Utilita was established in 2003 as a response to the issues outlined within the Energy White Paper of February 2001: climate change, security of supply, fuel poverty and ageing infrastructure – with the belief in mind that the most cost effective way to address said issues is to encourage consumers to use less energy.
Launched publicly at Q4 as an integrated supplier of gas, electricity and telecoms in September 2004, Utilita has since carved a niche for itself as the UK’s leading supplier of pay-as-you-go energy.
Utilita maintains several key energy tariffs that are geared primarily towards prepayment gas and electricity in the UK, aiming to offer a simple, user friendly and competitively priced service to families and energy conscious households through the use of modern smart meters.
The Smart Energy tariff is a 12 month plan designed for prepayment meter customers, and includes free smart meter installation. It is Utilita’s most competitive tariff offering remote top-up capabilities, as well as a £10 Emergency and Friendly Credit. Smart Energy is a variable rate tariff, and includes no standing charge.
The Energy Saver tariff is a 12 month, variable rate tariff that includes paper billing and no standing charge. It is Utilita’s mid-priced tariff and does not include their smart metering technology.
The Standard tariff is a basic rate tariff for gas and electricity and is their most expensive tariff. It is billed monthly with cash or cheque payments and does not include Utilita’s smart metering technology.
If you wish to see how Utilita Prices compare with all other suppliers, try one of these calculators:
Background: Utilita’s energy products have evolved substantially throughout the past 8 years. Originally, the primary notion behind Utilita’s energy tariffs was that customers would earn credits in return for low energy consumption, which could be saved and then exchanged for various energy efficiency products or services. At launch, these tariffs were named:
get80 - With this tariff, an average customer would earn 80 credits per year – resulting in a 10% savings in energy services so long as those credits be used in order to obtain energy saving services from Utilita.
get130 - With this tariff, an average customer would earn 130 credits per year – resulting in a 10% saving in energy should those credits be used to obtain energy saving services from Utilita.
get180 - With this tariff, it was planned that an average customer would earn 180 credits per year – resulting in a 10% saving in energy should those credits be used to obtain energy saving services from Utilita.
get280 - With this tariff, an average customer would earn 280 credits per year – resulting in a 10% saving in energy should those credits be used in order to obtain energy saving services from Utilita.
The tariffs were well-received by low income families nationwide, and throughout the following 12 months Utilita explored other viable cost-cutting techniques for low income energy users. In fact, Utilita was amongst the first energy suppliers in the UK to invest in a smart metering project. On July 1, 2005 Utilita rebranded its three main tariffs:
Other aspects of said tariffs evolved as well. Under the new plans, customers were then able to exchange the energy credits they had earned for a percentage discount from their total annual energy costs. This percentage discount was paid in the form of one cashback payment at the end of one calendar year.
In November 2005, Utilita renamed the final of its four original tariffs – get130 – the EnergyExtraSaver. Only one month later, however, market developments forced Utilita to temporarily exit the supply market – blamed in part on a vast increase in the number of small businesses which fell victim to recession throughout the year. All Utilita energy accounts were transferred to EDF Energy on standard EDF prices throughout the following weeks.
Subsequent to a period of organisational redevelopment, Utilita re-launched energy operations in April 2007. This return to the market was co-sponsored by partner Secure Meters (UK) Limited, and was driven by the aim of addressing fuel poverty by using smart meters in order to regulate and reduce energy consumption. Utilita celebrated its re-launch with the introduction of three new tariffs:
The planetsaver was the first dual fuel, carbon neutral tariff offered to domestic customers in the UK. Customers were awarded planetpoints that were automatically redeemed so that CO2 emissions from the gas consumed were immediately offset with Climate Care. All electricity was sourced via 100% renewable projects in the UK and by the purchasing of Renewable Obligations Certificates. Customers also received a comprehensive, free energy Home MOT.
planetsaver customers could also opt-out of receiving carbon neutral gas and electricity, and instead redeem their planetpoints for energy saving products and technologies which reduced their energy consumption by up to 30% over a three year period.
The energysaverplus tariff saved energy at no additional cost to the customer. Customers also received a high level of planetpoints, a Free Home Energy Survey and energy saving advice.
The energysaver tariff was a price-led, discounted product that offered energy efficiency through a lower level of planetpoints, a Free Home Energy Survey and energy saving advice
In addition to the energy-saving incentives maintained by Utilita’s new tariff structure, the supplier also progressed in order to become a market leader with regards to smart metering technology. In conjunction with partner Secure Meters (UK) Ltd, Utilita had installed over 15,000 smart meters in the residential market by April 2009 – more than any other UK energy supplier. One year on, Utilita had installed nearly 25,000 smart meters, and had also adopted several key customer service pledges – such as the promise that no disconnections will be made at evenings or weekends.
Such customer service developments and energy-saving techniques have allowed Utilita to prosper as one of the UK’s leading suppliers for low income energy users. If you wish to see how Utilita Prices compare with all other suppliers, try one of these calculators: