Join The Big Switch to cut your energy billsMore people, more bargaining power

07 February 2012

People walking together

The more people who sign up, the stronger our bargaining power

Consumers lose out on £4.1 billion a year by not switching to the cheapest energy deal. Which? and 38 Degrees are offering you the chance to be part of a UK first – using collective power to get a market-leading energy deal – in The Big Switch.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: 'We are urging anyone who is angry about the state of the energy market to sign up. 

'The Big Switch is the first chance to do this in the UK, and an opportunity for the energy suppliers to demonstrate that they're serious about changing their ways and putting consumers first.'

Consumers can register their interest through The Big Switch website until the end of March, when energy companies will be invited to submit a market leading deal and take part in a reverse auction.

Which? is joined by 38 Degrees and broadcaster Jonathan Maitland, who are also keen to see energy customers getting a better deal.

Why should I switch?

Which? research on the energy market shows that UK consumers could save on average £4 billion per year just by switching to the cheapest energy deal. However, figures from the energy regulator Ofgem show that six out of 10 people have never switched their gas and electricity. 

Richard Lloyd said: 'It's a £4 billion free kick for the energy companies if so many of us stick with their more expensive tariffs.'

He added: 'The government, regulator and energy companies have failed to move quickly enough to improve things for consumers when so many are struggling to pay their bills.'

So how does it work?

Step 1 – Consumers register their interest via The Big Switch website.

Step 2 – Which? negotiates on behalf of the people who have signed up. We'll aim to secure a market-leading energy deal.

Step 3 – You choose. We'll email you with details of the deal that we've secured, and you can decide whether to take up the offer.

We can't guarantee a deal, but the more people join, the greater our bargaining power. You can encourage your friends and family to sign up too by directing them to The Big Switch website

Collective purchasing - game-changer

The Big Switch initiative has also had cross-party political support. Energy secretary Edward Davey said: 'I'm delighted that Which? have developed their Big Switch, as I have long believed that collective purchasing will be a game-changer in terms of handing power back to consumers.'

The shadow energy and climate secretary, Caroline Flint, also pledged her support, calling the initiative an 'exciting precedent' and a 'simple but potentially trailblazing way to help bring down soaring energy bills.'

Harnessing people power

Which? has been campaigning for affordable energy for everyone, and we're keen to seek immediate help for those struggling with high gas and electricity bills. The best way to do this is by finding a better deal than the ones currently on the market.

Collective switching has already been tried and tested with great success in other countries and we're confident it will be a success in the UK too. 

Using the combined switching power of thousands of consumers, we'll be in a great bargaining position to get a new, cheaper deal.

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