Safe Energy Switch
|Impartial advice on reducing your gas and electricity bills. Easy ways to save money with energy comparison sites and auto switch energy services.|
Households on average were spending £1,123 on gas and electricity in 2017 which is a significant percentage of many people's budget
According to the 2017 Ofgem report 60% of consumers are on the default energy suppliers tariff meaning that they are paying up to £300 more than they could otherwise be paying on a cheaper tariff.
The reason many households do not switch is because they are not confident enough to do so. They are not confident that they are able to effectively use gas and electric comparison sites to find a lower cost supplier.
How do I get cheaper gas and Electricity?
If you stay with any single of the more than 60 gas and electricity suppliers in the UK for longer than your 12 or 18 month fixed deal you will pay more. To ensure you are not overpaying for your energy you need to switch.
- Use an energy comparison site to find a cheaper deal. Ideally check several as comparison sites do not list the same energy providers or deals.
- Use an auto-switching service if you do not want the hassle of trying to find the best deal every time your contract ends.
- If you don't want to switch then phone up your current provider to see if they have a better deal.
- Use less gas and electricity. For example switching to LED light bulbs can reduce your lighting costs by up to 95%.
Compare Energy Prices
Fortunately it is getting easier to compare energy tariffs and switch. With the introduction of the auto-switching services that do the energy comparisons on your behalf and switch for you it has become less of a burdon.
|There are a massive 20,000 different energy tariffs according to Energyhelpline, generally the more tariffs there are to compare the lower your quote is going to be.|
It's not practical to manually compare energy providers to find the cheapest price so people compare gas and electricity using one of the many energy price comparison sites.
We regularly publish a list of the cheapest gas and electricity suppliers for low, medium and high energy users. Our energy comparison list is updated regularly to reflect new cheaper tariffs as they become available.
What is Auto Switching?
Automatic energy switching means that an auto switching service will monitor the energy market on your behalf to find you the best tariff to suit your specific requirements. When they find you a better deal they will switch you to the new energy supplier. It means that you do not have to remember to compare and switch yourself.
Auto Energy Switching vs Energy Comparisons
You have 2 options if you want to find and switch to a cheaper energy tariff and save money. You actually have 3 but manually finding out what individual energy companies tariffs are then comparing them manually is not a practical option especially when energy comparison sites do this for you.
So your 2 practical options are using an energy comparison site which compares the cost of your energy usage based on the figures you give them. Your annual kWh figures are best but if you don't have these then the amount you pay monthly for your gas and electricity is the next best option.
Automatic energy switching services do a comparison based on the numbers you provide and then switch you based on your preferences. Going forward the switching service will continue to compare the market and switch you again if it finds a better deal.
So which service is better? The basic rule of thumb is if you are after the biggest potential savings then a comparison service is the best option. If you want convenience, the set and forget option is the best which is to use an auto energy switch website.
|Look After My Bills are the largest auto switch service passing the 100,000 customer mark in April 2019.|
Can Energy Comparison Sites Save You Money?
If you are on your energy suppliers standard tariff then you will more than likely save money using an energy comparison site.
The difference between standard tariffs and the cheapest can be as much as £300. So that's £300 in savings, year after year after year.
If you have recently switched to the cheapest gas and electric supplier for your usage then it is unlikely you will make any significant savings. However not all comparison sites compare the whole of the energy market and some only show providers where they will earn a commission for switching you. You will often have to specify for them to show you all the providers they have on their database.
Compare Energy Switching
Auto energy switching sites are like gas and electricity comparison sites except they keep on checking regularly on your behalf for the best deal and switch you if they find that you can pay less elsewhere.
The auto switch services listed below are in no particular order. This list is maintained and provided for informational purposes. Being listed here does not constitute a recommendation.
Our reviews and comparisons will help you find the best automatic energy switching service for your needs.
Compares ofgem approved suppliers only and some suppliers are excluded from the comparison such as gas only suppliers, no online account feature and some other factors including poor customer service. Flipper do not compare the whole market.
Flipper claims to be the first auto switching service in the UK having been first launched in 2016.
For a yearly £25 fee (fee starts after you have saved £50 on your bills) they monitor their list of suppliers they can switch you to. By charging a fee rather than relying on getting a switching commission from the new energy supplier it allows them to compare more providers and be independent.
Auto-switching means that if they find a better deal for you they will automatically move you to the cheaper provider with a lower cost tariff. They take into account any exit fees charged by your existing supplier and other factors can be adjusted such as the amount you want to be able to save in order to initiate a switch.
Part of Gocompare the weflip service automatically switches you when they find an energy provider that will save you at least £50, also taking into account any exit fees.
They claim large list of providers that they can switch you to but they do not publish the list of energy companies they compare, so not whole of market.
Weflip will Automatically switch you and email you to let you know to let you know the switch is in progress.
Take a look at our review of Weflip's auto energy switching service.
|Both weflip and flipper refer to automatic energy switching as flipping but it means the same thing.|
Automatically switch to better deal when you current plan ends. Switchcraft gets a commission from the supplier they switch you to, they currently have a list of 57 suppliers they can switch you to.
You can set preferences such as sticking with a Big 6 supplier or choosing only fixed tariffs. You are emailed to let you know they are going to switch you but you can choose not to switch of you don't like the deal.
look after my billshttps://lookaftermybills.com/
The first time many people heard about automatic energy switching was on Dragons Dens on the BBC where Look After My Bills managed to secure some funding from the Dragons. There are however several switching services in the UK.
They switch you automatically if an energy comparison shows that a £50 saving can be made (£15 prepayment meter). Look after my bills get a commission from your new energy supplier for switching you to them.
They are not a whole of market automatic comparison site and will only switch you to those with a good customer service. You are notified of the switch by email and you have a 14 day cooling off period to cancel the switch with your new provider if you change your mind.
Read the full Look After My Bills Review.
Labrador launched in 2018 and are an automatic energy switching service. They email you to notify of a switch but can opt out of switch if you don't like it.
They claim to have a large list of energy companies they can switch you to and claim to switch customers on average between 1 and 3 times a year.
There are a number of preferences you can set to specify the type of service they switch you to. The Labrador gets a commission from the new supplier when they switch you.
Migrate automatically switches you to the best energy deal every year. It's a free service as Migrate get a commission from the new supplier. They make a donation from every switch to local causes.
The Migrate automatic energy switching service is able to switch you to tariffs where they are paid a commission from the supplier.
I spoke to James at Migrate who was very helpful and found him to be refreshingly honest and up front.
This is quite a dynamic number as it changes on a frequent basis. Up until recently at least, I believe there were 70 suppliers and we can switch you more than half of those (about 35, I think it was). I can confirm that we can switch you to the most suppliers out of any of the free switching services. Others have been cheeky here and said that they have 'relationships' with up to 70 suppliers - this really means nothing, it's all about how many they can switch you to.
For a more thorough look at their service take a look at the Migrate Automatic Energy Switching Review I've done testing and comparing the service.
They offer a paid for service like flipper that compares the whole market and a free version too but this only switches you to energy companies that offer switchd a commission.
The pay for service starts at £1.99 a month increasing to £4.99 a month if you would like additional telephone support. Switchd claims to save you £106 more compared to free auto switching services.
The paid switching service claims to be able to compare the whole of the market but they do not explicitly specify how many providers they can switch you to. There is a list of best providers on their website that currently shows 94 companies ( includes insolvent ones) but they don't say if they can switch you to all of these.
Update 29th January 2019 : Josh from Switchd has confirmed that Switchd are indeed able to switch you to any available tariff - '..we do compare the whole of the market – but we take out a few suppliers if our customers have experienced poor customer service with..' but exclude a small number of badly behaved suppliers who provide poor customer service.
Update 14th January 2019 : I have had a reply from Jenny at Switchd who has confirmed that the list of best providers1 they have on their website is indeed the list of potential providers that they can switch you to.
Homebox is one of the smaller auto energy switching services incorporated at the start of 2017. It is designed to take the hassle out of constantly comparing and switching energy providers.
It uses the commission model and so does not charge the customer. Unusually it will switch you to any energy company even one they do not receive a commission for doing so. Additionally they are also able to talk directly to customers to offer switching advice.
Take a look at our Review of Homebox here.
compare the markethttps://www.comparethemarket.com/energy/information/meerkat-energycheck/
Regularly compares the energy market to see if there are any cheaper deals and emails you once a month with a new deal offer if cheaper one found.
You can specify comparison preferences, ie minimum saving, type of tariff, payment method and supplier rating. Compare the Market get a commission from the supplier for switching you.
Compare the Market uses Energyhelpline for energy price comparisons and Energyhelpline claims to compare all UK suppliers.
Who is the Cheapest Auto Switch Energy Company?
If you are looking for an automatic energy switching service that will take care of the switching for you then you are unlikely to want to visit every auto switch energy supplier to see which one will give you the best quote. If you are willing to go to that much effort then you would be better off both financially and time wise using a standard energy price comparison site.
Luckily we've gone to the effort at looking at the initial quotes provided by the main auto switching services for energy suppliers. The results of which are quite reassuring as you can see from the table below.
All the sites we tested we gave them exactly the same details and used Ofgems average energy usage figures of 12,000 kWh of gas and 3,100 kWh of electricity a year. All of the quotes we got back were within 10 quid a month of each other.
In the grand scheme of things these auto switch sites offer the best value tariffs, at least for the average household.
Now if you've visited here before you may be aware that I have advocated Switchd as the best auto switching site providing the lowest cost energy tariffs as well as being easy to use. The data in the table shows that Switchd provided the best priced gas and electric tariff.
|Auto Energy Switcher||Monthly £||Tariff|
|Switchd||73.58||Utility Point Just Up 19 Wk15 Direct|
|Flipper||73.99||No tariff info|
|Migrate||77.04||Toto Energy May Online Fixed|
|Energy Check||77.04||Toto Energy May Online Fixed|
|Weflip||78.02||Simplicity Energy Cauliflower19|
|Look After My Bills||80.00||Utility Point Just Up 19 Wk16 Direct|
|Switchcraft||82.00||Simplicity Energy Cauliflower19|
Which is the Best Energy Auto Switching Service?
For ease of use and finding the best low cost energy tariff Switchd just pips the others to the post. However using any of the services listed above you are going to get a good level of service and a good deal.
There are some anomalies however. I haven't included Labrador in the above table and have as yet been unable to review their switching service as they don't actually tell you if they have found a better deal unless you join them first.
Flipper doesn't tell you what tariff is cheaper it just gives you a price whereas all the others I checked tell you the tariff. I presume they are worried about people switching directly which is daft really as they are providing a service to people who don't want the hassle of switching themselves.
Weflip and Switchcraft moot the same tariff but quote slightly different prices even though the energy usage stats I gave them were identical. Also Switchd and Look After My Bills suggest almost identical tariffs but with a weeks difference which results in a slightly different quoted price. This is likely due to there being a difference in the time they update their inhouse tariff databases.