Bring down the cost of your utility bills every month, just by shopping as normal. Has there ever been a better time? This magic happens with Utility Warehouse, and we signed up through Chrissie and Bruce Wingrave – the Queen and King of Customer Care.  

It really is what it sounds like, and there really is no catch. Switch your utilities to Utility Warehouse – that’s gas, electricity, home and mobile phone service, insurance and broadband – and like any normal utilities switch, you’ll get the best tariff for you that they offer. But with all of your sign up documents, you’ll also get a debit card. Whenever you pay for any of your normal shopping with this UW debit card, you’ll get a percentage of cashback which is taken off the cost of your utilities bill for the next month. So just by using that card instead of the one you’d normally use, and spending the same amount of money on groceries / pet food / endless child requirements that you were going to anyway, you get real money off your bill. It’s incredible!

The percentage amount you earn can vary from shop to shop and website to website, depending on whether or not the vendor is on the UW scheme (it goes up if they are – here is a list: https://uw.co.uk/services/cashback-card/retail-partners). But even if they’re not, you’ll always get a percentage of the amount you spend using your UW card as a credit against your bill. I’ve always done my Big Shop at Sainsbury’s, and because they are a partner, I get 3% of my spend as credit against my UW bill each time I shop with them.

The other feature that makes UW different is the partners – the person working on their behalf to sign you up. Our Partners are Chrissie and Bruce Wingrave. I met Chrissie at a networking meeting a few years back, and we got along famously. I was intrigued by the notion you could bring down your bills by doing all the shopping you do anyway, so I met her to find out more. We went through all of our current arrangements to see how we could do better with UW, finding that our gas and electric tariff could be cheaper, but we were OK with everything else for now. Then we reviewed how I could make best use of the debit card for maximum cashback based on my usual shopping habits, and how much that could save me off the monthly bills.

Chrissie and Bruce have been in the utility business for over 11 years, and have learned exactly what fantastic customer service and care looks like: it’s all about the personal touch. They know that having real human beings to speak to about your services makes an enormous difference, and they make it so easy. Even better, I found our comparison session to be so honest. If we couldn’t get a better deal with UW on some of our services, that was fine and there was no pushiness to get us to switch to something that wouldn’t save us money. I found this so refreshing, and it’s an even more valuable feature for people who don’t know where to begin with their utilities, and who may be vulnerable to the appearance of a good deal that really isn’t.

Once you’re signed up, the relationship with Bruce and Chrissie is only just beginning. They go above and beyond to keep in touch and give you helpful information, such as the monthly reminder email to submit your energy readings. In March, they even sent us this one earlier this year:

“Energy increases will start on 1st April for those of you that are not on fixed tariffs at the minute. So please, please make sure you take a meter reading before you go to bed tonight or by the 31st. Then you know exactly how much energy you have used before the price increase starts.”

They’ve reassured us, too. A scary number of gas and electricity companies have folded, leaving their customers in cost and supplier limbo – but in September, we had this lovely email from Bruce and Chrissie to allay some of the worries we had about the future:

“Please rest assured UW is a safe place to be. We are so blessed with great long term management, particularly Andrew Lindsay and Charles Wigoder, that means UW are happily accepting new customers, and are now offering both the best fixed and standard tariff offers on the market as I write.

“To quote Andrew – ‘the nature of our supply agreement means we can guarantee to always sell energy below the Ofgem fair price, come what may. Lots of others offer cheap energy short term but can’t sustain that over the long term and go bust. Our business is all about the long term’.”

It’s great customer care of course, but they are good souls too. They are happy to help any UW customer, regardless of whether or not they signed up through them, and I know they’ve helped out elderly neighbours in need when their power has gone down. They just care. And we even get birthday and Christmas cards each year as well!

I don’t think there are any good prices for energy at the moment, but I do believe there are better places to buy it from. So if you’d like to see what other options are out there, please do give Chrissie and Bruce a shout. You’ll be looked after every step of the way and beyond, because it really matters to them.

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