Disappointing results across the board and customers are the least likely to recommend it to a friend
- 100% renewable electricity as standard
- The slowest at resolving complaints within a day
Shell Energy began in 2018 when oil and gas giant Shell bought and then rebranded First Utility. As well as supplying gas, it supplied homes with 100% renewable electricity as standard. On 1 December 2023, it became part of Octopus Energy, which made a deal to buy its home energy and broadband business in the UK and Germany. Shell Energy’s 1.3 million energy customers have now been migrated to Octopus.
It was one of Great Britain’s medium-sized energy suppliers. It took on the customers of several failed suppliers in 2021 when rising wholesale energy prices left many struggling – including Pure Planet, which had 235,000 customers – giving it 4% of the home electricity market and 5% of the gas market as of the second quarter of 2023.
Shell Energy also supplied broadband, smart home devices, boiler cover and boiler replacement. Customers who joined or renewed their contracts with Shell Energy before 5 October 2023 are able to get money off fuel at Shell service stations through the Shell GO+ rewards programme, along with other benefits.
However, it was one of the worst suppliers in our YouGov survey of energy customers, failing to win in any category of our Expert Reviews Energy Awards 2023. It also had the smallest proportion of customers who said they would recommend it to a friend – an abysmal 30%. This was well below the supplier with the next smallest – EDF Energy with 36% – and miles away from top supplier Octopus Energy’s 79%.
Shell Energy (2023) review: Customer service
It wasn’t quite the worst for customer service – EDF Energy had that dubious honour – but still, only 33% of customers said they were very or fairly satisfied with it. A quarter (25%) of its customers said they were very or fairly dissatisfied. By contrast, the winner in this category, Octopus Energy, had 72% of its customers saying they were satisfied with a mere 6% falling into the very or fairly unsatisfied categories.
Shell Energy (2023) review: Value for money
Shell Energy came bottom for value for money, with just 27% of people saying they were very or fairly satisfied. The top provider, Octopus Energy again, had a far higher percentage of customers who said they were satisfied at 64%, though none of the other suppliers in our survey had more than 32% who were satisfied.
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Shell Energy (2023) review: Clarity and accuracy of bills
The supplier performed a bit better for the clarity of its bills, as 69% of customers said their last bill was very or fairly easy to understand. In comparison, the winner in this category, Octopus Energy yet again, had 84% of customers saying that understanding their bills was easy, while the most poorly rated supplier, EDF Energy, had 66%.
Shell Energy didn’t do too badly for the accuracy of its bills either, as 43% of customers said their bills were always accurate. It was only beaten by Scottish Power (44%) and Octopus (52%).
Shell Energy (2023) review: Customer contact
We weren’t able to rate Shell Energy for the speed at which it answered calls from customers, or how quickly it responded to customers contacting it online or by email, as it didn’t have enough respondents in these areas.
Shell Energy (2023) review: Complaints
According to the latest data from the energy regulator, Ofgem, covering the third quarter of 2023, Shell Energy had well below the industry average number of complaints per 100,000 customer accounts. However, it still had more than the best energy supplier – which was Octopus Energy, once more, with 1,133 – though it was well below EDF Energy, which had received a staggering 2,562 complaints.
Unfortunately, it was the worst at resolving them by the end of the next working day, only managing to do this for a scant 43% of complaints. It had a better record for resolving them within eight weeks, where it achieved 88%. The best supplier in this category, Ovo Energy, was able to resolve 80% of complaints within a day and 97% within eight weeks.
Ofgem complaints data
|Complaints per 100,000 customer accounts
|Industry average complaints per 100,000 customer accounts
|Complaints resolved by end of next working day
|Complaints resolved within eight weeks
Notes: Data is for the third quarter of 2023
Along with customer satisfaction and complaints, the cost of energy suppliers’ tariffs will determine whether they’re worth switching to. However, as you might expect in the wake of their acquisition by Octopus, Shell Energy is no longer offering new tariffs.
Currently, there are very few deals that are likely to save you money when compared to a supplier’s standard variable tariff, which is subject to the price cap set by Ofgem, and of those, many of the best deals available right now will be for existing customers only. To compare costs, you should see what your current supplier is offering to existing customers, as well as gather quotes to find out how much the tariffs from other suppliers will cost you based on your energy usage. For more on how to get the best deal, visit our guide to the best energy suppliers.
Shell Energy (2023) review: Verdict
While its customers did benefit from 100% renewable electricity – and this will continue under Octopus – Shell Energy was very poorly rated in our survey, especially for its value for money and customer service. Its takeover by Octopus Energy will likely see its customers receive a better service all round.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,006 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th – 16th October 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). *Figures used, based on calculations by Expert Reviews.