The Big Switch initiative, in partnership with 38 Degrees, offers a possible £25 million of savings on energy bills – an average of £123 per household.
Co-operative Energy, which entered the energy market just one year ago, has offered market-leading tariffs that cost £1,048 per year for the average household paying by Direct Debit, and £1,144 per year if they pay by cash or cheque.
Executive director of Which?, Richard Lloyd, said: ‘The Big Switch has moved the energy market and secured a better deal for thousands of people, reaching people who have never switched before.’
He added: ‘The fact that one of the smaller suppliers, Co-operative Energy, was able to win shows that collective switching can help shake up the market for consumers and marks an important step on the road to energy market reform.’
Ed Davey, energy and climate change secretary, also welcomed the news: ‘This is a fantastic outcome for the Big Switch. As a longstanding proponent of collective purchasing, I am really pleased to see the concept being made a reality in the UK, and on such a scale.’
How much will they save?
EDF Energy, one of the major suppliers, came a close second by offering its ‘Blue +Price Promise tariff’. To enable smaller suppliers to take part in the auction, Co-operative Energy was allowed to cap the number of customers that it can take at 30,000. Subsequent switchers will be offered the EDF Energy deal, which works out at £1,054 per year for the average household.
This means that the first 30,000 to accept the switch will go to Co-operative, and the rest will be offered the chance to switch to EDF Energy.
Which? and 38 Degrees will email all those who completed their registration for The Big Switch and give them a personalised estimate letting them know how much they could save with the new deal. People will have until 28 May to decide whether they will make the switch.
Tens of thousands will save
David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees, who worked in partnership with Which? on The Big Switch campaign, said: ‘It’s great news that Co-operative Energy have won The Big Switch auction. Not just because tens of thousands of people are going to save money, but because it’s proof that people power can stand up to the big gas and electricity companies, and win.’