYou won't have to talk to a machine or wait on hold for hours. Our free service will put you through to a real person without the wait. Call 020 3966 4692 or get a free callback now.

Selectra score

Utilita’s leading role in ‘smart energy’ has helped to put its name on the energy map. However, any positives gained by technological innovation is wiped out by the supplier heavy reliance on Natural gas for the provision of energy. In the midst of climate crisis and with increasing consumer awareness, greater investment in renewable is imperative.

When it comes to tariffs and prices, Utilita doesn't fare too well. The supplier’s tariff price breakdowns can seem confusing and difficult to understand at first glance, while prices are, at best, average. Taking the above into consideration, together with the additional services offered, we have decided to award the supplier a 2 out of 5 Selectra Score.

Utilita: Selectra’s verdict - ★★

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