Looking to save money on your utility bills? Some companies claim that you can find a better deal if you have all your bills from one provider. Take a look at this Utility Warehouse review to see what kind of savings you can make.
I’m fairly active on Facebook. By that, I mean I read what others have to say, chuckle and then go on about my day. However, I also belong to several groups for my local town. As I scroll past the usual posts about crap parking/driving, complaints about fireworks or pictures of missing cats (along with the obligatory joke about the Chinese takeaway), I often see posts about who is the best energy provider. I usually take my time to answer these, often pointing people in the direction of price comparison websites or dropping by Bulb referral link into the conversation. But I have noticed a lot of people recommending a company called Utility Warehouse. Apparently, they offer some great deals, so I thought I would check them out.
Who is Utility Warehouse?
Utility Warehouse is a discount club that offers energy bundled with other utilities. According to Which? they became an energy supplier back in 2013 after buying 770,000 customers from Npower. Currently, they are the biggest energy provider outside of the “Big 6”. They also scored top for customer satisfaction out of all the energy providers – although that bar is set quite low…
I haven’t heard of them…
There is a good chance you might not have. You see, Utility Warehouse doesn’t advertise as much as other companies. They have a far cleverer way of operating. Instead of bombarding you with TV and radio adverts, Utility Warehouse recruits agents (also known as partners).
What does a partner do?
In my relationship, not much. Boom! (Don’t worry, my wife never reads my blog anyway). It’s the job of a partner (or agent) to recruit new customers to Utility Warehouse. Doing so will earn them some commission. Occasionally, you may see a car driving around town with Utility Warehouse splashed all over it which will often belong to one of these partners. But the most common place partners operate from is social media. That is why I would see so many people recommending Utility Warehouse – it was a potential money spinner for them.
Sign-up or avoid?
Right, so we all know I’m a blogger. And I know for a fact that some bloggers would promote poking yourself in the eye with a pencil if it meant they could earn some money from it. I try to give a balanced opinion of everything I review but if you believe that, it’s up to you. I can never trust anybody that promotes something in which they receive a commission, so felt the need to see if Utility Warehouse really did provide good value.
Now, bear in mind that I always keep a close eye on my bills (aka tight), so Utility Warehouse would be hard pushed to find me a better price.
Within a couple of minutes, I was on the Utility Warehouse site and saving £644 per year on their Double Gold package. Which was impressive as they didn’t know how much I spent in the first place!
Filling out my details was easy enough and I soon had my quote.
The only issue came when getting a quote for energy. Utility Warehouse provides you with free LED bulbs for joining them, which can help reduce your electricity usage. However, when you get your quote, they automatically reduce your electricity consumption by 15%. This is a complete stab in the dark (pardon the pun). How much you save will depend on how many bulbs you have, how many of you there are in the house and how often you’re home. For example, a single person working nights will save next to nothing. And Imy house won’t save anything as I’ve installed LED’s in every room.
Yet, my electricity quote was still reduced by 15%! You can book for somebody to come round to change your bulbs, but you will be charged £25 if you miss the appointment.
I wasn’t happy with the quote so I adjusted my electricity figures back up to how much I would really use.
Below is a comparison of how much I currently pay and how much Utility Warehouse would cost.
|Current Monthly cost||Cost with Utility Warehouse|
|Energy (Bulb Energy)||£68.53||£72|
|Broadband (First Utility)||£24.99||£28.34|
In total, my Utility Warehouse monthly bill would come to £116. Currently, I am paying £102.58. So signing up to Utility Warehouse would leave me slightly worse off. And that doesn’t take into consideration the £50 credit I received from joining Bulb or the £75 from TopCashback and £50 from Santander (yes, double whammy) for joining First Utility.
So, poor value then?
No, the tariffs from Utility Warehouse are still better than many other companies. If you’re looking for the simple solution, then they’re worth looking at. However, you can still find better value if you shop around. And use cashback sites to find even better deals.
Plus, I haven’t told you about the cashback card. This is a kind of prepaid debit card which you load funds onto. Every time you make a purchase, you receive cashback. There are 50 retailers that offer between 3-7% cashback (including, Sainsbury’s, Argos and B&Q) whilst everywhere else gives you 1% back. There are some credit cards that offer a similar cashback scheme, although most are not as generous as 1%.
You can also earn cashback by shopping online through Utility Warehouse, but this looks similar to TopCashback and Quidco.
Should I become a partner?
It’s not something I would consider. First of all, you have to pay between £100-200 to get started. Then you have to start chasing sales. Do you really want to be “that friend” who is constantly badgering others to change their provider? And once you’ve got through your friends and family, where next? According to the Guardian, the average partner earns £505 per year. And that’s before tax and any other costs you may have.
My Utility Warehouse review conclusion
I’m a little torn with this one. Utility Warehouse does offer competitive pricing and it’s probably easier for many people to have just one bill. But, I’m still better off with my current providers, so I won’t be switching anytime soon.
Take a look at the Utility Warehouse site if you want to find out more.