What’s in this guide?
Collective purchase energy deals are one of the lesser known strategies that customers can benefit from, which could save you £100s a year while giving you access to amazing deals that won’t be on offer to everyone else.
There are many pros and potential cons to this scheme, but if you are willing to put in the time you and your community could be making some serious savings.
Interested? Let’s take a closer look.
What is collective energy switching?
This means, in short, that a group of people or a community band together and energy companies auction for your business.
Usually, consumers are brought together by a third party such as a price comparison website, a newspaper or even a local council.
Once the right amount of people have signed up, which is predetermined, the scheme will close, and then a ‘reverse auction’ will take place to find the best deals for that community.
The reason why the plan is decided after registration is to ensure that the group’s needs are assessed.
Then, the right plan can be chosen according to the energy needs of the majority of the group.
There is often a ‘switching window’ for you to switch to the winning tariff, but if you wait too long that will close, and you could potentially miss out on the deal.
It’s important to note that just because the best energy tariff is chosen, it isn’t mandatory to switch. It’s entirely up to you.
How can I benefit?
Did you know that in 2015, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said that most customers are overpaying for their energy?
That’s an incredible amount of money that could have been saved, so there’s a lot of opportunities for customers to make some significant savings on their energy.
While you can use comparison websites like the EnergySeek tool at the top of the page to find some of the best deals for your household, these collective schemes could give you access to even better deals.
The main benefit of taking part in a collective switch is that you will be a part of a group that has similar needs and like-minded individuals.
This means that the whole group’s needs can be reached with one common plan.
How do I become a part of a community?
Does this sound like something that you’d like to be involved in?
Although the interest for collective switches had dwindled in the past, recently there has been an increased amount of people that are looking at collective switching schemes.
So who offers them now?
One of the companies that offer a collective switching scheme is iChooser, which is an independent agency that matches like-minded individuals to offer competitive prices for consumers and save millions of pounds.
✔ Group purchases in 4 countries
✔ Organised more than 150 auctions
✔ In total, customers have saved £408 million
✔ No obligation to switch
✔ Independent of energy suppliers
✔ Hassle-free switching
Sounds great, right? But there are some important questions to ask the third party in charge of the switch.
- Is this service going to be free?
- How long will it take?
- What are the time limits for signing up and switching window?
- Will I have to pay an early exit fee?
- Do you receive a commission if I switch?
- Will my information be safe?
- Will I have payment method options?
Collective Energy Switching Pros
✔ Have access to deals you may not have accessed alone
✔ Some third parties do not charge you for the service
✔ The larger the community, the better deals you will have
Collective Energy Switching Cons
✗ Collective switches are only available for a limited amount of time
✗ You’ll need to be part of a large group for the best deals
✗ To find out about collective energy switching deals, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled
Can I switch suppliers today?
If you don’t think that collective switching is for you or you’d like to wait before making that decision, you can still make some significant savings by using the EnergySeek comparison tool.
This will allow you to see many of the deals available for you right now, plus with the EnergySeek guides, you can compare companies by customer service and price.
Is switching complicated?
Years ago, switching may have been complicated and stressful.
However, now your new supplier will take care of everything for you including speaking to your current supplier and exchanging of documentation.
How long does it take to switch?
Energy suppliers have a two week cooling off period where you can cancel your switch without a fee. Energy companies do not do anything during that period.
In total, it might take about a month and a half to switch.
Energy suppliers are supposed to keep you updated on your switch via telephone, email or through the post.
Aren’t all energy suppliers the same?
Suppliers are almost identical in specific ways as they receive their energy generally from the same place, with a few green energy exceptions where companies invest in renewable energy generators.
But the cost isn’t the only factor involved in deciding which energy supplier is right for you.
Customers say they are happy to pay a bit more to stay with a helpful and considerate supplier, with excellent customer support.
Can my tariff come with me when I move?
Some suppliers will allow you to take your cheap tariff with you when you move, but you need to get in contact with your supplier first and check.
Also look at the rates in your new area as energy is charged differently depending on your location.
Once I switch, will my supplier tell me if prices rise?
Unfortunately, prices are predicted to rise between 30% and 40% in the next five years.
Your energy supplier has to warn you about these price increases with a minimum of 30 days notice.