How to 'breathe new life' into the energy marketConsumer Focus supports collective switching

02 May 2012

People walking together

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

In a report released today, Consumer Focus hailed collective switching as a way to 'breathe new life' into markets such as energy and financial services.

The idea of collective switching – where one organisation or individual bargains for a better deal on behalf of a large group – is becoming increasingly popular. 

The Consumer Focus report highlights the potential for this activity to shake up markets and encourage companies to work harder on behalf of consumers.

Executive director of Which?, Richard Lloyd, said that the Which? initiative, The Big Switch, which has seen over 280,000 people join in so far, shows the potential of this kind of venture.

He said: 'Huge numbers of people have shown us that they are looking for help to find a better deal on energy bills. However, it's important to remember that wider reform of the energy market is also needed if it is to be made to work for consumers.'

Collective energy switch

The Big Switch aims to negotiate a market-leading energy deal, and will then give customers tailored savings information so that they can decide whether to take the deal that Which? finds for them.

The Big Switch auction is due to take place on the 9 of May, and Which? is enabling consumers to sign up for The Big Switch up until the 8 May.

EDF Energy announced today that it would join other suppliers in competing to offer Big Switch customers the best energy deal. 

Make consumers more powerful

The Consumer Focus report examined the problems apparent in certain markets, such as energy, and explained that additional information and advice for consumers has not been enough to cut through confusion and complexity when they are making switching decisions.

The report also highlighted the new opportunities opened up by online technology and social media, which allows a large group of people to get together for a common cause or issue.

You can get updates on The Big Switch and other campaigns by following Which? Action on Twitter or Facebook.

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