Energy is one of the key indicators of a nation’s growth and development. An uninterrupted supply of electricity is just as important in our homes as it is in the manufacturing sector. This is why reliability comes in as a close second to price for both domestic and business consumers. Some of the UK’s leading energy providers are British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy and Scottish Power, just to name a few.
First Utility, still a relative newcomer to the market, is making strides and quickly lapping up a fair share of the market. Since its launch in September 2008, the company has been making waves as a viable alternative to the big six energy companies. They’ve developed a unique sell point (USP) by their promotion of energy efficiency and renewable resources.
In its infancy, First Utility traded under the name of First Telecom but has expanded its services to include residential services in the energy sector. Although the company has had it struggles with customer service, it became known as the company with the best electricity prices.
First Utility’s Smart Meter Drive
The UK government proposed an initiative to have smart meters installed in every home, so consumers and providers could see at a glance how much electricity is being used in the home. According to estimates, consumers will reduce their energy costs by as much as 10-15 percent if they install smart meters in their homes.
First Utility jumped on this initiative and offered to install smart meters for free for customers in the Midlands area. The catch is that you must sign up for a dual fuel tariff if you want to qualify. The smart meter will automatically send your meter readings to FU so you can see your information on their website. You can also use the Google Power Meter if you want to send the information to your Google account.
First Utility Tariffs
If you live in the Midlands region, you might benefit from either one of First Utility’s tariff. Both plans have daily standing charges, so you’ll be billed no matter how much electricity you use. It’s a good idea to compare the tariffs explained below with those offered by other providers.
iSave tariff: This tariff has been touted as the cheapest dual fuel tariff. The tariff must be managed online where you’ll have to submit your meter readings – say goodbye to estimated billing. A monthly direct debit option will give you further savings, and there are no exit penalties so you can leave whenever you want.
The iSave tariff comes with a fixed and variable rate option. The fixed rate tariff will fix your energy prices until September 2014, giving you price protection in a world of uncertain energy prices. Unlike the variable rate tariff, the fixed rate has a cancellation fee.
Smart meter tariff: The smart meter tariff has the same features, terms, and prices as the iSave tariff, but it includes a free smart meter for customers in some geographical areas. The smart meter will help you to keep on top of your energy usage and eliminate estimated billing.
Getting the Cheapest Electricity Deal
First Utility gained national attention by offering the lowest possible deal on electricity and gas. Their bold move has forced bigger energy companies to rethink their strategy – at least to a small extent. Those that are unwilling to lower their prices for fear of decreasing profits have added incentives to keep their existing customers.
Consumers will benefit from the price wars as smaller energy companies follow suit and offer competitive deals. But as of today, First Utility still stands as the UK’s cheapest energy provider with its iSave tariff.
Co-operative Energy, another small provider, is a close second. These may be small companies, but they’re making a name for themselves. At the very least, they taught consumers that they should look beyond the big six in order to get some terrific deals.
Smart consumers know how important it is to shop around before they purchase anything – electricity included. Use comparison sites to save time and effort when you’re looking to find the best electricity prices.
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