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FAQs

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How does Look After My Bills work?

What is Look After My Bills and how does it work?

Look After My Bills is a new service created by the Big Deal. 38 Degrees have partnered with them in the past when organising people-powered energy switches. [See ‘Who are the Big Deal’ for more information]

Look After My Bills aims to remove all the hassle from switching your energy by doing it all for you.

It works like this:

  1. You sign up to Look After My Bills and provide your energy details
  2. Look After My Bills looks at the market and switches you automatically to a great energy deal with a company 38 Degrees has approved
  3. Look After My Bills keeps checking the market and switches you again when your deal is ending
  4. You don’t have to worry about switching to avoid ending up on a more expensive deal – it’s done for you.
What energy company will I be switched to?

38 Degrees works with the Big Deal to make sure that the energy companies you can get switched to match the standards that thousands of people like you have said are important: this includes great customer service and offering clean renewable energy deals. This also means that companies who have a history of charging excessive prices, such as the Big Six, or companies with a history of tax dodging are not included in the deals you can be offered.

Who can use Look After My Bills?

Look After My Bills is for you if:

  • You are domestic energy customer (not a business).
  • You are a dual fuel customer (have both gas and electricity) or have just electricity.
  • You have a standard electricity meter or an economy 7 electricity meter.
  • You have access to the internet and are happy to manage your energy account online, instead of getting bills in the post.
  • You’re happy to pay your bill by monthly Direct Debit.
Will Look After My Bills always get me the cheapest deal?

Look After My Bills’ aim is to keep you on a fair deal forever.

That may not mean the very cheapest – instead, you’ll only be switched to suppliers who value their customers and are committed to improving their customer service.

The service will always be free to you. Look After My Bills is funded through commission with suppliers (see “Does anyone make money when I switch” for more information)

I only recently switched my energy provider - can I still sign up?

Yes – if you switched less than 14 days ago, then you are within the “cooling-off” period and you can switch without incurring exit fees. You will have to cancel your previous switch first, though!

If it has been longer than that, then you may well incur exit fees if you’re on a fixed-term tariff (usually about £30 per fuel) which you should check with your supplier.

If you want to sign up, but want to see out your current contract first that’s fine, just make sure you select your current tariff and put in your end date to ensure that you’re not switched until your current contract is ending.

For more info see: How do you know when my deal ends?

My current tariff is about to end - can I sign up?

Yes. Once your current plan ends, you will most likely be moved onto a standard tariff which you can immediately terminate as it will have no exit fees. In fact, you can terminate it at no cost – no exit fees – anytime 49 days before it ends.

If your tariff end date is longer than 49 days away then make sure you select your current tariff and put in your end date to ensure you’re not switched until your current contract is ending.

For more info see: How do you know when my deal ends?

How do you know when my deal ends?

Unfortunately, at the moment the Big Deal don’t know this information, so you have to tell them. When you sign up you’ll be able to select your current tariff and then you’ll be enter your contract end date.

N.B. For some tariffs, the end date will already be clear, for example if the tariff is named “April 2018” then the Big Deal will know that that deal comes to an end April 2018. So sometimes you may choose a tariff and not be asked for the tariff end date.

But if you know your contract hasn’t ended yet make sure you tell them your tariff, otherwise they may switch you earlier.

Why can’t I choose the company I switch to?

Look After My Bills is a new service where the Big Deal look for deals on your behalf and switch you to new deals automatically. It aims to take away the hassle of switching suppliers by doing the hard work for you.

By giving the Big Deal the ability to do this for you, it’s less hassle for you – and when you sign up you’ll have the option of filtering what sort of deal you want, whether that’s a deal with 100% renewable electricity or one that includes the Warm Home Discount. Look After My Bills will find a supplier that can meet your needs and delivers a great service.

What if I don’t want to switch right now, but I want the option in future?

That’s absolutely fine, when you sign up you’ll have the option to select your tariff and then input your tariff end date. If you do this The Big Deal will only look to switch you to a new deal when you current deal comes to an end.

What if I don’t know when my deal ends?

You’ll always be able to find your contract end date on a recent bill, so double check there if you’re not sure when your deal ends.

Otherwise, the Big Deal will only ever look to switch you if you could save more than £50 if you’re in contract or not. This way if your current deal is very competitive you still wouldn’t be switched.

What if I don’t have exit fees but I’m on a contract - will you switch me?

If you can save more than £50 by switching away from your current contract then Look After My Bills will try to switch you. They want to make sure you’re always getting a good deal.

What if the deal you switch me to doesn’t save me money?

Look After My Bills runs comparisons based on the information you tell them, so based on that if they find that you will either save less than £50 or even pay more they wouldn’t switch you.

If after they send you a deal you think it may cost you more, just contact Look After My Bills and they’ll be happy to look at it with you.

Does Look After My Bills switch me straight away or do I have to approve the deal?

Look After My Bills operates on an opt-out basis, so as soon as they find you a new deal they’ll automatically move you to it. This locks in the price to ensure you’re guaranteed the best deal.

As soon as you’re switched they’ll send you an email telling you all the details about the deal and you’ll then have 14 days to cancel if you want to. If you’re happy you don’t have to do anything.

Why do I have to enter my bank details?

Look After My Bills needs your bank details so that they can set up a Direct Debit with your new supplier.

The Look After My Bills service is completely free and you will never be charged by the Big Deal or 38 Degrees.

What if I want to cancel my account with Look After My Bills?

To cancel the Look After My Bills service please email support@lookaftermybills.com with the subject line CANCELLATION – [Your Name]. Please include your postcode in the email body as this will make it easier to locate your account.


NB. Cancelling Look After My Bills will not cancel your energy deal. If Look After My Bills has moved you to a new energy deal you will remain on that deal if you cancel Look After My Bills.

How do I cancel my Look After My Bills switch?

When you receive all the details about your new supplier you will have a 14 day cooling off period with them to cancel the switch. Just give them a ring and ask them to cancel. You must inform Look After My Bills if you do this. If you’re unable to cancel the switch yourself you can contact Look After My Bills and they’ll do it for you.

Look After My Bills are then happy to look again to try and find you an alternative deal if you want to.

Who do I contact if I need help?

If something happens with your switch you just need to contact Look After My Bills and they’ll look into it. You can email support@lookaftermybills.com or call 020 3950 1166 and the team will be able to help you.

If something happens with your energy or your billing you need to contact your current supplier. Their details should be in the emails Look After My Bills has sent you or in the emails they’ve sent you themselves. If you’re unsure who your supplier is, then get in touch with Look After My Bills and they’ll be able to help.

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Who are the Big Deal? And why are you doing this?

Who are the Big Deal and what’s their relationship to 38 Degrees?

38 Degrees members are working with the Big Deal to negotiate this switch, to make sure 38 Degrees remains completely independent. There are always risks involved in being part of a switch as a people-powered organisation, as it involves making deals (albeit people-powered deals) with a company. Working with The Big Deal means 38 Degrees doesn’t risk our independence by entering into a direct financial relationship with an energy company.

The Big Deal is a for-profit business that specialises in collective energy switching. It runs regular campaigns highlighting the wrongs of the energy industry and fighting for consumer rights. Big Deal campaigns have demanded fair prices from suppliers, transparency from comparison sites and negotiated money-saving deals.

They revealed how the multi million pound profit making price comparison companies like uSwitch and Compare the Market hid the cheapest deals from consumers because they didn’t get a kickback from energy companies. The Big Deal’s research led to an investigation by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee of MPs and to the energy regulator Ofgem cracking down on these websites.

38 Degrees evaluated a few different potential partners for the energy switch before selecting The Big Deal. Our top priority was to identify an ethical and effective business who could help 38 Degrees members make collective consumer decisions. We decided to work with The Big Deal because it combines industry expertise with a commitment to people-power and consumer rights.

The Big Deal was co-founded by Henry de Zoete and Will Hodson.

Will Hodson used to work for Ethical Consumer, whom 38 Degrees partnered with previously for our campaign against the “Olympic Tax Dodge”.

Henry de Zoete sat on the 38 Degrees board from 2015 – July 2018. He became a board member before 38 Degrees started doing switches with the Big Deal, and brought expertise on people powered switching and consumer campaigning. Henry left the 38 Degrees board after his 3-year term came to an end to focus on his family and The Big Deal, as it’s become increasingly successful.

While Henry was on the board, 38 Degrees maintained strong policies to avoid this influencing any decisions about the future of the partnership with the Big Deal – including full disclosure of all board members’ interests and strong conflict of interest rules. These rules mean that if the board ever discussed the Big Deal partnership, Henry had to leave the room and didn’t have a vote.

Henry de Zoete previously worked in government as an advisor to the former Education Secretary Michael Gove. You can read more about Henry’s past career here. The Big Deal has been endorsed by figures across the political spectrum including Lib Dem leader Tim Farron MP and Angus MacNeil, Scottish National Party MP and chair of the Energy Select Committee. 38 Degrees is satisfied that The Big Deal, including Henry and Will, are independent of all political parties.

Does anyone make money off my switching?

It’s standard practice when a customer switches energy company for the organisation that’s prompted the switch to get paid commission. If 38 Degrees entered into a direct relationship with one energy company, this could be as high as £50 per switch. Working with the Big Deal means that this commission is shared, and 38 Degrees receives £18.75. The Big Deal makes around £18.75 after their costs. When surveyed, 38 Degrees members have said they’re happy for 38 Degrees to receive this money as it can be spent on campaigning and doesn’t come with any strings attached. But we still need to be careful we don’t get dependent on it.

Why is 38 Degrees doing this?

Over the past couple of years nearly 40,000 members have switched to cleaner, cheaper and more ethical companies through 38 Degrees’ energy switch campaigns. But these deals only last for a year, and then energy companies tend to increase the tariff people are on, so people end up paying more. To continue getting these members a great energy deal, the 38 Degrees staff team have been partnering with the Big Deal to continue finding great deals on a yearly basis.

As we’ve done more switches, the number of switch campaigns a year has increased. The Big Deal have been in parternship with us for each of these switches, and developed Look After My Bills as a way of automatically switching to a better deal once a contract ends. While running a switch every few months is a service the staff team are happy to provide, it does require a lot more resource – as well as a lot more hassle for the members who want to switch every year. This made Look After My Bills a great option!

Before partnering with the Big Deal to offer their Look After My Bills service, the 38 Degrees office team polled a sample of members and the majority were in favour of Look After My Bills. So 38 Degrees has partnered with the Big Deal to offer this service to members, with the caveat that 38 Degrees works with the Big Deal to make sure that the energy companies 38 Degrees members can get switched to match the standards that thousands of people like you have said are important: this includes great customer service and offering clean renewable energy deals. This also means that companies who have a history of charging excessive prices, such as the Big Six, or companies with a history of tax dodging are not included in the deals you can be offered.

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What about the energy companies? What do they offer?

Is there a green energy deal?

Yes! You’ll just have to select this option.

Can you give me the exact unit prices, etc?

Absolutely, if you’re free to switch when you sign up you’ll see the best deal Look After My Bills can find you before you put in any details about you and your address. It’ll look something like this:

If you then press “See details of supplier and tariff” you’ll be able to see the unit rates and standing charges.

As well as those details, when you’re sent details of your new supplier the unit rates and standing charges will also be in the confirmation of switch email.

What about prepayment meters and the Warm Home Discount?

38 Degrees is still working with the Big Deal to decide which suppliers 38 Degrees members can be switched to – so this section will be updated when that’s decided and we know the answer to this! But we’re aiming to have both prepayment meter options and Warm Home Discount options. This should happen by the end of March.

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What happens during the switch?

Do I have to contact my old supplier to tell them I’m leaving?

No, Look After My Bills does all this for you! Your new supplier will contact your old one and request to transfer the account. Your new supplier will also ask for an opening meter reading, they’ll send these to your old supplier so they can close your account and calculate your final bill.

All you need to do is pay your final bill from your old supplier, or even better they may owe you money!

Will an engineer visit my house to change the meter, cables, and other equipment?

No, no one will have to visit your house or change any equipment at all.

I’m worried that my power will run out during the changeover – can this happen?

No, there will be no interruption to your electricity or gas supply.

When will my first direct debit come out?

This depends on the energy provider – some will take your first Direct Debit on your supply start date, and monthly on your requested day thereafter. But each one is different – you can contact the energy supplier or Look After My Bills directly if you need to know this before deciding about switching.

Can I be double charged?

No, you will never be double charged for the energy you’ve used. Your new supplier will set a “go-live” date and ask for an opening meter reading on that date.

Your old supplier bills for energy used before that; the new one bills for energy used after.

I've gone through this help page and my question wasn't answered!

If you want to talk to someone or are having any issues with your switch then you can email the Big Deal on support@lookaftermybills.com, or call them on 020 3950 1166 and they’ll aim to get any problems resolved and answer any questions you have.

If you have a query for 38 Degrees you can reach us at emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk

Jump to a section:

How does it work?

Who are The Big Deal? And why are you doing this?

What about the energy companies?

What happens during the switch?

Query not answered?

If you want to talk to someone or are having any issues with your switch then you can email our switching experts the Big Deal on support@lookaftermybills.com, or call them on 020 3950 1166 and they’ll aim to get any problems resolved and answer any questions you have.