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Labrador review June 2020: Auto-switching energy service

Labrador is a free energy switching system, which works with smart meters.

There are a few UK companies which pledge to automatically switch customers to the best energy deal without them lifting a finger, but Labrador has a few unique selling points.

First off, it’s free to use. Most of its competitors charge a fee, albeit only when they have saved you more by switching you.

Perhaps more excitingly, it claims to specialise in working with households that use smart meters. The company has managed to overcome the problem of smart meters no longer working after a supplier switch.

It will compare tariffs from 45 providers, which is a lot, although its competitors claim to look at the whole market.

How do I sign up?

Navigate to the Labrador website and click “Start Saving Now”. You’ll be asked for a few personal details, including your sort code and account number, in order to create an account.

From there, Labrador will show you how much money you could save by switching.

How does Labrador work?

Labrador will automatically switch you whenever it finds a deal that will save you more than £80 per year. It will take into account any exit fees you face.

Customers save an average of £300 after being switched 1-3 times per year, although Labrador gives you plenty of options to tailor its service.

You can choose to cancel an automated switch at any time within 14 days of being notified about it. You can toggle Labrador’s searches so it only considers certain suppliers. You can even opt into an Alerts Only service, so that Labrador only recommends deals instead of automatically switching you.

How does Labrador work with smart meters?

Smart meters will be compulsory in every UK home by 2020, but at the moment, they can stop working once you switch away from the company that supplied it.

Thankfully, Labrador has found a way to solve this problem.

It installs a device that plugs into your broadband router and communicates wirelessly with your smarter readers to take direct readings. As well as working with any energy supplier, it allows Labrador to make more accurate readings.

You can still use Labrador if you don’t have a smart meter. There’s every chance that the company will recommend a switch to a company that will allow you to install one.

How does Labrador make money?

Suppliers pay Labrador a commission whenever they switch you. However, the company insists this won’t affect which companies it switches you to.

Are there alternatives?

  • 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.
  • Look After My Bills is a free service that will automatically switch you, but only when your current deal is coming to an end. You’ll receive £20 for every friend your 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.

How do I contact Labrador?

You can contact Labrador via telephone (0800 060 8790), email (contact@thelabrador.co.uk) or the live chat function on its website.

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