A new way to save £221 on your energy bills

Sam Gilbert By Sam Gilbert

How collective buying power could save you £221 on your energy bills

Most people know that switching gas or electricity supplier is a good way to save money. But finding the best deals can be time-consuming - and (let's face it) pretty boring.

The good news is there's a smart new way of finding a deal. It's called "Collective Energy Switching", and we're delighted to make it available to Bought By Many members.

How does collective energy switching work?

  1. You register online and provide some details about your energy use. Tip: It's best to have your latest energy bill handy when you register
  2. Our partners, iChoosr, run an auction with the energy companies, using the collective buying power to get the best deal possible for members
  3. You receive a personalised offer from the supplier with the best price by email
  4. If you accept the offer, the switch to your new supplier happens automatically (It's completely up to you whether or not you choose to accept)

The next auction is happening in early February, so make sure you register by 2nd February to avoid missing out. Personalised offers will be received within 10 days of the auction closing.

How much will I save by switching energy suppliers?

That depends on the details of your energy usage, and on how many people join the collective switch. But to give you an idea, the last time there was an auction in November 2014, people who switched saved an average of £221.

Meanwhile, research by Moneysavinexpert in January 2015 showed that the average household currently with one of the "Big 6" energy suppliers could save up to £247 by switching both energy and gas to the cheapest supplier.

What types of energy can I switch this way?

You can switch your gas, electricity, or both.

If you have Economy 7, that's fine too.

Unfortunately, Economy 10 (also known as Heatwise) plans and heating oil suppliers can't be switched using the service.

Is there a charge for this service?

No, the service is completely free.

Who are iChoosr and why is Bought By Many working with them?

iChoosr were founded in 2008 in the Netherlands and Belgium, and have been running collective switching auctions for consumers since then. In 2012, the Department of Energy and Climate Change asked iChoosr to help UK councils in the organize collective switching for council tax payers, and they now work with more than 150 Local Authorities. So far, iChoosr have helped 50,000 UK consumers switch energy suppliers, saving them a total of £8 million.

On a more personal note, we met iChoosr founders Cas and Mikael in Amsterdam in November 2014, and quickly discovered that our two companies shared the same values and desire to change our industries to make things better for consumers.

What do people pay for gas and electricity on average?

The average cost of gas and electricity from one of the "Big 6" energy suppliers is £1,184 per year.

Who are the Big 6 Energy Suppliers?

British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, nPower, Scottish Power, and SSE.

Can't you use a price comparison site to find the best deal on gas and electricity?

Yes, you can. There's no doubt that energy comparison on general comparison sites like Go Compareand Confused.com, or specialist comparison sites like Energy Helpline, has made it much easier for people to compare the tarrifs of different energy suppliers.

But figuring out which supplier to choose from the shortlist an energy comparison site gives you can still be a challenge. We think collective switching is a simpler, low-hassle alternative.

Which energy companies have the cheapest prices?

At the time of writing, Extra Energy, Co Op Energy, and EDF have the cheapest prices for direct debit payment of both electricity and gas (also known as "dual fuel").

Sources: iChoosr, Moneysavingexpert