Some people would prefer to have a complete hands off approach when it comes to dealing with their gas and electric bills. So what is Switchd? The idea behind Switchd is that it's an automatic energy switching site that will switch your energy supplier automatically if and when a cheaper deal is found for you.
Handing over control to a switching service may not be for everyone. There are however a lot of people who would rather not have to worry about keeping their energy bill as low as possible and instead entrust that to a third party.
The idea with Switchd is that you pay them a monthly fee, they have different levels of service ranging from £1.99 a month up to £4.99 a month for their premium service. Whichever level of service you choose you will still get switched to the cheapest deal just if you pay them more you can talk to them on the phone and speak to a dedicated support agent.
They do also offer a free service where there is no monthly fee. The difference between the free and paid service is that with paid they compare their entire database of tariffs to find the best deal. With free they only compare the tariffs where they will get a commission for switching you to another supplier.
Our comparison showed that you can save £48 more by using the paid compared to the free service.
Can I trust Switchd?
You shouldn't just sign up with a company just because they say they can be trusted. You need to do your research first, read reviews about Switchd just like this one. Take a look at third party review sites like Trustpilot that rate sites based on customer feedback.
Switchd Trustpilot Ratings
Whilst Trustpilot ratings are not infallible they are one of the best ways to see real people's experience with companies. You can see reviews left over time, whilst there can be fake reviews either in favour or against a company when there are hundreds or thousands of reviews being left it gives a more accurate picture of performance.
The name of the company or service. Switchd (not Switched) is the name of the company that does the auto switching. Others are listed for comparison.
Number of Reviews
It's much harder to fake thousands of reviews whilst low numbers of reviews must be taken with a pinch of salt and companies do encourage customers to leave feedback. Conversely negative feedback can be left in order to damage a company's reputation. Sometimes reviewer leave rating for the wrong company.
Generally however the more reviews the better as this shows that there are a lot of customers and higher numbers give a more accurate picture.
Rating out of 5
A rating out of 5 is given on Trustpilot. From my experience companies with a rating in the mid to high 4's combined with a bad feedback rating of less than 10% indicates a trusted company.
Bad feedback %
Relying on just the feedback rating can be misleading. Looking at the percentage of bad feedback gives a much truer picture as it often highlights specific issues with companies. Bad feedback percentage is the percentage of customers leaving a 1 out of 5 rating.
|Auto-Switcher||No. of reviews||Rating out of 5||Bad feedback %|
|Look After My Bills||20,723||4.6||8%|
The table above are the ratings from January 2021 Trustpilot ratings for all of the autoswitching sites. The figures reflect the number of customers they have and it clearly shows that Look After My Bills is the dominant provider in this market having 500,000 members at the start of 2021.
Take a look at our review of Look After My Bills.
Whilst Switchd is a far smaller company their ratings are very similar to the market leader Look After My Bills made famous on Dragons Den.
Based on Trustpilot reviews alone it doesn't indicate that there are any issues that should deter you from using the Switchd service.
One of the issues with automatic energy switching is that the public do not really understand the ins and outs of energy switching let alone what it means to automatically switch energy providers. If you read many of the negative reviews it is around issues with the actual energy companies being switched from or to rather than the service itself.
You should only choose an energy switching service that does all the work for you if you understand that you have to trust the company to pick the best supplier for you.
You will not get the cheapest deal on the market using the free option that auto switching sites offer as they only compare suppliers that they get a commission from. The paid option means that they can compare nearly all suppliers which will get you a cheaper deal. I go into this if you read below.
However Look After My BIlls, BillBuddy and Flipper are all good alternatives to Switchd. Certainly stay away from Weflip, Switchcraft, Labrador and even MSE Autoswitch, the service from Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis based on third party reviews.
Switch Paid or Free options compared
Is it worth paying for the service or is the free option good enough? To see the difference between the free and pay for energy comparison options Switchd offers I did a comparison that reflects the average UK household.
I compared a household in the Eastern region using 3,100 kWh of electricity a year and 12,000 kWh of gas. Ofgem have changed the average usage figure for electricity to 2,900 kWh but as Safe Energy Switch have always used the original figures it makes sense to stick with them so as to get a more accurate picture over time.
Switchd has a relatively straightforward process for entering your energy usage details. You can configure lots of options, for example you may want to just look for a green energy tariff. You get to specify these sorts of options once the initial comparison is done.
Switchd Paid Options
Switchd have 3 paid plans which are Lite at £1.99 a month, Standard at £3.49 a month and Premium at £4.99 a month. All 3 options give you the same tariff savings, the only difference is the level of support they offer you. Lite is Email and chat support, Standard adds telephone support and Premium adds a dedicated support agent and Talk via Whatsapp.
With a paid option Switchd recommended a switch to Utility Point based on my dual fuel energy comparison for an average UK household. The cost for gas and electricity with this new supplier Utility Point would be £74 a month.
If you are on your providers standard tariff rate which is your suppliers most expensive deal then you stand to make a significant saving on your first initial switch. So the paid option for the first year would be justified as the saving you have made would likely be the highest on the first switch.
If you have already switched recently (within the last year) or are still on a fixed deal from your current provider then your savings will not be as great. It may not justify you using a paid auto-switching service.
You'd need to save at least £24 annually by switching on the Lite plan, £42 on the standard and £60 on the Premium service.
It makes sense to use the paid plan for your first switch. For most people the cheaper Lite plan makes sense as it's unlikely you are going to need to contact them that often if at all. I chatted to them on their webchat, I only waited a few minutes in the queue and Darko was able to answer all my queries.
The higher cost for being able to telephone them is not really justified unless you're a computer phobe. It will eat into any potential savings from switching.
Switchd Free Option
The Free option may initially look attractive but you are going to make as big a saving. If you never switch then the free option is going to give you a decent amount of saving on your first switch, albeit still less than the paid option.
By selecting the Free option the tariff I was offered was from Green Network Energy costing just over £80 a month which is about £72 a year more expensive than the paid option. So £960 a year from Green Network Energy (free) and £888 a year from Utility Point (paid).
|Option||Yearly Fee||Tariff cost||Total Cost Year|
The table above shows the total cost over a year depending on which option you chose. So for this particular comparison the option where you would save the most is with paid Lite at a total of £912 a year.
You are unlikely to make as big a saving in subsequent years so it may not be in your best interests to continue with the yearly subscription unless you thought it was worth the money to take the hassle out of having to compare tariffs yourself.
You are essentially paying a company to keep an eye out for you if they spot a cheaper deal elsewhere. Getting you an initial saving in the first year and then making sure you are not overpaying subsequent years. Safe Energy Switch publishes a Cheap Energy Alert email notifying you of cheap and good value energy deals.
Are Switchd any good?
There are a few things about Switchd's automatic switching service that I don't like. Firstly you have to create an account to be able to see the results of your comparison once you have entered your details. From a customer's perspective it would be quicker and less intrusive to show the results first and then ask you to sign up.
You don't get to see who they are going to switch you to if you choose the free option until you have actually initiated the switching process to the new supplier.
I get that Switchd is a business and it is there to make money and that most customers looking for this automated hands off service are not really going to want too many details and just want someone else to take care of things. However it seems odd that you'd want to switch to a new provider without first knowing who they are.
When I approached Switchd about this they did come back with the industry standard cooling off period where you can change your mind and cancel a switch within 14 days. That seems to me more hassle than just showing the customer who the free switch option is.
If you are considering using an auto switching service then you are likely to want them to handle everything for you but are going to be able to trust they are doing the right thing on your behalf.
Switchd can offer that service in a similar way that market leader Look After My Bills do. There are other smaller players that are worth considering such as BillBuddy and Flipper.
For most customers wishing to use this type of service I'd recommend the cheapest paid option with Switchd they have as this will ensure you get the biggest saving from any comparison and keep costs down to the minimum if you are going to use them year after year.
The energy comparison alternatives
Automatic switching services are great if you want a hands off approach but you are going to have to pay otherwise you are not going to get switched to the cheapest deal. The more you spend on gas and electricity the more sense it makes to use a service like Switchd as potential savings will be much larger making the £24 Lite fee a smaller part of any potential savings.
If you prefer to remain in control and want to weigh up your options and you don't mind having to do a bit of work yourself then using a standard free energy comparison service.
If you're like me and really want to get to know the provider you can find reviews of most of the UK energy providers right here at Safe Energy Switch. You can also find out which energy companies currently have the best energy deals.