Shell Energy Broadband (formerly First Utility)
By Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Tuesday, June 26th 2018
In this guide
- Why choose Shell Energy?
- What does Shell Energy offer?
- Broadband and TV bundles
- Alternative providers
- Frequently asked questions
Shell Energy Broadband is the new name for First Utility Broadband, the energy company that has also been providing broadband services for the past couple of years. Its broadband offering appears to be largely the same following the rebrand, with the addition of a reward scheme promising a discount on fuel at Shell service stations.
So what exactly is Shell Energy Broadband offering, what does it stand for and what are the alternatives? Let’s take a look.
Why choose Shell Energy Broadband?
Shell Energy Broadband is keeping it fairly simple with its selection of ADSL and fibre broadband plans. But as a relatively new player in the market, what is it focussing on?
- No hidden costs – Shell Energy Broadband, like First Utility Broadband before it, says it won’t hike your broadband prices up at the end of your contract. Nor will you be hit with any hidden upfront fees when you sign up.
- Call plans – All of Shell Energy’s broadband plans include line rental and pay as you go calls, but there’s always the option to add evening and weekend calls, anytime calls or international calls to your package. Call plans include unlimited talktime on UK landline and mobile.
- Savings, offers and rewards – All three of these things comes courtesy of Shell Go+, the rewards scheme you’ll be able to take advantage of if you become a Shell Energy Broadband customer. Some of those savings take the shape of a 3% discount on fuel at Shell service stations, while "personalised offers and other surprises" are also promised.
- Award-winning UK call centre – Shell Energy, back when it was called First Utility, won awards from Good Housekeeping and The Institute of Customer Service for the work of its UK-based call centre. That same call centre also supports its broadband service.
What does Shell Energy Broadband offer?
Shell Energy Broadband is, at the moment, sticking with the same formula that First Utility used to introduce itself to the broadband market. That is, uncomplicated packages with no upfront fee and a discount for energy customers.
- Broadband – Shell Energy Broadband has three broadband packages to choose from – Fast Broadband, Superfast Fibre and Superfast Fibre Plus. In line with many providers, those packages offer average speeds of 11Mbps, 35Mbps and 63Mbps respectively. There’s no upfront fee, unlimited downloads and all three come with 18-month contracts.
- Home phone – All Shell Energy Broadband packages come with pay as you go calls as standard. You can add evening and weekend calls, which includes calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers as well as standard UK mobiles between 7pm and 7am Monday to Friday and from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday. Anytime calls covers the same types of numbers but at any time of day. International calls gives you 600 minutes to landlines in 40 countries as well as discounts on calls to mobiles abroad.
Broadband, TV and mobile bundles
Shell Energy Broadband, as was the case when it was called First Utility, doesn’t sell TV subscriptions or mobile contracts. It’s purely broadband and landline packages we’re talking about here.
What are the alternatives?
- BT – BT offers broadband packages often with tech freebies and reward cards, TV bundles including BT Sport and 4K TV, the latest smartphones and a wide selection of SIM-only deals.
- EE Broadband – EE offers standard and fibre broadband. You get free mobile data if you’re also an EE mobile customer and you can choose to add EE TV to your package for an extra monthly fee.
- Direct Save Telecom – A straightforward broadband and phone provider like Shell Energy, Direct Save has a choice of 12-month and no contract broadband packages. You can also save on line rental by paying for a year upfront.
- Hyperoptic – Hyperoptic is a fibre broadband provider that specialises in bringing gigabit speeds to apartment blocks and other housing developments.
- John Lewis Broadband – John Lewis Broadband offers a simple choice of three broadband packages, all with 12-month contracts and evening and weekend calls included.
- NOW Broadband – NOW Broadband offers standard and fibre broadband deals on 12-month contracts with no upfront fees. They are sometimes available bundled in with NOW TV passes.
- Plusnet – Plusnet fixes the price of your broadband throughout your contract, whether you choose a 12-month or an 18-month deal.
- Post Office Broadband – Post Office Broadband is often among the very cheapest ADSL (standard broadband) deals available. It also offers two fibre speeds or a standalone home phone if you don’t want broadband.
- Sky – Sky offers just two broadband speeds – 11Mbps and 63Mbps. You can, of course, add Sky TV to your package and a host of extras including Sky Cinema and Sky Sport.
- SSE – Like Shell Energy, SSE is another energy provider that has jumped into the world of broadband. It offers standard and fibre broadband and promises no price hikes during the 18 months of your contract.
- TalkTalk – TalkTalk guarantees to fix the price of your broadband for the duration of your contract. You can add TalkTalk TV to your broadband and phone package and TV boosts if you want even more channels.
- Virgin Media – Virgin Media boasts the fastest widely available broadband in the UK, with top speeds above 350Mbps. It also has a TV service to rival Sky’s.
- Vodafone – Vodafone doesn’t do ADSL – just two very reasonably priced fibre packages. Vodafone’s broadband deals are even cheaper if you’re already a pay monthly mobile customer.
Frequently asked questions
How do I get in touch with Shell Energy Broadband?
You can call Shell Energy Broadband on 0330 0945 801 between 8am and 8pm on weekdays and between 9am and 4pm on Saturdays. There’s also a live chat service on Shell Energy’s website or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I leave Shell Energy Broadband early?
If you change your mind after signing up to Shell Energy Broadband, you can leave without charge within a 14-day cooling off period. If you want to leave during the minimum term of your contract, but outside of the cooling off period, then you’ll probably be charged a termination fee.
Does Shell Energy Broadband run credit checks?
Yes, Shell Energy Broadband does run credit checks. A poor credit score may mean that you’re not accepted as a customer, but Shell Energy may also offer you a contract with different payment terms or use what it calls "reasonable practices" to set spend limits on your account. If this is a real worry, here are some of the best broadband deals with no credit checks.
What discounts does Shell Energy Broadband offer to existing energy customers?
Shell energy customers signing up to Shell Energy Broadband get a £2 a month discount on the Fast Broadband and Superfast Fibre products, and a £7 a month discount on Superfast Fibre Plus.
What is the Shell Go+ rewards scheme?
Shell Go+ offers Shell Energy broadband and energy customers 3% off fuel at Shell service stations, as well as personalised offers and "other surprises" according to Shell. Offers can be accessed via the Shell app.
Does Shell Energy Broadband offer unlimited broadband?
Yes, all of Shell Energy Broadband’s standard and fibre broadband packages are unlimited. This means you can download and stream as much as you like using your connection.
How long will it take to switch to Shell Energy Broadband?
Switching usually takes about two weeks. In most cases, Shell Energy Broadband will tell you when you’re broadband will go live within 48 hours of accepting your order.
How easy is it to switch to Shell Energy Broadband?
Like most UK broadband providers, Shell Energy Broadband uses the Openreach network. When switching between providers on this network, you don’t need to inform the provider you’re leaving – your new provider will sort that for you. Virgin Media uses its own network so if you’re switching from Virgin you’ll have to let them know yourself.