Collective energy switching

What is collective switching?

Collective switching is where lots of customers’ gas and electricity needs are added together to try to get a better deal from energy suppliers. (This can include other fuels like oil). We have joined with London Councils' Big London Energy Switch.

How does it work?

Customers provide how much energy they use (taken from bills, annual supplier statements or meter readings), together with details of their energy tariff, how they currently pay and current energy supplier(s) to the organisation arranging the energy auction. Energy suppliers are then invited to submit their best price on the day of the auction.

What happens once the auction has taken place?

The energy suppliers’ responses are analysed and customers are sent personalised offers by phone, email or post, based on the information they originally provided. The customers then individually choose to accept or refuse the price offered.

Customers are also sent a copy of the energy suppliers’ terms and conditions which they must accept before being switched to the new energy company.

The Customer will be asked to provide meter readings or they may be visited by a meter reader to take meter readings. This helps the old energy supplier to produce a closing bill and the new energy supplier to produce an opening bill.

Your new energy supplier will usually process the switch within four weeks.

Benefits

  • Collective switching saves you time searching for the best deal for you.
  • Collective switching can save you a lot of money – particularly if you have not changed supplier in the last few years.
  • There is no charge to Customers for the service, as the service provider negotiates a referral fee from the energy supplier direct.
  • Collective switching is a simple process.
  • There is no obligation to accept the quote.

Things you need to know:

  1. Collective switching can save you money, but it may not be the cheapest deal. Not all suppliers may choose to take part in the auction.
  2. It may be some weeks before the auction takes place, so any cost savings may be delayed or reduced if energy prices go up.
  3. It’s possible that a benefit provided by your existing supplier may not be available from your new supplier, in particular, for households on low incomes, with children under 16 or elderly residents.
  4. If you are on a pre-payment tariff, there may be other issues to consider.
  5. Not everyone can switch supplier e.g. if you pay your landlord for energy as part of your rent or separately or you have a high level of debt with your current supplier (s).
  6. If you are on an existing contract, you may have to pay an early exit fee to your existing supplier. If you are unsure, contact your supplier for more information.
  7. Some suppliers may ask you to keep a month’s credit in your account under their supply terms and conditions. It’s important to read terms and conditions carefully.
  8. If you have time and have easy access to your energy bills, it may be cheaper to do it yourself using a switching company. Find out more about fuel switching yourself

More information

  • Call the Free Green Camden Helpline for independent information and expert advice on how to change your supplier and installing energy efficiency measures.
  • Call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0845 4040506 or visit consumerfocus.org.uk for free impartial advice on accredited switching companies.
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