Shell Energy offers a range of fixed, variable and innovative tariffs. Its Go Further tariff is one of the greenest around. But although Shell Energy’s prices are competitive, its customer service is lacking.
100% green electricity
Wide choice of tariffs
Cheaper green tariffs elsewhere
High complaint rate
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Shell Energy: review in brief
- Almost one million homes supplied
- Great range of green tariffs
- Customer service needs improvement
Shell Energy is the rebranded name of First Utility. Due to the company's recent acquisition of Hudson Energy Supply, Shell Energy now supplies almost one million homes across the country, making it one of Britain's largest energy suppliers.
When it comes to tariff choice, Shell Energy is a market leader. The supplier has three different fixed-term tariffs and a variable tariff available. One of these is a Go Further tariff that helps your home go completely carbon neutral.
Green electricity: 100%
Green gas: 0%
Carbon offset: 100% on Go Further tariff
Customer service: 3.8 out of 5 (Trustpilot, Oct 2020)
Energy Switch Guarantee: Yes
Exit fees: Tariff depending
Price-wise, Shell’s 12-month fixed rate tariff is a mid-priced green option. The supplier's pricing is comparative to E.ON and cheaper than British Gas. However, cheaper deals are available with challenger brands such as Octopus Energy and Bulb Energy.
However, many users report that the company's customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Shell’s own complaint data shows that the supplier is one of the poorest performing energy providers, with 1,667 complaints per 100,000 customers in Q2 of 2020. In addition, although our call was answered straightaway, many customers on Trustpilot have complained about lengthy waiting times when contacting the company via phone or email.
Read the rest of our Shell Energy review to learn more about the provider, and decide whether switching to Shell is the right option for your home. If it is, head over to our energy comparison page to see the best energy deals from Shell Energy in your area.
Shell Energy: tariffs
- Three fixed-term and one flexible tariff available
- Go Further tariff helps homes go carbon neutral
- Specialist tariffs available for solar panel owners
Shell Energy offers four main tariffs, including three fixed tariffs and a flexible option. The supplier’s 12-month Go Further fixed tariff is its most popular and often the cheapest. It comes with 100% renewable electricity as standard, and you receive carbon credits for electricity and gas. With this plan, you also get price rise protection until October 2021 and exclusive rewards with Shell Go+. The supplier estimates that this tariff will cost the average UK home £1,035 per year.
If you’d prefer to lock in the price of your electricity for longer, you can choose a 23-month fixed tariff or a 34-month fixed tariff. Neither of these tariffs are as green as the supplier’s Go Further option, but you still get 100% renewable electricity, and you have price rise protection for longer. According to the supplier, these tariffs are slightly more expensive. They estimate that that the 23-month fixed tariff will cost the average home £1,094 annually, while the 34-month fixed tariff will cost £1,137 per year.
If you’d rather not be tied into a contract, you can choose the supplier’s Flexible 4 tariff. With this option, you get renewable electricity and you can leave at any time without an exit fee. If Shell plans to change its prices, it’ll give you 30 days’ notice. The supplier estimates that the average home will pay £1,043 annually, but remember that because the tariff is flexible, prices can go up as well as down.
Shell also offers a couple of specialist tariffs for anyone with solar panels. The firm’s Solar Storage tariff can be used by households that have installed a sonnenBatterie to complement their solar PV system. The tariff allows people to earn solar credits in the summer and save on their bills in winter.
Alternatively, there's Shell Energy’s Smart Export Guarantee tariff. On this plan, you’ll sell all the electricity you’ve generated but haven’t used to Shell, and receive a payment. The exact amount can be calculated via your smart meter readings.
Shell Energy: prices
- Shell's 12-month fixed tariff is a mid-priced option
- Exact prices depend on where you live in the UK
During our research, we found that Shell’s 12-month fixed tariff is a mid-priced green energy option. At the end of September 2020, this tariff for a central London postcode offered one kWh of electricity for 16.3p - compared to 16.3p at E.ON and 16.9p at British Gas. However, Octopus Energy and Bulb Energy were both cheaper, at 15.7p and 16.0p per kWh respectively.
However, energy prices differ across the UK, so the exact amount you'll pay for your energy will depend both on how much you use, and where you live. The only way to find out exactly how much you would spend by switching to Shell Energy, and compare it to other suppliers, is to run an energy comparison.
How green is Shell Energy?
- Each tariff comes with 100% renewable electricity
- Go Further tariff offsets all carbon dioxide emissions
Each tariff provided by Shell Energy comes with 100% renewable electricity as standard. All of this energy comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass.
Shell’s renewable electricity is certified by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO), which means that all the electricity you buy from the supplier is matched with the equivalent number of units from 100% renewable sources in the UK.
If you choose the firm’s Go Further tariff, Shell Energy will offset the lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions of your home energy, from its production right through to the emissions produced when you use it. That includes your gas and your renewable electricity. Plus, although it’s not currently possible to provide green gas at scale, Shell Energy is exploring alternatives to natural gas, such as heat pumps for household heating.
In addition, for the gas and electricity you use, Shell will buy carbon credits. One credit represents the avoidance or removal of one tonne of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Shell purchases these credits from independently verified nature-based projects.
Shell Energy: customer service
- Contact Shell via phone, email or virtual assistant
- Answered our call instantly
Shell Energy says that the best way to contact the company is to speak to its virtual assistant, which is available 24 hours per day. If you type in your query, you’ll receive an instant answer to your question.
If you’d rather speak to a human, then you can also contact one of Shell’s team on Twitter and Facebook. Shell guarantees a response to your query within one hour. The accounts are monitored between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and between 9am and 4pm on Saturdays. If you don’t have social media, you can email your query to email@example.com.
If you’d rather physically speak to someone, you can call the company on 0330 094 5800. When we phoned, our call was answered instantly by a knowledgeable sales representative. Waiting times on the phone can vary, but the supplier publishes the best times to call them on the Shell website.
Shell Energy: reviews from users and experts
- One of the poorest-performing energy companies in the UK
- Overall customer satisfaction score of 58% according to Which?
Although Shell Energy answered our call instantly, many customers on Trustpilot have complained that they have experienced long hold times when contacting the company via phone to discuss issues with their bills. Due to this, Shell is one of the poorest-performing energy companies in the UK, with 1,677 complaints per 100,000 customers in Q2 of this year.
In the annual Which? energy survey, Shell Energy came 29 out of 35 energy companies. Customers rated the company’s customer services as two stars out of five, and its bill clarity as three stars out of five. Overall, the company received an overall customer score of 58%, which is lower than British Gas, E.ON, Pure Planet, Bulb and Octopus (which topped the chart in 2020 with a customer satisfaction score of 83%).
Shell Energy: smart meter
- Currently installing next-gen SMETS2 smart meters
- You don't need one, except with specialist tariffs
If you’d like to get a smart meter installed in your home when you switch to Shell Energy, the supplier will install a second-generation smart meter (SMETS2) at no extra cost, as long as your home’s location is suitable. You can register your interest on the supplier’s smart meter page.
If you already have a smart meter and you switch to Shell Energy, the company will try to re-enable the smart functionality. In the meantime, though, you’ll need to send the supplier your meter readings.
You don’t need to have a Shell Energy smart meter in your home unless you switch to a specialist tariff, but there are many benefits to having one. For example, your monthly bills will be more accurate, you'll have more control over your spending on energy, and data will highlight times of peak energy usage, making it easier to save money on your energy bills.
Shell Energy: referral fee
- You and your referrer will both receive a reward
Shell Energy offers a referral fee. If you have a friend or family member who is supplied by Shell Energy, ask them for their referral link. All you have to do is use their Shell Energy referral code when you sign up, and you’ll both get a reward. Alternatively, you'll receive a reward if you encourage someone to switch to Shell Energy.
Shell doesn’t specify what this reward currently is, but in the past users have received a £50 gift card for Amazon.co.uk, John Lewis and Tesco.
However, to qualify for the Shell Energy referral scheme, you’ll need to switch directly with Shell, rather than going through a comparison service.
Shell Energy: Warm Home Discount
- You can apply online
- Applications now open for 2020/21
Applications for the Shell Energy Warm Home Discount Scheme for 2020/2021 are now open. If you think you’re eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme, then you can fill out Shell Energy’s online form.
The scheme is open on a first come, first served basis and numbers are limited. Shell Energy will then send you an email within six weeks to confirm whether you have qualified for the scheme or not.
Switching to Shell Energy: how easy is it?
- Energy Switch Guarantee makes switching fast and easy
- You can switch directly on Shell Energy's website...
- ...Or use a price comparison service and compare providers
Shell Energy is a founding member of the Energy Switch Guarantee, which means all switches should be completed within 21 days, and the process should be simple and safe. You’ll never be cut off, and nobody needs to come into your home, either.
There are two ways that you can switch to Shell Energy. Firstly, you can switch directly with the supplier on the Shell website. You’ll just need to supply Shell Energy with a few basic details about your household and energy use. It’ll then provide you with a quote for each of its tariffs. Shell will also provide you with further information about its specialist tariffs if you have solar panels.
Alternatively, you can use an independent energy price comparison service such as ours to compare tariffs across the market. Our tool is powered by GoCompare, and as well as giving you a quote for all the main Shell Energy tariffs, and showing you exactly how much you could save by switching, this method will enable you to compare Shell’s plans with other suppliers. This way, you can choose the best possible supplier and tariff for your home.
No matter which of these switching methods you choose, you’ll see the same tariff prices because the cost of energy doesn’t change. Plus, both methods are hassle-free, and enable you to switch in a matter of minutes. Just keep in mind that if you want to switch to one of Shell’s specialist tariffs, you’ll need to speak to the supplier directly.
Verdict: should you switch to Shell Energy?
If you’re searching for a green energy supplier, then Shell Energy is worth considering. It’s green, mid-priced and the company offers a good range of incentives.
However, due to the supplier’s poor customer service record, you may decide that a challenger brand such as Octopus Energy or Bulb Energy is a better choice (they're both cheaper for the average home, too). Alternatively, if you’re just looking for the cheapest supplier in your area, look at Avro Energy or Pure Planet.
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Tom is a freelance copywriter and content marketer with over seven years' experience. Originally from an agency background, he is proud to have worked on campaigns for a number of energy providers, comparison sites and consumer brands.