700,000 homes switched to renewable energy as First Utility is rebranded Shell Energy

Published by Rachel Lacey on 25 March 2019.
Last updated on 25 March 2019

First Utility – the UK’s seventh largest energy supplier – has today rebranded as Shell Energy in a move that will see its 700,000 customers switched to renewable electricity overnight.

Shell says 100% of its electricity is sourced from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass and this will be the standard on all tariffs offered to customers. 

Customers will also get discounts at Shell service stations across the UK.

This includes a 3% discount on fuel at Shell petrol stations via its Shell Go+ rewards programme - up to 60 litres a month per household. 

Shell Energy also says it will start offering a range of 'smart technologies' to households over the coming year including smart thermostats and electric vehicle charging points.

Customers that pick a three-year fixed-price contract, will get a free Nest E smart thermostat. 

The firm is offering a discount on an electric vehicle charger. The NewMotion Home Fast charge point will be sold for £349, a discount of £60. This price includes standard installation, six months of free access to smart services and the OLEV government grant.

It is also set to offer broadband packages to customers. 

Colin Crooks, chief executive of Shell Energy Retail says: “We are building on the disruptive nature of First Utility to give customers something better. We know that renewable electricity is important to them and we are delivering that, while ensuring good value and rewarding loyalty.”

He adds: “We want to attract customers with fair pricing, strong customer service and innovative offers that set us apart from anything available today. Later this year, we’ll be announcing a string of exciting services that offer greater convenience to householders and help make homes more efficient.”

The move follows Shell’s acquisition of challenger energy supplier First Utility in February 2018.

Commenting on the rebrand, Rik Smith, energy expert at uSwitch says: "As First Utility they were one of the more well established challenger suppliers in this country, but the Shell brand will be even more recognisable to energy customers.

"Shell Energy must develop a much longer-term relationship with these customers than previously, when people's main engagement would be when they topped up with petrol. Shell now has responsibility for meeting smart meter targets, growing their share of a new market by offering great customer service day in day out, and helping to reduce emissions from electricity supplies.

"The proposition they have unveiled today is undoubtedly attractive from a consumer point of view, but also designed to help them meet their various obligations.

"Likewise, the focus on electric vehicles and smart home technology all point towards the revolution which is taking hold in the way electricity is supplied and used in our homes, and Shell's desire to get ahead of the game."

Here's how a range of similar energy tariffs to Shell Energy's fixed to July 2020 plan compare: 

Supplier Plan name Average bill size Tariff type Green? Cancellation fees
Outfox the Market One Variable Tariff £892 Variable    
Utility Point UP Variable Direct Feb19 £930 Variable    
Economy Seven Energy 7 Heaven March 19 £948 Variable Y  
Avro Energy Simple and SuperSaver £964 Fixed    
Lumo App Only Fixed v18 £966 Fixed   £30.00 per fuel
People's Energy People's Year Fixed (2 Months Upfront) £968 Fixed Y £20.00 per fuel
Shell Energy Fixed July 2020 £970 Fixed Y  
Gulf Gas and Power Gulf Home Exclusive 12 April 20 v1 £976 Fixed Y £30.00 per fuel
iSupplyEnergy Discover Green 12 months Direct v6 £977 Fixed Y £30.00 per fuel
Tonik Energy Go Green (18 months) v2 £979 Fixed (18 months) Y  
Source: uSwitch, March 2019

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Is it possible in reality to

Is it possible in reality to source energy, in this case electricity from renewables? The electrons that I use come from the electricity dumping ground called 'the grid' where all sources feed? To directly source you would need a separate grid for renewables? What am I missing? That said it's great Shell are take some initiative! Well done Shell!