HomeMoneyManaging your Money

Can a collective energy switch save you money on your bills?


1st Jan 2015 Managing your Money

Can a collective energy switch save you money on your bills?

Can group buying really shake up the energy suppliers? British households are harnessing group-buying power and suppliers are listening.

British homes are mostly supplied by huge national companies, so it’s no surprise to find individuals feeling confused when faced with high energy bills despite ‘price cuts’ in the news.

There’s a solution sweeping the UK: thousands of households are joining forces to combine their buying power resulting in great deals for all involved. Too good to be true? It really isn’t! Find out what is driving this energy revolution.


How does it work?

To start with you need a group of like-minded individuals. As simple as this sounds, organising these groups can prove to be difficult. Instead, people are turning to organisations including local authorities, and even ourselves at Reader’s Digest, who are putting themselves forward as ‘community leaders’.

Community leaders do all the legwork. They start by gathering groups of people with a shared interest in getting a better deal on household electricity and gas. The community leaders then engage with group buying experts, such as iChoosr, who are in a position to negotiate with the suppliers on behalf of the group.

iChoosr has already helped to administer schemes which have now seen over 50,000 UK households switch energy suppliers, saving on average between £200-£300 per year.


Is group buying a new phenomenon?

No, but it is a growing phenomenon. George Frost, UK Country Manager at iChoosr explains, “We have been helping hundreds of thousands of households in Holland and Belgium save millions on their energy bills since 2008. Group buying, otherwise known as collective switching, is more engrained in the culture of these countries.” And things are really starting to shift in the UK too.

The Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) observed how collective switching was helping so many households on the continent and made funding available for councils to introduce schemes in the UK.


Why aren’t more people doing this?

Many are not aware that their supplier will not keep them at the best rates. These are usually kept for new customers—sound familiar? Switching providers may keep the bills down and need not be time-consuming. Despite this, most people end up not switching and quite literally burning money.    


Is collective switching difficult to understand?

No. A collective switching scheme will give you one offer and explain how much you could save by switching. And, with the right scheme, it will oversee your switch. You choose to accept or not. Quite simple.


How much difference can one person make?

By signing up to a scheme you are helping the group negotiate a better rate even if you choose to continue paying more rather than switching. A free service which could save you hundreds of pounds. It is not too good to be true.