Who will be my new energy provider?

This depends who you chose. When you go through the switching pages you are presented with a whole of market comparison and you can pick any deal you like.

If chose our exclusive deals, they are from Places for People Energy and, for the clean deal, LoCO2 Energy.

Places for People Energy are a new entrant to the UK energy market. They don’t just supply energy. They also manage over 140,000 homes, run 113 leisure centres and support hundreds of thousands of people across the UK.

They have no shareholders, so instead they invest any money they make into a range of social causes.

LoCO2 Energy was founded in 2009 as an independent, British renewable energy supplier.

Their sister company TLS Hydropower has built 10 hydropower stations across the UK.
LoCO2 Energy sources some of its power from TLS Hydro stations and the group is committed to continued investment in renewable energy. LoCO2 also purchases the power of over 200 independent generators across the United Kingdom; with sites ranging in size from small 50kw Solar sites to sizable 2MW Wind Farms and Anaerobic Digestion plants.

Why were the energy companies chosen?

The Big Deal negotiated with the energy companies to decide the winning suppliers. Every energy company was invited to submit a bid, and many companies submitted their best price for the clean and non-clean deals.

Once the bids were in, Big Deal scored them on price, as well as customer service and brand values. The companies that scored highest were chosen as the winners.

 

How does the switch work?
  1. We all registered our interest in switching
  2. Our partner, the Big Deal – experts who campaign against rip-off energy companies – negotiated to get the cheapest deal possible.
  3. The cheapest deals were picked – so now, you can compare it with your existing tariff and decide whether to switch. You can see this here: https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/665
  4. There’ll be an easy and short form to fill out, and then the Big Deal will do the rest. You can see the deal before you switch.
Who are the Big 6?

People talk about the “Big Six” to refer to the biggest energy providers in the UK. They are

  • British Gas
  • Npower
  • S SE
  • Scottish Power
  • E.On
  • EDF

The Big 6 overcharge on energy – and don’t pass on savings to their customers. They make huge profits, and even though gas prices have dropped globally, they’re still keeping most of the savings for themselves.

They’ve been investigated for tax dodging in the past and have notoriously poor customer service.

You can read more on this here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33420734 and here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/join-6million-people-who-saved-7416512

 

What makes this switch different from the other switches on the market?

Other switches are negotiated directly with the energy company – 38 Degrees won’t have any direct contact with the energy company people are switching to. The deal is negotiated by our expert switching partners, called The Big Deal.

Our deal is negotiated using collective people-power – by getting more people involved, we can get the best possible deal.

Here’s the main difference between deals like the one companies like E.ON have made with organisations like AgeUK recently, and the collective 38 Degrees switch:

Eon – style direct switch

  • Bosses from Eon and AgeUK agree a deal with each other.
  • AgeUK gets as many people as possible to switch over to Eon

38 Degrees people-powered switching

  • Any members who’re interested in switching throw their hats in the ring via an online survey or petition
  • Our partner, the Big Deal – energy experts who campaign against the Big Six rip-off culture – use the thousands of us interested in switching to negotiate the best deal with energy companies that meet the criteria we set together
  • 38 Degrees members use an accredited website to compare the deal with their existing tariff and check that it will actually save them money, and what else is on the market, before deciding to switch

 

Who are the Big Deal?

The Big Deal is a company 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.

Last year it 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.

Henry de Zoete and Will Hodson are the co founders of The Big Deal. Henry has recently been invited to join the 38 Degrees board, in part because of his consumer campaigning expertise. The decision to partner with The Big Deal was taken prior to Henry joining the board. Henry volunteered to absent himself from all discussions or decisions relating to 38 Degrees’ partnership with The Big Deal, in accordance with our Conflict of Interest policy.

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 Henry, and The Big Deal, are independent of all political parties.

The Big Deal’s co-founder, Will Hodson, used to work for Ethical Consumer, whom 38 Degrees partnered with previously for our campaign against the “Olympic Tax Dodge”.

Will 38 Degrees make money when I switch?

For everyone who switches, 38 Degrees will get £12.50. We will use this money to fund campaigns chosen by 38 Degrees members.

The £12.50 will come from the successful energy company, via The Big Deal who are dealing directly with the energy companies and will be processing the money.

38 Degrees is not-for-profit, and fiercely independent. Taking this money won’t endanger that. There will be no “strings” attached to this money. We will be free to spend it on whatever campaigns 38 Degrees members choose – which could include challenging energy companies if 38 Degrees members vote that a priority!

This is a new source of money for 38 Degrees. It won’t replace the main way we’re funded – by lots of small donations from 38 Degrees members.

Will the Big Deal make money out of the Big Switch?

The Big Deal takes a commission of £40 per dual fuel switcher. which is 1/3 less than industry standards. They have always been fully transparent about cutting commission to create the best price possible.

For each customer who switches, the energy company will hand over £40 commission. £15 of this will go on costs paid to third party providers including an OFGEM accredited switching support team and price comparison site. The remaining £25 will be split between The Big Deal and 38 Degrees. The Big Deal’s share will be ploughed back into their business.

 

I’m ready to switch

Click the button to take part now:

 

Can I join the deal after it's been struck?

Yes. If you are a 38 Degrees member the deal will be available even if you didn’t register your interest.

When does the deal close and will you be doing another?

The deal closes on 11th March 2016. There may be another switch in the future – but there’s no guarantee.

How many people can switch?

Hopefully tens of thousands of us will all switch at once – there’s no cap right now. So it might be that one company takes 5000 of us, another company takes another 5000, until all of us are switched! This will mean we can all switch while still getting good customer service, too.

When will I know who the energy provider is and how much it will cost?Is this deal cheaper than my current Big 6 Deal?

During the process of taking the deal, you’ll be able to compare it to everything else in the market. That way you can tell if for your usage levels and your region of the country it is cheaper for you. If it isn’t, it will be clearly be shown and you can take another deal if you’d rather.

38 Degrees members came together before this switch was launched to decide what we wanted to prioritise. We decided to prioritise getting the best deal based on price. So the deals we’ll negotiate this time will be the cheapest we could get on average.

You can find out how much the deal costs here: https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/665

 

I’m ready to switch

Click the button to take part now:

 

What information do I need to know to switch, and where can I find it? Will I need to have my most recent bill or read my meter?

When comparing tariffs you only need to know your current supplier, tariff and a really basic idea of your usage (whether you are low, medium or high). Most of the information you need will be on your bill.

You will only have to read your meter when your new supplier asks for your opening readings. The new supplier will then send those to your old supplier to calculate your final bill.

Once I sign up, when will I be changed over?

Once you’ve completed the switch, it usually takes 4 weeks for the change over to take place, however sometimes it can take up to 6 weeks.

Can I take the deal with me if I move home?

This will be decided based on which energy provider offers the best deal – so please check back. In the meantime, please do register your interest now, so that the best deal possible can be negotiated.

Will the rates stay the same for the whole year?

The Places for People Energy tariff is fixed until 30th September 2017 and the clean LoCO2 Energy tariff is fixed for one-year from the day they start supplying you with energy.
Always remember that in a fixed deal it is not the amount you pay per month that is fixed, but the price per kWh (kilowatt hour) of gas and electricity. So if you use more or less energy expect to pay more or less.

Is this deal available on Economy 7 and Economy 10?

Both the Places for People Energy deal and the clean LoCO2 Energy deal  are available for Economy 7 customers (those who pay different amounts for electricity during the day and night).

However, neither deal is available for Economy 10 customers. Economy 10 is very rare meter type, most suppliers cannot support it and no comparison website offers comparisons for it. Economy 10 customers will have to call up suppliers individually if they want to change their energy supplier.
A list of suppliers that offer Economy 10 tairffs can be found here: http://economy10.com/2015/03/22/cheapest-economy-10-prices-updated-mar-2015/

Do I need to pay by Direct Debit?

Yes, unfortunately this deal will only be available for people who pay by direct debit. Paying by direct debit is often the cheapest way to pay for your energy and it often costs significantly more to pay otherwise.

Is the deal available for pre-payment/key meters?

Unfortunately, we were unable to negotiate an exclusive deal for pre-payment meter customers, however you can still save money.

The Big Deal’s website shows you the whole of market, so you can still switch your energy to cheaper prepayment meter tariff. Just indicate you’re on a prepayment meter during the switch.

I have a feed-in-tariff (FiT) - can I get the deal?

Yes. Your feed-in tariff payer and your energy supplier are separate. When you switch energy firm, the firm that pays you for generating electricity doesn’t automatically switch and will stay with your current company

Unfortunately, neither Places for People Energy nor LoCO2 Energy support FiT payments, but your FiT should be able to remain with your current company.

Is this for electricity or dual fuel only?

Both deals are available for electricity only and dual fuel customers. They are not available for gas only customers.

Can I access the Warm Home Discount or Green Deal, as part of this?

Unfortunately, neither Places for People Energy nor LoCO2 Energy support the Warm Home Discount or the Green Deal.

Do I have to let my current energy company know that I’m switching?

No you don’t have to let them know anything at all – the new supplier will do all the work for you. They’ll let your old supplier know, and they’ll organise transferring your account over.

How long will I be locked into this deal and what if I need to cancel early?

If you take the Places for People Energy tariff you will be locked in until the 30th September 2017.

The clean LoCO2 Energy tariff is fixed for a year from the day they start supplying you.
You can cancel you switch in the first 14 days after you switch without penalty. After that there is an exit fee to leave the Places of People Energy tariff of £30 per fuel (£60 for a dual fuel customer). There is no exit penalty for leaving the LoCO2 tariff early.  .

Does it matter where I live in the UK?

Both deals are available in all of Scotland, Wales and England.

The cost of the deal does depend on the region of the country you live in. So the Big Deal will provide a whole of market comparison before you decide whether to switch which tells you exactly how much you will personally save.
The deal will not be available in Northern Ireland as they have a different meter system.

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 own a small business, will I be able to switch to this deal?

Unfortunately this switch is only for domestic customers. So if you have a business meter you will not be able to take this deal.  

 

I’m ready to switch

Click the button to take part now:

 

I rent my home - can I still switch my energy provider?

Yes, if you pay the bill directly then you can always switch your energy supplier.

I'm worried that my power will run out during the change-over - can that happen?

There will be no interruption to your electricity or gas supply. 38 Degrees has been involved in collective switching before and has had a really great experience overall – our partners at The Big Deal are experts in this and are really committed to making this a smooth process.

I am on a fixed-term contract with another supplier. Can I switch?

Yes – you can always leave your contract.

But always check to see if you are going to incur any exit fees by leaving early. Remember a supplier cannot charge exit fees in the last 49 days of a contract.

If you’re within 49 days of the end of your fixed-term contract you can switch WITHOUT having to pay any exit fees.

If before then, you may incur exit fees (usually about £30 per fuel) which you should check with your supplier.

 It may still be worth switching given how cheap our deal is.

I only recently switched – can I still take your deal?

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.

My current tariff is about to end. Can I still switch?

Yes. Once your current plan ends, you will be moved onto a standard tariff which will have no exit fees.

 You can also exit any fixed term contract up to 49 days before it ends without incurring an exit fee.

What happens when my deal runs out?

If the Big Deal and 38 Degrees deal is a fixed term contract we will come back to you at the end of your deal to advise you what to do next.
If the deal is variable rate then we will monitor the price and advise you what to do if it goes up.

Do I need a smart meter to switch?

No, you do not need to have a smart meter to switch.

Can I switch with a smart meter?

Yes, you can switch if you have a smart meter, however you may lose some “smart” functionality if you switch.
You need to indicate you have a smart meter during the switching process.

I'm already not with the Big 6 - what can I do?

You can switch to this deal, if it works out better for you.

Or, if you’d rather not, why not share your experience of switching away from the Big 6 with other 38 Degrees members? You can do this on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange, on the blog: https://home.38degrees.org.uk/news, or why not tweeet @38_Degrees?

I have a question that hasn't been answered here.

Please do email our expert switching partners, the Big Deal, at: support@thebigdeal.com, or call them on 020 3463 0820