Energy auto-switching: Compare the best platforms

Do you hate the process of switching energy providers? These companies will do the heavy work for you.

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Energy auto-switching companies pledge to compare the energy market and automatically switch you to a better deal. By subscribing to one of these services, you’ll never need to compare energy companies again.

There are several companies claiming that they’ll do this for you, but they each differ quite significantly.

When choosing whether to use these companies, you’ll need to consider the following:

  • How much do these switching companies charge?
  • How many energy providers are compared?
  • How is the “best” energy company for you chosen?
  • How often could you potentially be switched?
  • What triggers a switch?

How do energy-switching companies work?

You can sign up to an energy-switching company using its website. You’ll be asked to fill in your personal information as well as details about your current energy provider. You can either estimate how much you currently pay or enter exact figures.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll be shown how much money you could save by switching. If you like the look of the deal, you can complete your subscription and the switch will begin.

Energy-switching companies pledge to save you a minimum amount of money before initiating a switch. If it is unable to save you this amount of money initially, it will continue to search the market for you and switch you when a better deal does appear. Some companies compare the market every day, while others wait longer.

If an energy company does switch you, it will also continue to monitor the market for better deals, although some will only do so after you’ve been with your new provider for a minimum amount of time. The company will alert you when it is initiating a switch, and you’ll have 14 days to cancel if you wish.

There are two main ways that energy-switching companies make money – by charging commission to the energy providers or a subscription fee to the customer. Some do both. Most companies will only charge a subscription fee once they’ve saved the customer a specific amount of money. When using a company that makes money from commission, there’s a chance they’ll prioritise commission-paying providers, even if these don’t offer the best deal.

Regardless of this, these companies all claim that their average customer saves a few hundred pounds every year without lifting a finger.

Who are the newcomers to the market?

  • Flipper searches the whole market every two weeks and will switch you whenever it can save you £50 after exit fees. Annual membership is £30, but this is only charged after your first switch.
  • Labrador is a free service that constantly looks for better deals from 45 providers. It will only switch you when it can save you £80 after exit fees. The company gives customers a device that ensures their smart meter keeps working after a switch.
  • Look After My Bills is a free service that will automatically switch you, but only when your current deal is coming to an end if it can save you at least £50. You’ll receive £20 for every friend you refer.
  • Switchd has a free and a paid service. With the free service it only compares suppliers that pay a commission. With the paid service, starting at £1.99 a month, it will search the whole market. By default, it searches for a new deal every six months. All tariffs are free until it saves you at least £50.

What are the pros and cons of auto energy-switching?

Pros

  • You’ll save hundreds of pounds per year on average.
  • You’ll never have to lift a finger to switch energy providers again.

Cons

  • Not all energy-switching companies compare the whole market
  • Some energy-switching companies prioritise commission-paying providers.
  • You may pay a subscription fee.
  • You may be switched to a company with poor customer service.
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