Utility
Warehouse

Everything You Need to Know
 

Utility Warehouse, also known as UW, is the trading name of Telecom Plus. UW is the UK’s only genuine multiservice utility provider - offering customers energy, broadband, mobile and insurance - and is fully regulated by Ofgem, Ofcom and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Over 650,000 customers are currently signed up with UW and take one or more of their services. And as a multiservice provider, the company bundles every service that each customer takes with them onto a single, monthly bill, rather than separate them into individual ones.

This helps their customers save time by not having to deal with different bills, accounts, passwords and communication from different utility providers, and save money by bundling services together.

How did it all begin?

UW’s parent company was founded in 1996, operating from a pub in Henley-on-Thames. Telecom Plus would go on to be listed on the London Stock Exchange, and become a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index – making it a genuine British success story.

Telecom Plus launched its flagship product in 1997 – the Smart Box. This device plugged into phone sockets to route calls to networks at a cheaper rate than British Telecom. Utility Warehouse was then founded a little later in 2002 to cover its energy, broadband and telephony services.

Telecom Plus and UW’s CEO is Andrew Lindsay – who also happens to be an Olympic gold medal-winning rower. Andrew joined the company in 2007 and was appointed to the Board in 2008. UW’s Executive Chairman is The Hon. Charles Wigoder, who joined the company early on in 1998.

What services do they provide?


Utility Warehouse currently offers energy, broadband, mobile phone and insurance services.

Energy

For gas and electricity, UW guarantees savings by promising to keep their prices up to 5% below Ofgem’s “fair price” standard, also known as their price cap. This guarantee applies to both new and existing customers, and applies for as long as they’re a customer with UW.

As well as providing gas and electricity, UW offers their customers free smart meter upgrades. These allow customers who pay monthly to benefit from automated meter readings, so they never have to do it themselves again and will always get accurate bills.

For customers who pay for energy upfront (in prepayment mode), smart meters let them set budgets and spending alerts, and top up their funds from anywhere using an online portal or via the UW app.

A free smart meter display is also provided for both types of energy customer, which allows customers to see their energy usage in near-real time, so they can take steps to save energy and money.

Customers can also order and get a new A-rated boiler installed by Glow Green, a UW company. The customers have the choice of two Which? award-winning boiler brands, Vaillant and Worcester Bosch.

Utility Warehouse energy services >

 

Broadband and landline

UW customers get access to the fastest broadband speeds available to their homes – from fibre, which is three times faster than standard broadband, to Full Fibre, which is the latest in broadband technology. This is also known as Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).

'Regular' fibre broadband works by using fibre optic cables to transfer data from the exchange to the green cabinets on the street, and then uses copper wires to carry this data the rest of the way to customers' homes. This makes it up to three times faster than 'copper-only' standard broadband. But because it still partially relies on the old copper network, it's still susceptible to faults.

On the other hand, Full Fibre is super fast and super reliable because only fibre optic cables are used. These cables run from the exchange to the green cabinets on the street, and then from these cabinets to customers' homes, giving up to twelve times faster speeds than standard broadband.  

If a customer doesn't have fibre in their area just yet, UW still has their standard broadband offering, which is a fully copper wire connection and is just right for light browsing and emails.

While not every household is Full Fibre-compatible just yet, more and more areas are being upgraded every day, backed by the government’s ‘Build Back Better’ campaign to boost the UK’s infrastructure.

UW customers can also choose between three different broadband routers if they need one. The Value router is ideal for basic needs like browsing and emails, and costs £5.99 to cover postage and packaging. The Premium router is ideal for larger households with multiple devices being used at once, and costs £5.99 for postage plus a monthly fee of £1. Finally, the Super router is the best for heavy internet users like gamers and video streamers, and costs £5.99 for postage plus a monthly fee of £2.
Customers can also boost the signal strength throughout their home by taking their Whole Home WiFi package, which is part of UW’s partnership with Amazon and their latest eero devices.

Utility Warehouse broadband and landline services >

 

Mobile

Utility Warehouse offers both mobile phone contracts and SIM-only plans. Customers can use their own phones with a UW SIM as long as their phone is unlocked, and can have their existing number transferred to their new SIM too. Currently, over 240,000 people across the UK take their mobile service with UW.

There are currently two mobile SIM plans to choose from: Value – which costs £10 a month for 1GB of data, 450 minutes and unlimited texts; and Unlimited – which costs £20 a month for the first SIM for unlimited data, texts and minutes. Customers who take an Unlimited SIM can take up to three additional Unlimited SIMs for a further £10 each per month, which is ideal for families.

Utility Warehouse mobile services >

 

Insurance

UW offers Home Insurance, which includes buildings and contents insurance to suit both homeowners and tenants, as well as Boiler & Home Cover.

With their Home Insurance, they work with a panel of insurers who compete on price for UW customers every year, making sure the customers always get the same great cover at the best possible price year after year.

Their Boiler & Home Cover, in addition to an annual service for boilers, provides 24/7 support and unlimited call-outs in the event of breakdowns, as well as plumbing and drain problems, electrical outages, emergency roofing issues, and even unwanted pests.

Utility Warehouse insurance services >

How can customers save money with Utility Warehouse?

The more services customers take with UW, the more money they can save. For example, they’ll get a 10% discount on their broadband if they take the Gold Talk bundle (broadband, landline and mobile) or Double Gold bundle (broadband, landline, mobile, gas and electricity). And if they take the Double Gold bundle, they’ll also be protected against price rises with a fixed tariff. UW landline customers also get free calls to other UW customers.

The Peace of Mind Promise lets customers who switch all their home services to UW get up to £200 towards any early termination fees with existing suppliers, 30 days to change their mind and switch away without penalty, and ‘Double the Difference’ after 12 months if they don’t save money with UW.

UW also offers their customers a cashback card. This UW cashback card lets their customers earn as much as 7% cashback when they shop with it, which then comes directly off their monthly bill. UW cashback cardholders can simply top up the prepaid Visa card with funds online or through the UW app. The total cashback earned is then added as a credit on the bill each month.

Where cashback of up to 7% can be earned with participating retailers, customers also have the chance to earn 1% with all other retailers, as long as they’re taking two or more of UW’s services and aren’t in debt collection proceedings with the company. Some retailers that cardholders can earn up to 7% cashback with include H. Samuel, Argos, Boots, Marks & Spencer, and Sainsbury’s. 

The Unlimited mobile SIM allows customers to take additional Unlimited SIMs at a reduced price. While the first SIM costs £20 a month, an extra three Unlimited SIMs can be added to the plan at £10 per month each. For example, taking two Unlimited SIMs would save £10 a month, three would save £20 a month, and four would save £30 a month.

For energy, UW guarantees that their prices will always be up to 5% lower than Ofgem’s Fair price cap. This is based on a comparison with the Ofgem price cap level for default energy tariffs based on payment by direct debit for typical household consumption of 2,900 kWh electricity and 12,000 kWh gas.

With a free smart meter, customers also have the opportunity to save money by having more control over their energy usage. Because they can see their energy use in near real-time, they can take steps to save energy by changing their habits, for example making sure the lights are off in a room while they’re not in it, or switching off appliances by the mains instead of leaving them in standby mode. When a new customer signs up and takes a smart meter at the same time, they could also get £50 taken off their energy bill.

UW customers are also offered an exclusive 20% off the price of a new A-rated boiler if they take one with UW. And by replacing an old G-rated boiler with an A-rated, energy-efficient boiler, the Energy Saving Trust reports that people can save as much as £315 a year, or £26.25 per month.

For their insurance products, customers can choose to spread the cost of their payments monthly. Unlike some other insurance providers, UW doesn’t charge their customers additional fees like interest to do so.

Having partnered with Amazon to offer their eero devices, UW customers can buy an eero for £2.50 a month per device, starting with three devices, instead of paying the usual unit price of £100. They then have the option to upgrade with more eeros. Customers who take eeros with UW can also use the eero Secure app for free, which usually costs £25 a year.

Who are Utility Warehouse Partners?

 

UW Partners work as licensed distributors of UW’s services. They're formally registered with the company, and introduce new people to Utility Warehouse, explain their services, and help them sign up.

How do Utility Warehouse Partners earn money?


UW Partners earn an upfront commission every time they sign up a new customer, and an ongoing commission – known as residual income – for as long as that customer stays with UW. They also earn commission by helping other new Partners in their team to sign up new customers, and residual income for as long as those team members' customers stay with UW.

Once a Partner joins, UW provides ongoing training and tools, and senior Partners act as mentors too. It costs a one-time registration fee of £10 for a UW customer to sign up as a Partner, or £50 for a non-customer, with a monthly licence fee of £3. Aside from the one-time registration fee and the monthly licence fee, Partners don’t have to buy any additional equipment or pay any other charges to run their business.

Depending on factors like how many services a customer takes, and if they’re a homeowner or tenant, a Partner can earn up to £400 per new customer they sign up. They can spend as much or as little time on their business as they like, opting to make it a ‘side-hustle' or aiming to eventually go into it full-time.

Partners can also enjoy two major head office-supported events every year, which thousands of people attend: Power Up, which is the biggest event and is led by the head office, and Amplify, which is led by the Partners themselves. During these events the company announces new product launches and business news, and also holds training workshops designed to help Partners grow their businesses.

As well as these two major events, Partners can organise and run their own events. For example, they can run a ‘20k Giveaway’, which lets potential customers enter a £20,000 prize draw and gives Partners the opportunity to introduce the benefits of signing up to UW to them. And during the late May 2021 bank holiday, Partners organised litter-picking outings for UW’s charitable body, the UW Foundation.

How Utility Warehouse is helping the environment

Utility Warehouse has a green energy tariff, which sees customers who take all their services automatically benefit from 100% renewable electricity supplied to their homes. This electricity is sourced from wind, solar and tidal power.

For each unit of electricity used by their customers, the company guarantees that an equal amount of electricity is put back into the grid that has been generated from the above renewable sources. This electricity is certified by Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, and has a Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origin (REGO). While UW – and other energy providers – can’t guarantee that the electricity supplied to customers’ homes will come directly from renewable sources due to the way the electricity network operates, the REGO scheme is a proactive way of supporting the generation of renewable electricity.

In addition to giving them 100% renewable electricity, UW also plants a tree on the behalf of new customers who sign up to all services with UW. So far, UW have planted 117,400 trees in their woodland on Bryn Arw in the Brecon Beacons National Park, absorbing over 32,000 tonnes of CO2. This number of trees roughly covers the equivalent area of 73 Wembley pitches.

Read more about Utility Warehouse’s partnership with Forest Carbon >

In addition, customers with free smart meters fitted in their homes by UW use less energy than they did when they had traditional meters installed. The total carbon saving is estimated to be equal to 24,690 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This is the rough equivalent of planting a forest the size of Blackpool. In fact, 5.2% of all smart meters in the UK in the year ending March 2021 were installed by UW.

About the UW Foundation

Administered by Charities Trust (charity registration number 327489), the UW Foundation supports positive changes for the environment, oceans and local communities.

The UW Foundation funds the planting of a new tree for every customer that signs up to UW and takes all of their services. In addition to this, it supports the charity Ocean Generation (formerly known as Plastic Oceans UK). This organisation spreads awareness of the negative effect plastic in our rivers, seas and oceans has on the environment, and how dangerous it is.

The money raised for Ocean Generation is used for community-based education programmes, which empower young people to make their voices heard and helps them understand how they can make changes for the better.

The UW Foundation also raises money for disadvantaged communities close to their offices in London, Bolton and Bournemouth. For every £1 raised by UW Partners and staff towards any of these causes, the UW Foundation matches it to double the overall money raised.

Support for customers with specific needs

At the beginning of June 2021, Utility Warehouse worked with SignVideo to launch a sign language service designed to improve accessibility for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

To use SignVideo, a customer can use a desktop computer, laptop computer, smartphone or tablet to find the SignVideo link on the ‘Contact us’ page. Once they click on the link, they’re connected to a SignVideo team member, who then calls UW directly and interprets what the UW team member is saying in sign language. This means that the customer using SignVideo will get the exact same kind of service that any other customer would get.

To protect the customers’ information, all SignVideo staff are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) during their induction to the company. SignVideo’s interpreters are also bound by the strict confidentiality processes of their respective registered interpreting bodies (NRCPD/SASLI).

UW also has a live chat function. This lets customers who can’t use the phone to get access to customer services, or who just have a quick question about broadband, mobile, the cashback card or insurance, get in touch.

As well as offering vulnerable customers support such as a Warm Home discount for eligible customers, a special process for payment difficulties and emergency help for customers with prepayment meters, UW is also one of the first energy suppliers signed up to Energy UK’s new Vulnerability Commitment charter, committing to further improving the services available to vulnerable customers.

Utility Warehouse’s awards

UW has been recognised by the UK’s leading independent consumer organisation, Which?, for over 10 years in a row. They also won Which? Utilities Brand of the Year 2020 – the second time UW has won this award since the Which? Awards were launched in 2007.

As well as the overall company having won awards, UW’s individual services have also been given accolades – both by Which? and by other bodies:


2021

  • Uswitch Energy Awards: Best Meter Reading Services

  • Uswitch Energy Awards: Best Incentives/Rewards

  • Defaqto: Five Star Rated Home Insurance

  • Moneyfacts: Five Star Rated Home Insurance

  • Moneyfacts: Five Star Rated Home Emergency Cover


2020

  • Which?: Utilities Brand of the Year

  • Which?: Recommended Provider for Broadband

  • Which?: Recommended Provider for Mobile

  • Uswitch Energy Awards: Best Energy Saving Support

  • Defaqto: Five Star Rated Home Insurance

  • Moneyfacts: Five Star Rated Home Insurance

  • European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards: Silver in Responding in a Crisis – Supporting Customers (Utilities, Telecoms and Technology)

  • CFI.co (Capital Finance International) Awards: Telecom Plus awarded Best ESG Multi-Utility Provider (UK)

 

2019

  • Which?: Recommended Provider for Broadband

  • Uswitch Energy Awards: Best Customer Service

  • Uswitch Energy Awards: Best Energy Saving Support

  • Moneywise Home Finance Awards: Best Value for Money

  • Moneywise Home Finance Awards: Best Customer Service

  • Moneywise Home Finance Awards: Best for Clarity of Bills

  • Moneywise Home Finance Awards: Best Money-Saving Tips & Gadgets

  • Defaqto: Five Star Rated Home Insurance

  • Moneyfacts: Five Star Rated Home Insurance

  • Moneyfacts: Five Star Rated Home Emergency Cover

What do Utility Warehouse customers say about them?

“I'll never switch again! The Customer service at UW HQ is fantastic. When they make a mistake (which can happen from time to time) they go above and beyond for their customers. I have been a customer for a couple of years now and love the changes the company is making, making it easier and more appealing to be a customer for the future.” - Emma-Jayne Standeven

“Everything I needed at competitive prices with good customer services.” - Jennifer Walker

​​​​​​​“Everything from joining initially to speaking to customer service when we needed help has been very easy. No issues at all with the services they provide.” - Jeanette Harrison

“I had an issue with my billing and the customer service team did an absolutely brilliant job in resolving my issue. The three customer service team members I spoke with were very kind, courteous, friendly and very helpful. I have been with Utility Warehouse for 18 months and rate their services second to none.” - John Valderaz

“Never had any cause to complain over the years l have been with Utility Warehouse. Any queries l have had have been dealt with to my satisfaction. I like having all my utilities taken care of by one company and having a paper bill although l have to pay extra for it. As a senior citizen l know where l am and what is being paid. I can cope with my utilities.” - Mrs J. A. French

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Is Utility Warehouse really cheaper / can you save money with Utility Warehouse?

While in many cases customers can save money by switching to UW, it also depends on their individual needs and which services they take.

For example, someone who’s been on a Standard Variable energy tariff for 10 years with British Gas would save money even on UW’s highest tariff. But someone else currently on a Fixed tariff with E.ON since September 2020 may find UW more expensive, at least until September 2021 when their current year-long deal with E.ON ends. But if they take multiple services with UW as well as energy, they could also get a 10% discount on her broadband, which could save them money overall.

Similarly, one Unlimited mobile SIM from UW for £20 a month may not be the best deal for someone who just needs a single SIM plan. But for a household of four all wanting unlimited data, texts and minutes, the ability to add additional SIMs for half the price saves money in the long run.

The main draw of being a Utility Warehouse customer isn’t necessarily the price – it’s because of the convenience that the multiservice company provides. So although significant savings can be made in some areas and others not, many customers enjoy having all their home services bundles into one, and not having to deal with multiple providers and multiple bill dates.

 

Is Utility Warehouse a pyramid scheme?

No. While their Partners find and sign up new customers and other Partners through network marketing, and there are different levels of seniority that Partners can achieve, the money they earn isn’t generated from sign-up fees. Instead, they’re paid by the company for signing up new customers in the form of commission, and the Partner isn’t obligated to be a customer at the same time.

After someone registers as a Partner, they aren’t obligated to spend more money on anything else other than the £3 monthly license fee, as there are no overheads or stock needed to run their business. It’s also possible to operate as a standalone Partner instead of signing up other Partners and forming a team, or instead of having someone else recruit them.

When someone is introduced to the Partner side of the business, the company and registered Partners are very clear that it isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, and has never claimed to be so. Instead, it offers a way for people to earn a little extra income in their own time, and the possibility of earning enough in the long-term to make it a full-time job with time and effort – as with any other business. Partners are also held to a very high standard as company representatives, and the company provides free training and tools to make sure they adhere to industry standards. On the very occasional instance that a Partner has been found to breach the rules, for example making false financial claims, they’re removed from the Partner scheme.

Additionally, firms like Which? are very tough on illegal and even just less-than-savoury schemes. UW’s Partner operation is completely legal, and if it weren’t, UW wouldn’t have earned accolades over the years from Which? and other respected consumer organisations.

 

Is Utility Warehouse a scam?

No – regulated by the three major regulatory bodies Ofcom, Ofgem and the Financial Conduct Authority, and with hundreds and thousands of customers, UW has been a reputable home services provider for many years.

While many customers will find that they can save money by switching to Utility Warehouse, a few may find that there is no change or that they’re paying a little more than with their previous providers – as mentioned in the FAQ ‘Is Utility Warehouse really cheaper / can you save money with Utility Warehouse?’, the amount of savings a customer gets depends on how many services they take with UW, the kind of services and suppliers they had before switching, and their current needs. This would be the same with many other suppliers. 

Additionally, UW doesn’t claim to be the cheapest supplier, instead focussing more on the main benefit of their service, which is the bundling of all of their offerings onto one bill and one account for customers’ convenience.

As also mentioned above, the UW Partner scheme is legal and very strictly regulated. Partners only pay a one-time fee to register (£10 if they’re a UW customer and £50 if they’re not) and then a monthly £3 licensing fee. They don’t have to spend money on anything else, and there’s no pressure to sign up as a customer if they don’t want to.

 

Do Utility Warehouse do mobile phones?

Yes – as well as SIM-only plans, they also offer the latest handsets at different price plans.

 

What network is Utility Warehouse?

Utility Warehouse’ mobile offering uses EE’s network, while their broadband operates on the Openreach network.