Utility Warehouse brands itself the nation’s most trusted utility supplier. Spending no money on advertising and instead relying on word-of-mouth, it has still managed to attract more than 650,000 customers to sign up.
On this page, we’ll break down its energy deals and the reasons for joining in full so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not it’s right for you.
About Utility Warehouse
One of the largest, if not the largest provider outside of the "Big Six", Utility Warehouse must be getting something right to be attracting so many customers mostly through word-of-mouth. Its offer is based on bundling all of your monthly utilities into one bill and, they say, save you money.
Utility Warehouse’s lack of spending on advertising is made up for by a tactic of multi-level marketing through which people can join up as “partners” in order to earn commission by attracting others to sign up to its services.
Who owns Utility Warehouse?
Utility Warehouse is owned and operated by Telecom Plus plc, which at one stage also had a 20% stake in Opus Energy - this stake was sold in 2017. Utility Warehouse is now the only energy provider owned by the company.
Telecom Plus is based in London and listed on the London Stock Exchange. It is licensed and regulated by Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator.
Utility Warehouse reviews
A quick look at the consumer review website Trustpilot will tell you that Utility Warehouse reviews are very positive. Out of more than 11,000 reviews, around two-thirds give Utility Warehouse the best score of 5 stars, while more than 80% of reviewers record having had a positive experience.
Positive reviews for Utility Warehouse tend to focus on the simplicity and value of its offer, as well as friendly and helpful customer service agents:
Reliable and trustworthy service with good prices. Staff very knowledgeable and helpful.”
Reviews like this are few and far between on sites like Trustpilot, which normally only attract customers that have been left disgruntled by their service and want to complain. This makes the positive tone of Utility Warehouse reviews all the more surprising and encouraging.
Not everyone is singing Utility Warehouse’s praises, however, with 16% of reviewers reporting having had a bad time of it. Negative Utility Warehouse reviews report “huge” unexpected rises in customers’ bills, as well as occasional reports of mistakes on the provider’s part leading to serious problems for some customers:
Avoid at all cost, my energy bills have increased hugely have now left them and halved my bills”
If customers’ bills are being put up significantly and unexpectedly during their contracts, this could be a major problem as it’s the last thing you want to be dealing with every month from your utility bills. It does seem, however, that these instances are in the minority and that the general experience is good.
The Utility Warehouse Clubhouse is a rewards scheme that customers can join in order to get cashback off their monthly energy bill. Utility Warehouse breaks down the Clubhouse process into three steps:
- Search: Browse over 2,000 stores included in the Clubhouse catalogue.
- Spend: Make the purchases you would normally make at these stores, earning up to 10% cashback as you go.
- Save: The cashback you earn in Clubhouse stores will be deducted from your monthly utility bill.
Stores involved in the scheme include Boots, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Debenhams, Argos, Expedia, Hotels.com, Halfords, Thorntons, and several more that you may well spend quite a lot of money in.
In almost none of these shops, however, does the cashback amount reach 10%. In the majority of stores, the amount you’ll get back on your purchases is less than 5%, but if you regularly buy in several of the shops included in the scheme it could well save you quite a lot of money over the course of the month.
Ready to sign up?You can register for the Clubhouse for free as a Utility Warehouse customer via its registration portal. To sign up, you’ll need to provide your Utility Warehouse membership number, so make sure you have it to hand.
Login to the Clubhouse app
Utility Warehouse customers can manage their account via the UW Clubhouse app. This is the same app used to manage the reward scheme, so you’ll have to register for it even if you’re not interested in earning cashback if you want to manage your energy account via your smartphone.
The Clubhouse app allows you to do the following while you’re on-the-go:
- Provide meter readings quickly and easily
- Find local stores to get cashback in and manage your CashBack card
- Check your mobile usage (if your deal includes mobile)
- Take a look at your bill summary
It’s not the widest selection of functions we’ve ever seen in an app, but it seems to cover all the necessities and work pretty well, getting decent reviews in both the App Store and in Google Play.
Tariffs - is Utility Warehouse cheap?
Utility Warehouse guarantees to be cheaper than the average of the cheapest variable tariffs from the Big Six, adjusting the price you pay throughout your deal so as to keep this promise. This way, it says, you’ll never have to switch again. Many customers, however, only see their bill go up, so is Utility Warehouse keeping its promise?
UW offers three variable tariffs which are based on combining your energy bill with other utilities. Here’s what you can sign up for and how much each claims to be able to save you compared to the Big Six:
|UW tariff||Annual saving compared to the Big Six*|
|Value (just energy)||£1|
|Gold (+ broadband)||£29|
|Double Gold (+ broadband & mobile)||£57|
*Saving is based on payment by direct debit for typical household consumption of 2,900 kWh electricity and 12,000 kWh gas.
As you can see, not much incentive is offered to those just looking for a deal on energy. It’s safe to say that unless you’re after energy, broadband and mobile all from the same place there’s no real reason to choose Utility Warehouse - you’ll definitely be able to find better savings elsewhere.
It’s clear that its biggest selling point lies in bundling all utilities together into one bill, and so we would only recommend signing up if you’re going to go all the way and get Double Gold, which Utility Warehouse claims can save you up to £134 more on your energy costs than Value.
Free LED light bulb service
There is an added incentive for those interested in adding home phone and broadband to their energy deal in the shape of Utility Warehouse’s free light bulb replacement service. Those who add this service will receive the latest energy-efficient light bulbs, which are typically worth £300 to £500, and free replacement bulbs for life.
Efficient light bulbs can save you moneyAs well as being free of charge, energy-saving light bulbs can save you as much as 15% on your electricity bill. They certainly deserve the Selectra tick.
Like all energy providers, Utility Warehouse is obliged by law to disclose its fuel mix so that customers can see where the energy it uses to power their homes comes from. Unfortunately for environmentally-conscious customers, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading:
*Relates to electricity supplied in the period April 2019 to March 2020.
UK Average = Coal 3.9%, Natural Gas: 39.4%, Nuclear: 16.6%, Renewable: 37.9%, Other 2.2%.
When compared with the national average, Utility Warehouse falls a distance short of satisfactory in terms of its use of renewable energy. With the average now over a third and several companies offering 100% renewable tariffs, a proportion of less than 10% seems to be stuck in the stone age.
Pair the above with almost double the use of coal than the national average and considerably more reliance on natural gas, Utility Warehouse’s fuel sourcing is more than three-quarters unsustainable. We really need to see some improvement here before we can get behind the UW fuel mix.
If you have a smart meter, you don’t need to worry about taking your meter reading - Utility Warehouse will take it automatically every 30 days. Utility Warehouse does provide its members with smart meters and you can find out how to book an appointment for one further down this page.
If, however, you don’t yet have a smart meter installed, Utility Warehouse has a number of resources available to help you on its website, including a how-to video and a downloadable guide on providing meter readings. Here are the ways you can provide Utility Warehouse with your readings:
- Via the Clubhouse online
- Via the Clubhouse mobile app
- Over the phone on 0333 777 0 999
When you submit your meter reading, you’ll need your membership number and your meter reference number to hand as well as the reading itself.
If you’re looking to get in touch with Utility Warehouse, there are a few different ways depending on what your issue is and whether or not you’re already a UW customer. If you’re not yet a member and you’re interested in signing up, the number you need is this one:
|Utility Warehouse department||Contact number||Opening hours|
|General Enquiries||0333 777 0777||Monday to Friday: 9am to 5.30pm;
Saturday: 9am to 4.30pm
Calls to Utility Warehouse are charged at the same rate as a standard landline or mobile call.
If you don’t want to be put on hold and to wait for an agent to take your call, you can request a callback using the callback sheet on the UW website, leaving a time when it’s convenient for you. You can also call Selectra on 020 3936 0059 to find out about the cheapest deals in your area.
You may not want to speak to a person at all - in this case, perhaps your query has already been addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions section of its website. Several common issues have been posted there and it may be that you can solve your problem without the help of an agent.
For full details on contacting Utility Warehouse, including all the different numbers for members and separate issues, see our dedicated contact page.
Warm Home Discount
Utility Warehouse does provide customers with the Warm Home Discount. Whereas members of the Core Group receive the discount automatically, those eligible for the Broad Group have to apply every year to Utility Warehouse in order to have it deducted from their bill.
Core Group recipients of the discount should have received their £140 discount automatically. If you think you qualify for the scheme under the Core Group but have not yet received the discount, you should contact the Department of Work and Pensions on 0333 777 0 999 - its lines are open weekdays from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm.
Utility Warehouse offers smart meters to its members, and once its meter installers are operating in your area you can book your smart meter online using the following steps:
- Log into the Clubhouse via the UW website
- Click through to the Energy section
- Click the box that reads ‘Book your appointment’
You will then be asked a few questions about your home so that installation can be adapted to your space and needs. Once this is done, you’ll be able to choose an installation date that works for you.
No ‘book an appointment’ option available?Don’t worry, this just means that meter installers are not yet operating in your area. If this is the case, you can instead register your interest in having a smart meter installed and Utility Warehouse will notify you when your installation can take place.
Utility Warehouse is keen to keep your custom when you move to a new property, and so it has a dedicated home movers team that you can reach on 0333 777 0 999 if you want to take your UW deal with you.
Moving home can, however, be an opportunity for you to take a glance at the market and see if you could be saving on your energy bills. If you’d like to see if you can save by switching as you move property, give us a call on 020 3936 0059 and one of our agents will let you know how much money you could be saving.