A HAMPSHIRE firm which is Britain’s fastest growing independent energy supplier has reached a milestone - its 500,000th customer.

Eastleigh-based Utilta celebrated by inviting its longest serving customer a 500K party.

Michele Moody, from Redbridge Hill, Southampton, was the star guest at the bash at its Bournemouth Road HQ where she was presented with a voucher for a year’s free energy.

The grandmother-of-two admitted she thought it was a wind up on her 50th birthday.

“I got the call from Utilita and didn’t believe them – especially when the man told me I would get a year’s free supply of energy as a thank-you for my loyalty.

“It was my birthday and I thought it was one of my pals having me on,” said Michele, who celebrated her own landmark last week.

Miss Moody was picked up alongside her daughter and grandchildren, to be greeted by hundreds of cheering Utilita staff and given a tour of the of the offices.

The firm’s CEO and founder Bill Bullen said: “It has been fantastic that she could come along and see us on this special day in our company’s history.”

The business, which has built its success offering Pay As You Go energy tariffs for smart meters, has more than doubled its customer numbers since 2015. It now has more than 1,000 staff working across the country.