First Utility Electricity Prices Review
The First Utility company are a fairly new entrant into the UK energy market and are certainly making waves so here’s our review of what all the fuss is about.
About First Utility
The First Utility electricity energy company is born from the same people who manage the First Telecom company and are an intermediary between the energy providers (those that generate the power in the UK) and the consumer. There are various tariffs available but you should look at the total costs as they are slightly different to other suppliers in the UK.
Their energy mix is skewed differently, whereas most of the major electricity and gas companies are investing into renewable energy sources and attempting to reduce their reliance on coal burning technologies First Utility is opting to source most of their power from nuclear sources, which may not emit CO2 like coal but may be a concern for others. Their fuel mix during 2009 was as follows:
- Coal – First Utility 31.1% – UK average 32.9%
- Natural Gas – FU 34.9% – UK 43.3%
- Nuclear – FU 29.2% – UK 15.3%
- Renewables – FU 0.8% – UK 5.9%
- Others – FU 4.0% – UK 2.6%
First Utility and Smart Meter Tariffs
The big drive from the government for UK homes is for them to have smart meters installed so you can see at a glance exactly how much electricity your home is using. The energy saving trust estimates that most people should save between 10-15% on their energy by simply having these devices installed.
With First Utility they will install one for your home for free if you are in the Midlands (more regions to follow) so this is a good incentive however you need to take a dual fuel tariff for this. The smart meter will also automatically send your data base to FU and you can opt to see this information on their website or with the new Google Power Meter in your standard Google account – wow ! (they are currently the only UK provider linked up with Google at present).
First Utility Tariffs
As mentioned they are only operating within the Midlands region and have two types of tariffs and both have daily standing charges which means you get billed no matter how much gas or electricity you use so you should compare these tariffs with the other main providers in the first instant.
- isave tariff – is available nationwide and is trumpeted as the cheapest dual fuel tariff. You get to manage your account online where you submit your own meter readings so in effect there are no more estimated bills. You need to pay by monthly direct debit and must sign up for this tariff online. There are no early exit penalties and the smart meters will be rolled out in due course
- smart meter tariff – this has the same prices and terms as above but if you are in the Midlands you get a free smart meter and it is read every 30 minutes during the day with the data then available for you to view.
- Standard tariff – is a slightly more expensive tariff but you can get paper bills. Really there is no reason to choose this tariff.
What Else About First Utility ?
The discounts that are offered for dual fuel tariffs (which you must take as you can’t just opt for electricity or gas) are applied at the end of a 12 month period as a credit to your bill. Therefore, if you leave during that 12 month period you won’t get that discount.
If you choose the standard tariff and decide to pay by cash or cheque then there’s a £4 fee to pay. Also reading reviews about this company don’t look so good with long delays in customer service calls perhaps because they are being swamped with new customers because at first glance the First Utility electricity prices and rates look attractive.