Homebox Energy Switching Review
Homebox may not be a name you've heard of before and in the auto energy switching market they are but a minnow. To be honest I initially dismissed the company as it didn't have a great online presence and the advert from where I initially discovered them seemed to good to be true.
|9/10||Easy to use quoting system and the fact they offer to switch you to any tariff at no cost to the consumer.|
They stated that they can switch you to any energy supplier which no other automatic energy switching service can do. Switching companies make money by charging you a fee, either yearly or monthly or by getting a commission from the utility they switch you to.
Homebox does the latter but it does not have a financial relationship with every supplier so how do they make any money?
I spoke with George from Homebox.co.uk through their webchat who was helpful and explained they can switch you to any supplier but they only get a commission when they switch you to one they have a financial relationship with.
I thought that was unusual as most switching services will only switch you to a supplier they have a commision based arrangement with. George explained that they were trying to build a good reputation firstly and then build up a relationship with suppliers in the future.
So at the moment you can use the Homebox switching service and you will be offered the genuinely cheapest supplier based on your energy usage.
Homebox Energy Switching
As with any automatic energy switching service we review the aim is to make sure they provide a truly cheap tariff switch saving you money and have a smooth and easy to use service.
The first thing to state is that you can use the service as a straight forward price comparison site or allow Homebox to switch you when they find a better deal based on price and your own customizable preferences. After all price is not usually the only factor people consider, customers are now actively avoiding utility companies with a bad reputation and reviews.
There is always going to be a percentage of people who will stick with a supplier because they trust them even though they most definitely will be paying more. Many of the larger energy suppliers rely on this and it is referred to as the customer loyalty premium.
How Homebox Works
In order to compare your current energy provider to the currently available tariffs you need to first tell them who supplies your energy.
Secondly you need to give your postcode, this is needed as the Uk is divided into regions which affects the standard rate that you are charged.
Lastly you need to specify if you have switched supplier in the last couple of years and specify which tariff you are currently on with your supplier if you know this. The more information you provide the more accurate your quote will be.
Unless you know what tariff you are on and how much gas and electricity you use and comparison is going to be unreliable in getting an accurate monthly payment quote. However the comparison will tell you if the actual tariff you are currently on is more expensive than cheaper ones currently available.
At the time of this review the tariff it recommended was 'Vari Cheap' from energy supplier Eversmart. At this point we have entered very basic information and the quote is based on average energy usage rather than your own figures.
You can specify more detailed information such as your energy usage once you enter your email address. I queried this with George and he explained that they are working on some changes to improve this.
Will Homebox Save you Money
Looking at their current business model the consumer (that's you) comes off quite well as many energy price comparison sites and auto switching sites do not show you all the available tariffs upfront. This is for the simple fact that they do not make any money from switching you to an energy provider that they do not have an affiliate relationship with.
Homebox currently shows you all suppliers by default and will switch you to a supplier even if Homebox does not get a commission for doing so. Noble, maybe. Bad business model, only time will tell.
I did ask George from Homebox and he confirmed they do not get any financial return for switching customers to Eversmart. They are hoping to build a relationship with all suppliers over time but their priority at the moment is to build customer trust.
Comparing Homebox with Energyhelpline
Energyhelpline is a traditional energy price comparison service and they have a large database of tariffs to compare to so it is useful to use this to see if there are any other cheaper tariffs on the market.
According to Energyhelpline there is one cheaper tariff at the time of writing, I say this as tariff prices can change frequently. Old tariffs end and new ones appear. But right now Outfox the Market's 'One Variable 5.0' tariff is ever so slightly cheaper. Granted it works out £1 cheaper a month for the average UK energy consuming household and it might seem like I am being pedantic but for transparency you need to know.
After speaking to George again at Homebox he has clarified the situation. Homebox initially filter out suppliers with a low customer service score which is why the cheaper Outfox the Market tariff was not shown.
Once you create an account by entering you email and creating a password you can filter the results to show utilities with a low customer feedback score and indeed Outfox the Market's tariff does show up.
By default Homebox only show energy companies with a good service or better. Incidentally I also look at the option for great service and the cheapest option was for People's Energy. At the time of writing this happens to be the utility I am with.
I have also checked with the automatic energy switching service from Switchd and at the time of this review came up with the very same tariff as Homebox on initial quote. However if you create an account you do get the option of the cheaper quote so Homebox justs pips Switchd on providing the cheaper tariff.
If you take a look at my last side by side comparison of the prices offered by the main auto switch sites you will see that the quotes they provide are not a million miles apart from each other.
Homebox Review Score
Overall I am impressed with what Homebox is doing. Whilst initially sceptical about their claims about being able to switch customers to any energy tariff for free I was pleased to find that their claims were correct.
As you can see from the screenshots Homebox offers the cheapest tariffs on the market and not just the ones they get a kickback from switching you too. It's a refreshing change and I hope this openness remains as the company grows.
The site is easy to use and you can get an initial quote without having to create an account. The only negative is that you have to create an account to see the absolute lowest priced tariff as they initially filter out poor performing energy companies.
This may be confusing for some customers if they progress past the initial quote screen. I would have preferred they show the full quote screen with all the tariffs by cost but this is a minor gripe overall.
So Homebox scores 9 out of 10 for their easy to use quoting system and the fact they offer to switch you to any tariff at no cost to the consumer.
|Rated 6.4/10 on Trustpilot (8 reviews) and No Google reviews.|
Got me the best deal very quickly. No fuss, it was really quick, and saved some money, so I was pretty impressed to be honest. I also like the fact that they will monitor things for me and let me know, good app.
Friendly, professional and efficient, they gave us a shortlist of the best options for us to choose from with a succinct summary on each.
I finally got around to doing it and saved money on both my electricity and internet in no more than 10-15 mins. I found it so easy to use, very intuitive. It also has a function where it will move me over to another supplier when there is a better rate available, i don't have to do anything. I thoroughly recommend it.