Usio ceases trading: What you need to know

What's happening?

Ofgem, the energy regulator, has appointed First Utility to support Usio’s customers after the company ceased trading earlier this week.

  • First Utility will automatically take over your account on Friday 19 October without any action needed from you
  • Your energy supply will continue uninterrupted
  • Your credit balances will be protected: over the next few weeks, any money owed by Usio will be credited to your First Utility account
  • If you wish, you’ll be able to switch away to a new supplier within a few weeks, but we suggest that you hold off for now whilst we set up your account

What do I need to do next?

We’re working closely with Ofgem and Usio’s administrators to ensure a seamless switch over so there’s no need to get in touch with us just yet. We’ll contact you if we need any extra information.

When will you contact me with an update?

We’ll contact you as soon as we can to update you on our progress, so you don’t need to call or email us for now.

Why were First Utility appointed to take over my account?

Following a robust process, Ofgem thought that we were the best people for the job. We demonstrated that we’re able to deal with a large number of new customers and displayed a commitment to bringing you on board.

Will I lose power or gas?

There’s no need to worry. You won’t be left without an energy supply at any point during the switching process.

How can Usio customers be sure that First Utility also won’t go bust in the months to come?

We’ve been trading for more than 10 years and are now one of the largest challengers to the Big Six with around 800,000 satisfied customers taking our gas, electricity and broadband services. As of March this year we became a proud part of Shell in its ‘New Energies’ division, which focuses on lower carbon solutions. This means we now have one of the world’s biggest companies behind us.

Billing and payments

Will First Utility be honouring my fixed tariff agreement that I was already on?

We’ll be moving all Usio customers onto a special tariff applicable through to 30 April 2019, after which the tariff will revert to our standard variable rate - we’ll contact you before this happens. The tariff won’t have exit fees, giving you price certainty for the winter and you can always move to another tariff if desired. This is competitively priced based on today’s wholesale costs. We accept it might be higher than what you were paying with Usio but their prices were unsustainably low (there’s a reason why they went out of business).

Our business has always been about delivering savings to customers via responsible, fair pricing. We hope that you’ll like our award-winning service and good value tariffs, but you’ll be able to leave with no exit fees should you wish to do so.

Will I still get my time of use tariff?

We’ll move all customers onto a good value special tariff, applicable through to 30 April 2019 (after which the tariff with revert to our standard variable rate - we’ll alert you before this happens). This is a single rate tariff, with no time of use functionality, but is competitively priced to reflect today’s cost environment and provide price certainty over the winter months. Should you wish to pick a different tariff once you’ve joined us then there’ll be no exit fees.

How much will I now be paying?

We’ll be contacting you soon to let you know about your new tariff.

Will I lose any credit that I had with Usio?

No, if you had any credit with Usio, we’ll apply it to your account as soon as possible so you won’t lose any money.

I have outstanding payments with Usio, what happens to that debt?

Usio’s administrators will contact you if you have any outstanding payments. Any debt you had with Usio won’t be carried across to your First Utility account.

Will I be able to leave without exit fees?

Yes. There are no exit fees on the tariff you’ll be joining.

I left Usio but I’m still waiting to reclaim my credit from them. Will First Utility pay me for this?

Yes, we’ll honour credit balances for those customers who had already left Usio but still have credits owed. We’ll be in touch with you shortly to update you on the process.

What should I do next?

Should I call or email you?

You don’t need to contact us as we’re working closely with Ofgem and Usio’s administrators to transfer your information across. We’ll be in touch soon with further information.

Should I take a meter reading?

Please make a note of your meter reading(s) and keep them somewhere safe. We’ll be requesting these at a later stage. For information on how to read your meter click here.

Can I stop the switch to First Utility by moving to another supplier?

Ofgem’s advice is to allow the switch to First Utility before considering switching elsewhere.

Can I choose a different provider?

Your switch to First Utility will be completed as soon as possible. We’ll be in touch to let you know once this is complete. Ofgem advise not to switch provider before your switch to us is complete. If you do try to switch provider before the switch is complete, it’s likely your request will take longer to process.

We hope you’ll stay with us. Here are a few reasons to try us:

  • We provide award-winning customer service from our UK based call centre
  • You’ll be joining over 800,000 satisfied customers taking our electricity, gas and broadband services
  • Access to My Energy, our exclusive money-saving tool that puts you in control of your energy usage
  • Energy customers get a discount on our fast and reliable broadband

I’ve just moved home, will this be an issue?

We contact most customers by email, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

However if we don’t get your email address from Usio or the email address provided is invalid, we’ll try to write to you. In that case, the letter may go to your old address.

If you’ve just moved to a new place, Ofgem recommends redirecting your post. The Post Office or Royal Mail can help you with that.

I had already started switching to a different supplier (which is not First Utility) as soon as I heard that Usio was going out of business. Will my switch still go ahead?

Your switch with your new supplier should go ahead as planned. To double check that this is the case, we’d advise you to give your new supplier a call and ask for an update.

Other concerns

I am a vulnerable customer who’s on the Priority Service Register. Will I remain on the register once I switch to First Utility?

If you’re registered on the Priority Service Register, your information will be transferred over to us ensuring that you’re on First Utility’s Priority Service Register.

Will my smart meter still work when my supply moves to First Utility?

It depends. We use the same type of smart meter as Usio has been installing, so there shouldn’t be an issue if you had one installed by Usio. Other customers who moved to Usio and already had a smart meter may find it reverts to non-smart mode. We’ll explain this to you on a case-by-case basis.

Once your account has been fully transferred, your smart meter will be linked to 'My Energy' in your online account, so you’ll be able to view your smart energy usage online or with the First Utility app.

I have a smart meter appointment booked with Usio - will this go ahead as planned?

We’ll be in touch with an update shortly.

I was getting 100% renewable power, will I still get the same with First Utility?

Like Usio, we don’t generate any energy ourselves. Instead we provide customers with a representative mix of the UK’s generation capacity which does include some renewable generation, but is not 100% ‘green’. If you’re a new customer joining us from Usio, you will be able to take advantage of our My Energy app to help you lower energy waste which supports our ethos that the greenest energy is that which you don’t use.

I had just signed up to switch to Usio but my switch had not yet been completed, what will happen now?

Depending on where you were in the switch process, you may revert back to your previous supplier or you’ll continue through the process and be placed with us onto a special tariff applicable through to 30 April 2019. To be sure who your supplier is, we’d advise that you ring your previous supplier to check if they’re still supplying your energy.

What do I do if there is an emergency with my energy supply?

Please take a look at our guide on what to do in an emergency.

How can I contact you?

I'm still a bit concerned

We ask you to bear with us while we work with its administrator to transition customers over in a timely and smooth fashion. We have a dedicated customer services team on hand to help Usio customers ready and waiting to help.

If you’re worried about what to do next, please don’t be. We’ll be in contact with you within seven days to tell you how we’re progressing with your switch.

If you’d like more information take a look at Ofgem’s Safety Net FAQs.

We're here to help

We've set up a dedicated phone line for Usio customers, our team of specialists will be able to answer your queries.

Call: 02476 937 724

8am to 8pm weekdays and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays.

You can also contact us via email at usio@first-utility.com

Need help?