MSE Autoswitch Review

Money Saving Expert originally started by Martin Lewis but now owned by the MoneySuperMarket Group has launched their new MSE Autoswitch service building on their Energy Saving Club.

The basic idea behind the service is similar to that of Look After My Bills and other autoswitch services except they compare the whole of the market although they will only do the switch for you if the energy company has an existing partnership with Money Saving Expert.

My initial thoughts were that Martin Lewis was going to produce an industry breaking energy comparison tool that fought for the consumer. However from working through their autoswitch service I found there to be more smoke and mirrors than transparency.

MSE Autoswitch is a business after all and they are there to make a profit from switching you to an energy supplier where they get a commission to do so. I don't have a problem with that especially seeing as they can offer you upto £25 cashback if you switch to one of the some of the energy providers they have a financial partnership with.

At the time of this review (September 2020) only 3 of the top 10 cheapest deals offered cashback.

The main problem with the comparison is that it claims to compare the whole of the market which it only does if you choose a particular set of options. As most of the users of this service are not going to understand how the comparison is being made they are not going to end up seeing all of the potential energy suppliers and therefore not the whole of the market.

Will I get a good energy deal from MSE Autoswitch?

mse autoswitch review

It really depends on how you use the service so below I've grouped some different outcomes based on the type of consumer you are.

Not sure what you're doing

You may not know much about comparing and switching and may not really care but do want to see if you can save on your energy and maybe get upto £25 cashback.

If this sounds like you then MSE Autoswitch is a good site to use. However you are going to get at least a good a deal by doing a comparison yourself and either choosing the cheapest deal or a deal from one of the bigger suppliers you recognise but won't save as much.

You want the cheapest deal

If you want to get the absolute cheapest deal the only real way to know if you are going to be paying less is to check the price per kWh and daily standing charge of each supplier and then switch through the comparison site or directly with the supplier for the chosen tariff should the energy comparison website not be able to switch you directly.

It takes a bit more work but you will end up with the biggest savings. To get an idea of what the best energy deals are right now take a look at our list of cheap energy deals from the whole of the market which is regularly updated to reflect changes in the domestic energy market.

MSE Autoswitch comparison with default settings

Supplier Tariff Name Monthly Cost Annual Cost
Pure Planet 100% Green 12m Fixed Sep20 v1 £73 £878
British Gas Energy Plus Home Cover Sep 2021v3 £76 £910
So Energy So Birch Essential - Green - Seasonal Payments £77 £923

If you do a comparison using the default settings suggested by Martin Lewis which is how the MSE Autoswitching comparison tool is set up as the easiest to use option you get the above results.

You get three suppliers recommended which are all suppliers with an existing financial relationship. To see the whole of the market you have to scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on "see all tariffs".

You then get a pop up where you have to click continue rather than cancel after which it shows you all energy providers or "whole of the market" from which you could potentially switch to.

However be aware that the list will not be presented in cost order with the cheapest at the top. MSE Autoswitch shows you the top pick and the cheapest energy deal is underneath.

MSE Autoswitch vs Energy Helpline

Supplier Tariff Name Monthly Cost Annual Cost
Pure Planet 100% Green 12m Fixed Sep20 v1 £74.45 £893
Green Network Energy GNE Summer Sizzler V9 £75.15 £902
Shell Energy Energy January 2022 £75.32 £904

Overall the tariffs on offer from Energy Helpline are cheaper compared to using the MSE Autoswitch energy comparison website.

The cheapest tariff at the time of the comparison (September 2020) is the 100% Green 12m Fixed Sep20 v1 tariff from Pure Planet. The same tariff offered by MSE Autoswitch. However in the results MSE shows the cost for the year as £878 whereas Energy Helpline shows the annual cost as £893 making it look like the tariff is cheaper through MSE.

If you take a closer look MSE includes the £15 dual fuel discount in its calculation whereas Energy Helpline does not. You get the £15 dual fuel discount whether you switch through Energy Helpline or MSE Autoswitch.

However the benefit of switching through MSE Autoswitch is that you get £25 cashback 3 to 6 months after you have completed the switch.

The next two tariffs offered by MSE come to £902 with the GNE Summer Sizzler V9 tariff from Green Network Energy and £904 on the Energy January 2022 tariff from Shell Energy. Both cheaper than the second and third place suggestions from Money Saving Expert

MSE Autoswitch comparison for cheapest tariff

If you want to find the absolute cheapest tariff on the MSE Autoswitch service you will need to change a few options. For most users of the service getting the full list is too confusing, the service is designed not to offer too many choices and leave consumers in fear of not knowing which tariff to pick.

MSE Autoswitch cheapest tariffs

Supplier Tariff Name Monthly Cost Annual Cost
Outfox The Market Fix'd 20 14.0 £72 £859
Green Maple £72 £863
London Power my london fixed yearly plan 12m fixed september 2020 v1 £72 £868
Simplicity Energy Cauliflower20 £73 £872
Pure Planet 100% Green 12m Fixed Sep20 v1 £73 £878

Energy Helpline cheapest tariffs

Supplier Tariff Name Monthly Cost Annual Cost
Green CherryBlossom £67.65 £812
Simplicity Energy 2020Cabbage £69.95 £839
Avro Energy Simple and SuperConnect £70.36 £844
Outfox The Market Fix'd 20 14.0 £72 £859
Green Maple £72 £863

After doing a whole of the market comparison the cheapest tariff comes out as Outfox the Markets Fix'd 20 14.0 tariff costing £859 a year from MSE Autoswitch. Energy Helpline shows the cheapest as the CherryBlossom tariff from Green costing £812 per annum.

So overall the cheapest tariff offered is one from Energy Helpline that is £47 cheaper per year.

Either MSE Autoswitch is not comparing the whole of the market or there is some secret setting somewhere you have to choose to find it.

With both services you have to choose the whole of the market to get a complete comparison and you would have to switch manually with the supplier and not through the comparison services.

Is MSE Autoswitch genuine?

The only real benefit of using this service is the cashback. The cash back however is only offered on tariffs that you switch to where MSE will get a commission from the supplier and pays part of that to you.

The cashback does take 3 to 6 months to get paid to you so it's not instant.

It did (at least at the time of testing) pick out cheaper deals than the biggest autoswitch service Look After My Bills (LAMB). LAMB is simpler to use in the fact it only offers you one tariff to switch to and auto switches you to a cheaper deal when your current fixed deal ends.

If you are looking for an automatic tariff switching service then it is worth trying out Look After My Bills alongside MSE Autoswitch to see which service offers you the best deal.

If you want to stay in control and just pick the cheapest tariff offered to you and get the switching service to take care of the switch for you can do that here.

The most important thing you can do is use one of the many online comparison services available to you and switch. It's really not that difficult to compare and it will mean you are not overpaying for your gas and electricity, unfortunately millions of Britons currently are because they stay with the same energy provider for years who can get away with overcharging loyal customers.