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60% of Mumsnetters have never switched energy supplier. Have you?

(65 Posts)
RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-May-14 11:38:09

Hi all,

We recently asked our Insight panel about their experiences of energy switching for collective bargaining site The Big Deal. We wanted to understand how you’ve found energy switching; if you’ve managed to save any money and, if you haven’t been able to switch, why not.

It turned out that 60% of the Mumsnetters we asked had never switched. The top reasons why not included:

1. It’s difficult to know what the best deal is over time, since offers are always changing
2. MNers are too busy to take the time to switch
3. Price comparison sites are hard to understand, with hundreds of options, tariffs, kilowatt hours, etc
4. Switching won’t make a difference because prices keep going up

In response, The Big Deal have created a site which they say is specifically for people who don’t switch, in order to make it easy for you to move providers. You fill in a simple form (which they say takes less than 60 seconds), then they go to work to find the best deal for you. More than 10,000 people have signed up in the five weeks since the site launched, and The Big Deal says that by negotiating on behalf of so many consumers at once, they’re able to offer the best savings, and offers that aren’t available on other switching sites.

If you’d like to try it, click here, and meanwhile, please do tell us what you think about energy switching. Is it worth the effort? How much can you/did you save?

In the meantime, what are your experiences of switching energy supplier?

jlee2468 Mon 12-May-14 14:47:52

From my experience you get the best deals when you ring up and tell them that you are leaving. They will try and convince you stay by offering something better.

I know it can be hassle sometimes but it is the best way of saving.

This goes for all forms of contracts you may be in, no just energy!

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 12-May-14 22:07:56

I think if you are on dual fuel paying by direct debit with any one supplier, the savings you will get by switching are minimal and quite honestly not worth the hassle.

angryangryyoungwoman Mon 12-May-14 23:34:37

Surely the principles behind this support the idea that nationalisation of the energy suppliers would mean cheaper bills for everyone? That campaign would be something I would support.

LizzieMint Tue 13-May-14 10:27:24

Yes, I switch every year or two. Martin's Money Saving Expert site now has a dedicated website which calculates how much you can save and you can set up an amount you think is worth switching for and it will email you when there's a deal that saves you that amount. So mine's set to £150, and I get an email whenever i can switch and save that much.
I've never understood the 'not worth the hassle' viewpoint - all you have to do is apply to the new supplier, then they sort it all out. You have to take meter readings one day (they'll tell you when) - that's it.

HeeHiles Tue 13-May-14 11:51:12

Whenever I have gone on to a comparison website I don't find the savings worth the bother! If all I'm going to save is £20 per year - they all get their supplies from the same source so not much variation.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 13-May-14 16:08:38

I switched to the co-op, partly for price and partly as they are not one of the big companies. I rarely check though for new suppliers unlike insurance renewals.

ilovepowerhoop Tue 13-May-14 16:13:43

I am in the process of switching but not sure why I have bothered as although I started the switching process before Christmas the switch of my gas has still not been completed!! I know it is in part because I am supplied by an independent gas transporter (IGT) which seems to cock things up every time I try to switch but it is still a ridiculous amount of time for it to take which makes it more hassle than the price saving tbh.

Mintyy Tue 13-May-14 16:14:38

Oh sorry but YAWN!

ilovepowerhoop Tue 13-May-14 16:28:41

are you yawning at the OP or the rest of the posters??

Mintyy Tue 13-May-14 16:50:50

Just at the concept of switching energy providers in general!

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 13-May-14 17:18:16

I change every year, it's how you get the best deal. Eg 3p a unit gas, 10.7? Electric.

£105 cashback off topcashback
£20 vouchers for M&S, paid for thermals so I use less heating to stay warm.

Leaving them in October for pastures cheaper though.

WowOoo Tue 13-May-14 18:58:25

Well, I am one of the 40% who switch to get a better deal.
It does take some time - you need to know when you're due to change, research and follow up.

I CBA to do it, but I make myself!

CalamitouslyWrong Tue 13-May-14 19:55:29

Every single one of the companies is a total pain in the arse to deal with and I actually hate them all.

We're currently thinking about switching because npower have pissed us off to a ridiculous level but the problem is we don't want to switch to any of them. Even then newer, smaller ones are abysmal as far as I can tell.

Cinnamoncookie Tue 13-May-14 23:29:16

I switched to Ecotricity from EDF about 2 years ago. I actually pay slightly more than I did, but my move was in protest at EDF's incompetence.

(I used to pay EDF quarterly on whatever the bill was for my usage. Out of the blue they sent a letter saying I would have to pay quarterly direct debit in advance, for a sum that was nearly twice my average bill for the previous two years. There was no option for appeal or discussion, despite my presenting figures to them showing I didn't use nearly that much electricity).

I like Ecotricity. They have real people that answer the phone (not on an 0845/0870 number), and they answer emails promptly as well. Switching to them was easy and I had no problems with getting final/first bills.

I could probably get cheaper electricity (I don't have gas) by switching to another company, but I can't be bothered, because of the high rate of lying, cheating and incompetence among the other energy providers.

threepiecesuite Tue 13-May-14 23:35:59

Are they not all colluding in price-fixing anyway? Surely if one company was cheaper, we'd all use it. No-one has any reason to prefer one over another other than price, I'd assume.
It's all the same gas in the same pipes.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 14-May-14 07:20:12

Oh yes I'd assume collusion and corruption is endemic in the industry.

The elephant in the room is why are so many people living in poorly insulated homes?, and why don't people understand that squashing loft lagging down takes away the insulating properties.

The last rental we had leaked heat but the landlord had boarded the loft and didnt want to have deep lagging up there. So we froze sad

Auntimatter Wed 14-May-14 08:22:39

I switched because I moved house.

I left Scottish Power. They have been an absolute nightmare. I finally got the £300 they owed me, after months of chasing.
Then a few months later they sent me a demand for £51, which they have provided no proper bill or statement for. I am disputing it but getting nowhere at all as they are so useless they have no idea why they think I owe them money (which I don't).

All of this is unrecorded hassle of switching.

Bunbaker Wed 14-May-14 14:17:47

We switched to Utility Warehouse about 5 years ago for gas, electricity, telephone and broadband and have never regretted it.

When we had solar panels installed they gave us an extra 2p per unit on the feed in tariff and the money came off all our bills, not just the electricity. In the sunnier months our bills are negative and UW credit our bank account.

It would be madness for us to switch from them now.

JadedAngel Wed 14-May-14 14:27:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 14-May-14 14:41:49


Email this man, he's the CEO of thier retail ops.

It's th highest level of their complaints system.

Indith Thu 15-May-14 07:02:45

We've moved house a lot. mostly no trouble but over place we moved in and switched for a cheaper deal and there was trouble due to different numbers on the metre or something so they switched or electric over but the gas switch was stopped. It all got very complicated.

I hate all the complexity. gas and electric are basic needs must like water is and I think they should come from a supplier at a basic rate.

Anyway where I am now I have no gas and there are bugger all deals for electric only so we don't switch. I check occasionally but it is never worth it.

MoreTeaPenguin Thu 15-May-14 14:25:33

We've been with ecotricity for at least a couple of years maybe more, they have excellent customer service, are cheap and the money we pay is invested in renewable energy sources. So we won't be switching.

BeCool Thu 15-May-14 14:37:16

I switched to a "better deal" last year. I'm kind of regretting it now.

It took MONTHS AND MONTHS for the switch to happen, now I pay by monthly DD and I really feel like I am paying more though the new deal was ment to be significantly better.


CointreauVersial Thu 15-May-14 17:47:50

I really haven't the energy (geddit? wink ) to do the legwork associated with switching, although I know I should.

Also, we have solar panels, and get a Feed In Tariff from Scottish Power, and I don't know how this is affected if we switch.

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