First Utility is now Shell: Login, Contact & Tariffs

First Utility is now Shell: Login, Contact & Tariffs


First Utility at a Glance

  • First Utility was one of the largest energy suppliers in the UK after the Big Six
  • Its fuel mix relied mostly on coal and natural gas
  • First Utility prices were very competitive, especially the one-year fixed offer
  • First Utility was taken over by Shell Energy in 2018.

First Utility Reviews

While First Utility reviews displayed high average ratings on websites like Trustpilot, customer comments of the time painted a mixed picture. Customers, on the whole, seemed happy with prices and billing but disappointed with customer service. First Utility seemed to have found its pricing niche compared to the Big Six but not in terms of customer care. Let’s take a look at a couple of contemporary First Utility reviews that sum up consumer feelings of the time.

"I thought I got an estimated bill because I didn't sent my reading on the exact date but when I did I still got an estimated bill. It's frustrating to not have bills matching usage."

"When I call I'm always no. 30 or so in the queue and have never had to wait less that 45 min before speaking to an agent."

Since Shell Energy took over First Utility operations, it seems that customer opinions have remained fairly consistent. On the positive side, you have customers praising the competitive pricing primarily that has clearly carried over from the First Utility reviews from years past.

However, customers have continued to criticise the lengthy wait times to reach customer service agents on the phone. Meanwhile, several negative reviews focus on frustrating teething issues with smart meters losing functionality after switching, which may not be entirely First Utility’s or Shell Energy’s fault. You can read more about this below in our First Utility Smart Meter section

About First Utility

First Utility was founded in 2008, by Mark Daeche, Darren Braham and Marcus Citron. In 2012, Ian McCaig (lastminute.com) came on as CEO. First Utility rapidly became one of the largest independent energy suppliers in the UK, gaining around 250,000 customers in one year, giving it a 10% share of the independent energy supplier market

Who owns First Utility?

First Utility is fully owned by Shell Energy who completed the purchase in February 2018. Shell Energy bought First Utility in order to enter the UK retail energy market thanks to First Utility’s extensive customer base of over 700,000 consumers.

Shell gained ownership of First Utility in 2018 by paying almost £155 million for full control of the energy business and customer base.

First Utility Tariffs

With the company going through major ownership and branding changes, it’s worth comparing how First Utility tariffs have changed. Let’s take a closer look at energy tariffs for First Utility both before and after Shell Energy control.

Current First Utility Tariffs under Shell Energy brand

This is how Shell has adapted the First Utility tariffs for the current UK energy market. These are both gas and electricity tariffs.

Fuel

Tariff

Conditions

Estimated annual cost

Dual

Fixed for 14 months tariff

- Fixed prices for 14 months. Unit rates and standing charges remain constant for the whole duration.
- 100% renewable electricity
- Access to Shell Go+ rewards
- Discount available when you bundle broadband for your home
- £30 per fuel early exit fee

£973 per year

Dual

Fixed for 17 months tariff

- Fixed prices for 17 months. Energy unit pricing remains constant for the whole duration.
- 100% renewable electricity
- Same Shell Go+ and broadband discount perks as other tariffs
- £30/fuel early exit fee

£1099 per year

Dual

Fixed for 24 months tariff

- Fixed prices for 24 months. Energy unit prices do not change during the 24 month period.
- 100% renewable electricity
- Complimentary FREE Philips Hue Mini Starter Kit (B22) and a Google Nest Mini
- Shell Go+ reward scheme is available on this scheme but not the broadband discount
- £50.00 early exit fee per fuel

£1119 per year

Dual

Fixed for 32 months tariff

- Fixed prices for 32 months. Energy unit pricing remains constant for the whole duration.
- 100% renewable electricity
- Same Shell Go+ and broadband discount perks as other tariffs
- No exit fees

£1162 per year

Dual

Flexible 2 v2 Direct Debit ebill

- Variable pricing subject to seasonal changes.
- 100% renewable electricity
- No fixed contract
- The same Shell Go+ and broadband discount perks as other tariffs
- No exit fees

£1179 per year

First Utility Old Energy Tariffs

Energy prices were competitive on First Utility tariffs even before Shell Energy snapped them up. Its old iSave Fixed 2015 tariff was cheaper than most UK energy providers of the day. First Utility was able to make this tariff available because they tracked wholesale energy prices on a weekly basis and ensuring they were below national averages.

These First Utility tariffs are no longer available since they date back to August 2017. For current gas and electricity tariffs with Shell Energy branding, see above.

Fuel

Tariff

Conditions

Estimated annual cost

Dual

First Fixed August 2018 v8 Online

- Fixed prices until 31 August 2018
- Payment by direct debit
- £50/fuel early exit fee
- Online account management

£936 per year

Dual

First Vine February 2019

- Fixed prices until February 2019
- 3 complimentary wine boxes sent to your home
- £30/fuel early exit fee
- Online account management

£1011 per year

Dual

First Variable

- Variable pricing subject to seasonal changes.
- No fixed contract
- No early exit fees
- Full online and phone service

£1,149 per year

It’s worth noting that these 2017 First Utility tariffs were given accolades by a number of online publications at the time:

  1. Utilities Customer Service of the Year 2017 - Best in class customer service
  2. Netmums Recommended by 80% of members award
  3. Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended UK 2017 award

First Utility customers who opted for the "Fixed for 3 years tariff" will still find themselves under that tariff even though it is now defunct. Once the tariff expires, they will then be able to move to a Shell Energy tariff if they wish.

First Utility Login

The First Utility Login page now redirects to Shell Energy. However, both login pages are fairly similar.

  1. Both First Utility and Shell Energy ask for email and password to access your energy portal. First Utility also offered the option to sign in with Facebook but Shell Energy has removed that option and insists that all customers will need their email and password credentials to gain access.
  2. Both First Utility and Shell Energy offers the ability to reset your password by providing the sign-in email if you forgot your password in the first place.

First Utility Contact

First Utility contact information is hard to come by since Shell took over. Let’s take a look at the best ways to reach them.

First Utility Contact Number

The First Utility contact number was 01926 320 700 but that is now defunct. An alternative First Utility contact point was an online chat, that has now also been deactivated. Read on to find the best way to find the relevant contact for any remaining First Utility queries.

First Utility contact number for legacy queries

Shell Energy’s 0330 094 5800 number is now your First Utility contact point for your questions. During the week, Shell Energy is reachable between 8am and 6:30pm during weekdays and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays only, since they are not open on Sundays.

Meanwhile, the best online First Utility contact form is the Shell one.

First Utility contact address

First Utility’s last recorded contact address was:

First Utility Limited, Point 3, Opus 40 Business Park, Haywood Road, Warwick CV34 5AH

However, the new unresolved First Utility issue contact address business is undoubtedly the new owner Shell Energy address:

Shell Energy House, Westwood Way, Westwood Business Park, Coventry, CV4 8HS

First Utility complete contact directory

Find the First Utility contact number or address you need at a glance.

First Utility contact number 01926 320 700 (no longer working)
Shell Energy number for First Utility queries 0330 094 5800
First Utility former offices First Utility Limited, Point 3, Opus 40 Business Park, Haywood Road, Warwick CV34 5AH
Shell Energy postal address for First Utility correspondence Shell Energy House, Westwood Way, Westwood Business Park, Coventry, CV4 8HS

First Utility smart meter

First Utility chose Siemens Secure branded smart meter models which are compatible with Ovo Energy and Utilita. However, if customers switch to another energy provider, smart functionality is not guaranteed to carry over. This can have a serious impact on customer energy billing.

Based on recent reviews from Trustpilot, the First Utility smart meter compatibility issues have carried over under Shell Energy leadership. For this reason, it is crucial that affected First Utility customers know how to read their smart meter manually if worst comes worst.

How to read a First Utility smart meter?

To read a First Utility smart meter, you must first locate on your property and then know how to operate the main meter unit itself in order to be able to read the consumption details.

Siemens Secure is the main First Utility smart meter provided to customers. All the expected smart features are shown through the provided In-Home Display (IHD). However, switching to another energy provider often means losing the convenience of automatic meter readings and the First Utility In-Home Display becomes much less useful. However, not all is lost if your First Utility Siemens Secure smart meter loses its smarts and you need to submit meter readings.

Reading your Siemens Secure smart meters

First of all, you will need to find your First Utility smart meters and ensure that they match the designs pictured below. By following these steps, you will be able to submit a manual meter reading to whoever you need to.

1. Electricity smart meter manual instructions

  1. Press the ‘9’ key just one time on the keypad to get your electricity supply details.
  2. One keypress displays your total consumption. First you will see the following message “IMP kWh” quickly followed by the actual figure in kWh that you will need to submit.
  3. If you keep pressing the number 9 key, you will see “Export Energy” which does not apply to most meter reading needs.

2. Gas smart meter manual instructions

  1. Press the ‘9’ key just one time on the keypad to get your gas supply details.
  2. One keypress displays your total consumption. First, you will see the following message “Volume” which is quickly followed by the actual figure in m3 which is what you will need to submit.

First Utility Fuel Mix

In March 2019, under Shell Energy ownership and branding, First Utility transitioned to supplying fully renewable electricity for their entire British customer base. This was achieved by First Utility, under Shell Energy leadership, by buying REGOs (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) to certify that all the electricity bought on behalf of customers was matched to renewable energy output.

Shell Energy (formerly First Utility) Indicative Green Electricity Mix
Wind Power Solar Power Biomass Hydroelectric
49.2% 27.1% 20.8% 2.9%

Additionally, under Shell Energy control, former First Utility gas consumers are also benefitting from having the carbon footprint coming from their gas consumption be offset through carbon offset initiatives.

Before the Shell Energy takeover, First Utility’s historical fuel mix rested mainly on natural gas (59.22%). Renewable energy devotees were disappointed back then, since First Utility offered very little renewable energy (10.53%). Below you can see their historical fuel mix figures for April 2018 to March 2019.

Historical First Utility Energy Mix 2018-2019
Energy Source Fuel Mix Carbon Dioxide Emissions (g/kWh)
Coal 8.74% 920
Natural Gas 59.22% 349
Nuclear 17.78% 0
Renewables 10.53% 0
Other 3.73% 0