Frequently Asked Questions

What is Youtility?

Youtility is a free app that brings your home finances and utility accounts into a single place.

Do I have to pay for Youtility?

Youtility is and always will be a free service.

Why use Youtility?

On average over 50% of a home’s yearly income is spent on rent/mortgage, electricity, gas, water, mobile and insurance. Not only is this a lot of money but many of these accounts are unnecessarily complicated and time consuming to manage. Not anymore. Youtility makes home finances simple to understand, easy to manage and straightforward to make informed decisions about the companies you use, leaving you with greater peace of mind and more money for everything else.

How does Youtility work?

Having securely connected to your bank account, Youtility provides an overview of your home finances alongside personalised insights helping you to track and manage your spending, compare yourself to similar homes and to take action that will save you time and money.

Is Youtility a bank?

Youtility is not a bank although we do use the same technologies and methods to protect a user’s data. Youtility is free to download and use for anyone with a UK bank account.

Who can use Youtility?

Youtility is currently only available in the UK for iPhone users. If you’re aged 18 or over, all you need is a UK bank account.

How do I report a bug?

If you find a bug, please drop us a quick email on hello@youtility.co.uk and we’ll fix it as soon as possible. You can also go to the “Contact us” option in Settings to load a prefilled message where you can add your feedback.

How does Youtility make money?

The entire Youtility service is free – charging you for access to your own data would be madness. Youtility only receives a fee if you decide to move to a more suitable supplier. In short, we only win providing you win first. All fees we receive are fixed and flat meaning we also have no preference which provider you choose.

Which devices does Youtility support?

Youtility is compatible with iPhone devices (iOS 7.0 or higher).

How do I know when there is a new update available?

We will regularly release new versions of Youtility and you’ll be notified when an update is available.

How secure is my data?

Protecting your data could not be more important to us. Your data is permanently encrypted and protected using the same methods and technologies as the world’s leading banks. We never sell your personal information.

How secure is the app?

When registering for the app we verify your handset with a personal verification code. Once you have registered an account to access the app you use your fingerprint (Touch ID) or facial recognition (Face ID) and a personalised six-digit passcode.

How do you handle my personal information?

We fully respect your privacy and personal information. Youtility has been designed to provide personalised insights while keeping your details and data secure. We only use the information you agree to share with us to further improve the app. We do not sell your personalised information.

Why do you need my phone number for installing the app?

Your phone number is an effective way to verify that you’re a real person. We send you a six-digit, one-time security verification code that activates your version of the app.

How do I delete my account?

If at any point you’d like to stop using Youtility, you can delete your account by emailing hello@youtility.co.uk. We’ll then permanently delete all your personally identifiable information from our systems in accordance with the latest data protection regulation. Understanding the reason for leaving the app would be helpful to us.

Can I trust Youtility?

Yes. As consumers we too have seen how complicated and uninspiring this market is and we set about creating something that is simple to use and focused solely on what is important and best for the user.

Youtility has been independently developed to allow people to make faster and more informed home finance decisions. Unlike many similar platforms, we’re 100% impartial and have no connection to any large fat cat corporations or utility providers. In fact, we’ve spent a lot of time working directly with the Citizens Advice Bureau to better understand how we can improve and shape our service to ensure it benefits everyone in society, especially the most vulnerable.

Will my gas or electricity supply get cut-off during a switch?

Never. You’ll still receive your energy through the same pipes and cables so there won’t be any interruption to your electricity or gas supply.

How do I compare gas and compare electricity prices?

We use your info to compare energy prices, or just gas or electricity whichever you prefer. We’ll then show you all the tariffs available and tell you how much you could save.

I just want to compare cheap electricity prices or cheap gas prices.

Perfect, most people are the same. To make the process simple for you, we sort all available tariffs into nice clear categories and rank them all by price.

What happens once I've switched energy?

Once you press switch, your details are passed to your new provider. Your new supplier will then contact your old supplier and agree a switching date. You’ll then receive an email and letter from your new supplier outlining your new contract. During the process, your energy supply will not be interrupted.

What do I need to get started?

Subject to the information you’ve provided, potentially nothing! Having your latest energy bill to hand will give us the latest info but don’t worry if you don’t have it; we can work out your gas and electricity usage by asking a few extra questions.

Who pays Youtility?

Simply put, we only win if you win. If you decide to change provider using Youtility, we receive a fixed, flat fee. Equally, if you’re with the best provider for you, we’ll recommend you stick with them. If you do decide to switch with Youtility, we don’t mind who you move to as we’re only focused on providing the best advice and helping you make faster, more informed decisions.

How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?

Normally it takes around 21 days to switch but it can be faster. Your new supplier will tell you the date when the switch will happen.

How else can I save money on my energy?

Here are 4 discounts we provide in-app:

  1. Direct debit: Paying by direct debit can reduce a bill up to 10%
  2. Dual fuel: Using the same supplier for gas and electricity often gets a discount
  3. Online billing: Some providers discount your tariff if you opt for non-paper billing
  4. Warm home discount: A Government sponsored discount of £140 off your electricity bill to support the most vulnerable homes.

More general money saving tips:

  • Don’t rely on estimated bills and read your meter regularly
  • If you use a pre-payment meter, swap to a billed one – you may have to pay to have it converted, but you could save in the long term.

What is a smart meter?

From 2016 to 2020 most homes will have smart meters installed by their energy company. Smart meters bring a wide range of benefits which can help you save money. They monitor your household’s energy consumption in real-time so that you’re accurately billed for what you use. They can communicate directly with your energy supplier meaning no one will need to come and read your meter in future.

What do I need to know if I want to switch energy suppliers?

If you want to switch energy suppliers, start by finding out whether your current supplier will charge an exit or cancellation fee. You’ll find this information on your energy bill. If they do, you’ll need to work out whether you’ll still save money by switching.

If the exit charge outweighs any savings you might make, we recommend waiting until you receive a notice from your supplier 42-49 days before your contract is due to end – if you decide to switch during this time, you cannot be charged for leaving. Your supplier should send you a letter highlighting this notice period.

Can I switch if I owe money to my current supplier?

If you have an outstanding bill less than 28 days old, then your existing supplier will add the amount you owe to your final payment. If you have debts more than 28 days old, you’ll need to pay what you owe before you can switch. If you’re on a pre-payment meter and you owe £500 or less, then you can ask for your outstanding balance to be transferred to your new energy supplier under the Debt Assignment Protocol (DAP).

How do I switch energy suppliers?

Just use follow our in-app service. We’ll ask you some questions – you’ll be able to find all the answers on your latest energy bill or annual statement.

Once you’ve chosen your new supplier, all you’ll need to do is add and confirm your details and then your details will be passed on to your new supplier. If you’re in credit with your current supplier, you should get an automatic refund but definitely check to make sure that happens!

What if I change my mind about switching?

No problem, you’ll get a 14 day “cooling off” period to change your mind. 14 days is a legal requirement and begins the day after you agree a contract (this can be face-to-face, online or over the phone).

What’s a “cooling off period”?

When you decide to switch energy provider you’re given a cooling-off period of 14-days in which to change your mind. Your switching process begins at the same time as the cooling-off period, but it can be stopped if you change your mind within 14-days – after the 14 days your switch should be completed within a week.

Can I switch energy suppliers if I rent?

If you rent, you have the right to switch if you pay your supplier directly for the energy you use. Check your rental agreement as your landlord may have a ‘preferred supplier’, although this won’t affect your right to switch. And it’s always worth telling your landlord or letting agent about your decision.

If your landlord pays your energy bills and then charges you, you don’t have the right to switch supplier. You can, of course, ask your landlord to change provider, but they don’t have to do so.

How do I switch suppliers if I’m moving home?

Moving home is the perfect opportunity to find a better supplier. You’ll need to give your current supplier notice though – ideally, at least two days before you move. Of course, you don’t have to change supplier if you’re happy with the deal you’ve got. If that’s the case, then you just need to tell your supplier where you’re moving to and the date of the move.

Whether or not you’re changing supplier, take a meter reading just before you leave your home and submit it to your existing supplier. This ensures you only pay for the energy you’ve used when your final bill for that property comes through.

Once you’ve moved, take a meter reading and give it to the energy provider who supplies your new home, so you only pay for what you use going forward. If you’ve decided to switch and haven’t carried your old tariff over, then you’ll automatically be put on the new supplier’s ‘defaul’ standard variable-rate tariff. These tend to be the most expensive tariffs, so it’s a good idea to make searching for a good energy deal a priority.

 

How much could I save if I switch suppliers?

On average people in the UK can save £300 on their annual energy bills by switching. But the best way of finding out how much you could save is to compare your own energy usage. Some people save over £600. We’ll show you savings based on your current energy use.

What types of gas and electricity tariffs can I choose when switching suppliers?

Suppliers offer a variety of tariffs, so there’s bound to be one that suits your home. When it comes to thinking about tariff type, consider what’s important to you – for example, do you have a set budget, is flexibility more important than price, or is ease the biggest issue for you. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s a tariff for you.

Will I get a smart meter if I switch suppliers?

That depends on where your chosen supplier is with their smart meter roll out. In a government-led initiative, energy suppliers are required to install smart meters in customers’ homes.

Can I switch suppliers if I have solar panels?

Yes, having solar panels shouldn’t stop anyone from switching energy supplier.

If you generate your own energy through solar panels, you’ll get money back under what’s known as the feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme. The amount of money you get for your energy is set by Ofgem and you’ll get payments for generating the energy you use, as well as for the excess energy you sell back to the National Grid. The payments themselves are made by a FIT licensee (by law, all of the big energy suppliers are licensees, and most of the other energy suppliers are too, through choice).

The supplier who makes your FIT payments doesn’t have to be the same one that you buy energy from and you are free to switch. If you wanted to, you could also switch your FIT licensee, but you’ll need to check that anyone you choose is happy to take you on

Can I switch to a renewable energy supplier for my electricity?

It’s entirely your choice which supplier you switch to. There are lots of different options when it comes to finding a renewable energy supplier of electricity, so it’s worth taking the time to work out what’s most important to you.

Some energy firms source 100% of their energy from renewables, such as wind or sunlight. Others offer a mix of green energy and energy from traditional fossil fuel sources – if this is a more practical option, then read any terms and conditions carefully because it should give you a breakdown of what comes from where.

Renewable energy could cost more, so isn’t always realistic if you’re on a budget. As an alternative, consider paperless billing or look for suppliers that invest money in environmental projects.

What is the Energy Switch Guarantee?

It’s a promise that any mistakes that might happen as a result of switching will be appropriately rectified and compensated for. For example, any charges that a customer faces because of a switching error will be resolved and paid for by the supplier at fault. The scheme was developed by Energy UK, the trade association for the UK energy industry representing suppliers and generators of electricity and gas for domestic and business consumers. It was implemented on their behalf so that we can all have peace of mind when switching supplier and save some money on our energy bills.

So what does the “Energy Switch Guarantee” guarantee?

The Energy Switch Guarantee promises hassle free switching – there won’t be any disruption to your service as all energy providers use the same pipes and wires so you needn’t fear the lights won’t work. Switching’s also free (unless you have any cancellation fees for leaving your existing contract early) and should take no more than 21 days to organise and implement. Your new supplier will be the one that tells your old supplier that you’re leaving so you don’t have to.

Do you comply with the latest Data Protection regulations?

Youtility Limited is registered as a Data Controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (the UK’s data privacy body) with registration number ZA255938. Youtility is also compliant with the latest Data Protection requirements updated on 25 May 2018 when GDPR was enforced.

What are your internal security policies and procedures?

All Youtility employees sign a Data Access Policy that binds them to the Youtility Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. Access rights are based on employee’s job function and role. We make sure that only our required technical employees have access to any private information.

Where are your data centres?

Physically all of your data is held within the EU. Youtility’s physical infrastructure is hosted and managed within Microsoft Azure’s secure data centres. Microsoft continually manages risk and undergoes recurring assessments to ensure compliance with a broad set of international and industry-specific compliance standards,  including ISO 27001, HIPAA, FedRAMP, SOC and SOC 2, as well as country-specific standards e.g. UK G-Cloud. For more information on Microsoft Azure’s security processes, please visit www.microsoft.com/en-us/trustcenter/security/azure-security.

What type of encryption security do you use?

We take your data security extremely seriously and adhere to the most rigorous industry standards. We use a database to store transactions data (e.g. timestamp, amount, description). The database is hosted by Microsoft Azure and encrypted using the industry standard AES-256 encryption algorithm. All traffic on Youtility runs over industry-standard SSL/HTTPS to ensure communication is encrypted. This is the same end-to-end 256-bit SSL encryption used by all major banks across the world.

Is my data read-only?

Youtility is a read-only application which means it cannot be used for bank withdrawals or payments. We receive your transaction data but don’t get access to your bank account details and cannot move money – not even you can move your money using Youtility.

Do you ever have access to my bank password?

We never have access to your bank login credentials so we never store them in our system. When registering for Youtility, your bank login credentials are passed directly to our third-party technology partner, Salt Edge Inc., who safely and securely provide Youtility with your household utility and account information on a daily basis. Youtility never has access to your bank login credentials.

How do I contact you?

We know that handling your financial information means you’re putting considerable trust in us, which is why we will answer any question you have. Please contact us at hello@youtility.co.uk and we’ll respond as soon as possible.

How do I delete my account?

If at any point you’d like to stop using Youtility, you can delete your account by emailing hello@youtility.co.uk. We’ll then permanently delete all your personally identifiable information from our systems in accordance with the latest data protection regulation. Understanding the reason for leaving the app would be helpful to us.