New energy switching website to continuously check your tariff?
Even though it’s no longer snowing, energy bills are still top of many household’s worry list, with some reports that up to 70% of homes are going without heating in the middle of winter for fear of running up huge bills. And it’s not like the prices are as frozen as the weather, with all the big energy companies announcing price increases in recent times, even if they might not take effect just yet.
But now there might be a solution. Professional grinner Martin Lewis has used some of his lovely sell-out money to launch up a new energy switching website, the Cheap Energy Club , which, it claims, will save you the hassle of wondering whether to switch or not.
The idea is simple- rather than getting everyone to switch to the same deal (like the hugely successful Big Switch campaign), the idea is that you put in your usage and tariff figures and the website will email you when it’s time to switch. You can set a de minimis level too, so that they only contact you if the saving is over a certain amount. Sounds good.
Of course, we Bitterwalleteers can be a little cynical at times, and we note in the small print of the FAQs that the comparisons are prepared by none other than Moneysupermarket.com, the same chaps who bought Mr Lewis’s website for a considerable wodge of dosh. Funny then that Lewis describes the site as requiring a “massive” technological investment.We also note that the site admits that “we often get paid when users switch via us.”
Martin also said that he aims to make the site so successful that it can engage in collective switching, although quite how he plans to avoid the pitfalls suffered by the Big Switch is as-yet unclear. Unless he recruits the entire country, presumably British Gas’ argument that they wouldn’t favour new customers over existing ones still stands.
But does it matter? If the service genuinely saves people money, and makes it easier for people to know whether they are on the best tariff do we care that it smells a little like an old boys’ club? Presumably there would be nothing to stop you from signing up for the switch alert only to complete the switch via a cashback site like TopCashback or Quidco and get the referral bonus yourself.
Mind you, if you are one of the reported 55% of householders have not switched in the last three years, perhaps you should be left to fend for yourself?