The Big Switch

Last week outside Parliament I gave my backing to The Big Switch. This campaign which was launched last month by Which? and 38 Degrees, aims to get consumers a cheaper deal on their energy bills.

Labour is backing the campaign, alongside the plans we have to break the dominance of the Big Six energy companies, and drive down energy bills for families and businesses.

All of us have seen how fast gas and electric bills have risen recently and with the average dual fuel bill now costing around £1,300, it’s even more important to shop around for the best deal. Which?’s own research shows that consumers are missing out on £4 billion a year by not switching, so there are real savings to be made.

Unfortunately because of the complex mixture of over 400 different energy tariffs many of us simply can’t work out what the cheapest deal is and so we end up staying put with the supplier we have.

Given this it’s no surprise that Ofgem has found that 60% of consumers have never switched energy supplier and 3 out of four people are currently on their supplier’s ‘default’ standard tariff (often the most expensive).

The Big Switch is all about using people power to take back control of the energy market and get the cheapest deal using collective purchasing. Once you’ve signed up to take part in the campaign Which? will negotiate with energy suppliers and seek to secure a market-leading cheap energy deal for all the people in the scheme.

Once they’ve done this Which? will contact you to let know how much you could save by switching to the deal they’ve negotiated. You don’t have to accept the offer but if you do Which? can help you to make the switch.

By the start of last week 211,860 people (including me) had joined – 188,162 online signups plus 23,698 postal signups.

You can find out more information about the Big Switch here and if you want to take part you can sign up here – the closing date is March 31st.