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Utility Warehouse review: A con or is it really cheaper?

Are you looking to save money on your utility bills? Some companies claim 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 if it really is cheaper than the rest.

Utility Warehouse review

I’m fairly active on Facebook. By that, I mean I read what others say, chuckle and then go on about my day. However, I also belong to several groups in my local town. As I scroll past the usual posts about bad 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 toward price comparison websites or dropping my Octopus 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 (UW) is a discount club that offers energy bundled with other utilities. According to Which? they became an energy supplier in 2013 after buying 770,000 customers from Npower. 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 quite low…

utility warehouse review

Who owns Utility Warehouse?

Telecoms Plus PLC owns the brand. The company is licensed by the energy regulator Ofgem and regulated by Ofcom.

How does Utility Warehouse work?

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). More-or-less, anyone can become a partner. And who is more likely to convince you to switch providers – a random stranger or a family member?

Although partners claim that the lack of advertising keeps Utility Warehouse’s costs down, that’s not quite true. As you can see from this article, a lot of money is spent on expensive celebrations for their partners.

So, is it a pyramid scheme?

No. Pyramid schemes are illegal in the UK, and Utility Warehouse would not be allowed to operate one.

This type of sales technique is known as Multi-Level Marketing, something I am not a big fan of. You can see how few people actually do well from MLMs, with a 99% chance of failure.

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 a 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 you see so many people recommending Utility Warehouse – it is a potential money-spinner for them.

A stairway to success

A partner can make money in two ways – either by finding new customers for UW or by recruiting new partners. When a partner they have recruited bags a new customer, they will earn a commission.

So, the more partners they recruit, the more they can make. And as you become more established, they move up the ‘stairway’.

  • Step 1 – Distributor
  • Step 2 – Qualified Distributor – gather 3 personal members
  • Step 3 – Team Leader – 10 personal members and 50 customers
  • Step 4 – Senior Team Leader – 15 personal members and 250 customers
  • Step 5 – Group Leader – 20 personal members and 750 customers
  • Step 6 – Senior Group Leader – 25 personal members and 2,000 customers
  • Step 7 – National Group Leader – 50 personal members and 7,000 customers
  • Step 8 – National Network Leader – 100 personal members and 25,000 customers

As you can see, somebody at Step 8 will have recruited at least 100 partners, with over 25,000 customers between them. There is the potential to make a lot of money here.

Ask yourself this though, are partners looking at saving you money or moving up the ladder?

Is Utility Warehouse really cheaper?

I am very sceptical of any MLM, but I can hardly write a review of Utility Warehouse without checking on the prices.

Below is a comparison of how much Utility Warehouse charges and the cheapest deals available on the market.

Best-priced competitorCost with Utility Warehouse
(Octopus Energy)
(£169 after discount)
(Shell Energy)
(£21.60 after discount)
Mobile – 5GB data£4.99
Boiler & emergency cover£14.96
(Home Emergency Assist)
Total cost£211.05£229
(£222.60 after discount)

As you can see, by choosing the best-priced competitors, even after taking into consideration the UW discount, you will save £11.55 per month (£138.60 per year).

And you need to remember that some of these prices are special introductory rates. For example, your broadband will increase to £32.39 after 18 months. To avoid this, you will need to remember to haggle with UW when the contract ends.

UW broadband price increase

At the time of writing this review, Utility Warehouse is offering £50 credit to new customers who switch and have smart meters installed. However, you could earn £50 credit from Octopus Energy when you switch, without the need for smart meter installation.

Bigger savings using cashback sites

I also haven’t mentioned that you can save even more money with the better-priced competitors by using sites like cashback sites like TopCashback. Home Emergency Assist, Lebara and Shell Energy are listed on there, and you could earn over £125 back. That’s a saving of over £10 per month.

But, there is a cashback card

It would be unfair of me not to mention UW’s cashback card.

This is a prepaid debit card that 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. Some credit cards offer a similar cashback scheme, although most are not as generous as 1%.

The earnings are capped. If you have one service from UW, you can earn a maximum of £5 per month. With two or three services, it’s £10 per month and £15 if you have all four.

On the downside, you have to pay £5 to open the account and then pay a monthly subscription fee of £2.

Is Utility Warehouse a rip-off?

No, the tariffs from Utility Warehouse are still better than many of the large companies. They’re worth looking at if you want a simple, one-stop solution. However, you can still find better value if you shop around. And using cashback sites, you could save over £200 per year not going with UW.

Should you become a UW partner?

It’s not something I would consider. First, you must pay £10, which covers the cost of opening your account and training. After four months, you will have to pay a £3 ‘monthly license fee’.

And you need to chase 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.

What other people say

When writing my reviews, I always look elsewhere to see what other people think. Over at Trustpilot, Utility Warehouse scores a fairly decent 4.2 out of 5. Many reviewers claim that they have saved money and received great customer service. But bear in mind it’s in the interest of Utility Warehouse partners to write positive reviews about the company so they can attract new customers and earn more money. Whether all of these reviews are from genuine users who don’t have an interest in attracting new customers… I’m not sure. Some of the reviewers claim to have been with the company for over seven years, which begs the question – why write it now?

On the negative side, reviewers complain about bills increasing sharply and issues when trying to switch away.

Should I switch to Utility Warehouse?

Utility Warehouse does offer competitive pricing and it’s probably easier for many people to have just one bill. But, you will pay a fair amount more for the privilege. Is it really worth the extra money?

Take a look at the Utility Warehouse site to find out more.


Is Utility Warehouse a MLM company?

Yes, Utility Warehouse is what is known as a multi-level marketing company. Most new customers are encouraged to join by UW partners who will earn a commission. These partners will also recruit members to their team and will also earn a commission when their team members make money.

Is Utility Warehouse a pyramid scheme?

No. Pyramid schemes are illegal in the UK and indicate that a company is fraudulent. Although the business model relies on representatives selling services to (mainly) friends and family, it is a legitimate company.

Who does Utility Warehouse use for broadband?

Their broadband operates on the Openreach network – the same network as nearly all the other providers, excluding Virgin Media.

Who is the energy supplier for Utility Warehouse?

Telecom Plus plc operates Utility Warehouse. and supplies its own electricity and gas directly to customers.

What mobile network does Utility Warehouse use?

The company uses the EE network.

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Wednesday 15th of November 2023

They are stealing money from my mum.

Her insurance company canceled the policy, provided by UW.

In the UW policy it states that if the customer cancels they will have to continue paying until the policy ends.

In this case the customer did not cancel, the company did.

Yet they continue to take her money. Even after several complaints.

She is listed on their system as vulnerable.

They tried to plicate her with £32.


Avoid Avoid Avoid


Monday 25th of September 2023

Thank you for this helpful overview which really opened up my eyes (that this is a MLM). Also, you should update your article to reflect the fact that new customers trying to join UW for energy are being told they can only do so once they have paid a £400-800 deposit. It happened to me last week after they checked my credit score (which is excellent by the way), and I have also found a few reports of the same on forums, such as MSE. Of course, I refused to give away an unsecured deposit of £400 (for one type of energy) that they said they would keep for 12 months, but I am now left with a mark on my credit history as they did a hard-search to get to that stage at the point of me trying to sign up. :(

John Moore

Tuesday 12th of September 2023

I inherited UW from the previous owners of my bungalow. I have a bundle, Wi-Fi, tv and landline. I am not happy with UWC and don’t trust them having been totally messed about by their ‘team’ for more than twelve months to have my solar power service connected in order to receive the credits. Ended up taking them to the ombudsman and was awarded the princely sum of £75 compensation which I had to chase UW for. They are much quicker and also threatening if I owe them money. Further to this, I totally dislike their billing methods ie their estimation system and I have given up trying to understand the monthly statements. I cook by air fryer and microwave. The only gas is for the hot water/boiler. I am an 84yr old widower living off of savings interest and OAPension. So l can’t see that they should have a problem tracking my simple usage. Twice in the past 6ths., I mistakenly had enormous amounts removed from my bank acct via direct debit. After having to go through the hassle of complaining over the phone (they don’t allow email of any description, nice for them but not for me in this case), they did make partial refunds of these amounts but it should never have arisen in the first place. It was very stressful. I want to switch for separate services and find this daunting with so many choices and will seek out recommendations.


Sunday 16th of July 2023

Hi this needs updating as UW has changed in some ways since this. It's only ever £10 to sign up as a partner plus the license fee if £3 per month after three months and you get 14 days to change your mind and get that £10 back. The fee is deducted from commission and a mobile sim is £13 or £20 for unlimited. They now also have two fixed rate tariff when you bundle your utilities which are the cheapest in the market. It may be MLM but your helping people save and all of my customers have saved (using actual usage figures) so it's very rewarding helping people, more than just a commision. If they don't save they don't switch so to me it is only a positive thing we do.

Karl Bibby

Monday 20th of March 2023

Hi. I just want to warn people of the pitfalls of MLM. Many people will be familiar with concept. I’m not going to go into the working of it, is it pyramid selling, is it a con. I’ve been involved with MLM companies in the past with little success, but that’s by the by. The real big problem with it is the damage it could do to your family and friend relationships. It’s not just the badgering of them to join or to buy products, it’s the fall out when things go wrong. Imagine if you went in a shop and purchased a product or service, you had no ties with the owner, but something went terribly wrong, you felt unsatisfied, you felt as though you’d been ripped off for some reason or even felt that you’d been misled. You’d probably go and have it out with the staff. Even if the situation was resolved, you could still be left with a sour taste in your mouth and be reluctant to do business with them again. Now put the same scenario into MLM. You sold a product to a friend, neighbours, family member, the were unsatisfied, thought they had been ripped off or even mislead, they would come to you and seek a resolution. This is where it gets tricky, lots of them will say nothing as they don’t want to confront a family member or a friend. Some will and there is potential for big fall outs. It’s the people who say nothing who may feel hurt and the relationship between you and them will change forever, people harbour that little bit of mistrust in you. I’m not saying it’s all doom and gloom but think very carefully before you act. I actually joined UW last year but did nothing as the government set up the £67 a month energy relief scheme paid direct by your supplier so I didn’t want to cause anyone difficulties with the payment.

Today 20/03/23 I got an email from UW stating the price is going up. I’m just glad I never started promoting it. I’m blessed that I never actually sponsored anyone of my close family or friends into MLM so didn’t have any bad experiences with them. I know an awful lot of people who have lost friends over the years. I’m not slagging any company off, it’s a fact UW are putting prices up. Just beware folks, MLM may not be good if you like mutual trust between family and friends.

Glyn Hazell

Thursday 18th of May 2023


I've learned about it. The hard way. My vulnerable in laws got their phone and internet cut off. He's 80 she's 90. They couldn't contact hospitals, doctors, or get in touch with anyone. We had to buy them emergency mobiles to use. They were paying on time every month, and UW then took over 500 out of his credit card without permission. Disgusting and dangerous company. Cold as ICE.


Tuesday 11th of April 2023

@Karl Bibby, Let me ask you if you started your own business, investing thousands of pounds into it, would you expect support off family and friends or would you expect to generate business with unknown people. In 1984 I was invited to look at a network marketing business, which I did, and I got involved, a few months prior to this I read in a Which magazine about the company, which paid the products but said you could £16k a year but it would be hard work. Now I was in a job earning £7k a year I was broke and in debt and I was working 70 hours a week. I was introduced to a personal development training program, which I devoured, you see I was broke and in debt because I was following a system that had no training to help me become successful. Within 4 months of getting into the business I was making enough money to pay my monthly mortgage payments of £550 a month. I remaind in that business for 25 years. I was 27 when I started and by the time I was 40 I had paid off my mortgage this after moving from a 3 bed semi detached to a 4 bed detached property. I was able to do this from what I learnt in the system. My experience with people that are unsuccessful (what ever that means) in MLM is that they tend to poke it with a stick and if it doesn't move they quit and complain. Now I am a partner in UW when I got involved I did so because I saw two potentials one I could make money and secondly I could save other people money. But I was making money through helping others save. There is no one that I have not been able to help save money, does that mean that everyone Ive spoken too has become a customer no they haven't and when you can save a friend £180 a year and they decide to stay where they are, then I guess I use the term friend loosely. I generally save people over £80 a month. Now is anything stress free and without problems any job or business no it isn't, I would say if youre looking for a free lunch or something for mothing don't look at any MLM company because success only comes before work in the dictionary. What I have found is that if a MLM has a good support system which you get into and learn all about it and how it can help you then everyone would benefit.

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