November 14, 2018

What the flip is automatic energy switching?

Back in the day, if you wanted to switch energy provider, you’d have to ring up your supplier, fill in a mountain of paperwork and wait about six weeks for the switch.

It seems like nothing’s changed...

Switching energy supplier is such a pain in the backside. Most people only change suppliers when they move house. We don’t blame them; the energy industry makes it hard for you to find the best (and cheapest) deal on your gas and electricity.

If you’ve switched suppliers in the last five years, chances are you’ve come across energy price comparison websites (PCWs) like Uswitch, GoCompare and confused.com. PCWs show you a list of quotes based on things like your postcode and number of bedrooms. You choose an energy deal from the list.

Although popular, PCWs won’t always show you the best deal.

We talk more about this in our white paper guide to automatic energy switching, take a look.

What is automatic energy switching?

Automatic energy switching searches for the best energy deals and switches you to them automatically. It takes care of the boring stuff like comparing gas and electricity prices and paperwork. There’s no list of quotes to understand and compare—you only see the best deal available on the market. That's it!

Why should you care about automatic energy switching?

According to Ofgem, millions of households are still paying too much for their energy bills. Those who don’t switch energy supplier end up paying their suppliers’ expensive Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs).

A report by the Competition and Markets Authority found households on SVTs pay around £330 a year more than people who switch. Not to be sniffed at.

And earlier this year, British Gas paid out £2.65 million in compensation after overcharging more than 94,000 customers who switched to new suppliers. (Moneywise News)

Energy suppliers will charge you a hefty exit fee (as much as £80) if you want to switch suppliers. According to Ofgem, anyone on a fixed-term tariff has a right to switch to a new deal without paying exit fees 49 days before the fixed-term ends. Someone forgot to tell British Gas.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, British Gas, E.on, SSE, Npower, EDF, Scottish Power and Bulb have all highered their prices this year. Taking the standard tariff bill to £1,205 per household per year. (Moneywise News)

With over 80 energy suppliers in the UK, it’s a hard task to find the best deal. Using PCWs is no better: we surveyed 88 people, and 96% of them couldn’t find the cheapest deal on a price comparison website.

Auto-switching finds you the best energy deal and manages the switch from start to finish. You don't need to wait hours on the phone to speak to your supplier or faff around with paperwork—it's hassle-free.

Auto switching is a new trend in the energy industry. But a barrage of new automatic-switching companies has muddied the water a bit. Here’s why.

The trouble with energy comparison sites.

PCWs receive a commission from energy suppliers every time you make a switch using their service. Since they don’t charge you to use their services, PCWs have to be commission-driven to make a profit.

Some PCWs now offer what they call an ‘automatic switching service.’ Promising to seamlessly switch their customers to the best energy deal over and over again.

But we’re sceptical. These sites are sketchy about how they continually switch their customers to a better deal.

There’s a question we want answering: how can PCWs receive commission and remain impartial, thus offering their customers the best deal?

Case in point: A PCW has just launched a new 'automatic energy switching service.'

This service doesn't search all deals available on the market and only offers fixed tariffs, excluding variable rates, which are often cheaper.

Savings are calculated on projected costs, rather than the rates you actually pay. So you could be switched from a cheaper fix to a more expensive deal.

Why Flipper is the only automatic energy switching company  

We're not an energy comparison website or a conventional switching service. We’re an auto-switching service.

We’re fully automatic. Our algorithm (named Joules) crunches numbers and eats data for breakfast. Joules finds energy deals faster than most. Savings are calculated with exit fees included, so you'll always get the best deal.

We charge our members £25 per year to remain impartial. And if we can’t find you a better deal, we won’t charge you.

We don’t take a commission. We’re not in the energy supplier’s back pocket, and we don’t have ‘favourites’. Flipper finds you the best energy deal regularly and switches you to it - all without you having to lift a finger.


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