What you need to know about: Switchd

Written by Lori Campbell on 9th Jul 2020

With the coronavirus crisis putting the squeeze on personal finances, it’s more important than ever to keep your outgoings in check. With an estimated 11 million Brits paying too much for their energy, this is the obvious place to start – especially as lockdown has led to an increase in power use at home for most people.
An auto-switching service, which automatically swaps you to a new provider if it finds a cheaper deal, makes a lot of sense as it can save you time as well as money. However, with an increasing number of providers offering this service, it can be difficult to know which one to choose – especially when they all offer the same thing on the face of it. 
In response to demand for more guidance on how to choose between different products, Good With Money has introduced ‘need to know’ product and provider reviews.
Here we look at Switchd – an auto-switching service that claims to save the average customer £400 by constantly searching for, and switching you to, the cheapest energy deal. 

The deal

Switchd takes the hassle out of looking for a cheaper energy deal. It will check up to 26,000 tariffs (depending on which service you choose) every day to see if there’s a better deal available for you. If there is, it will complete the switch without you having to do anything. Switchd says it saves the average customer on one of its paid-for services £400.

Switchd will send you an email if it plans to switch your supplier. You aren’t obliged to change though, and can prevent this happening by replying within 14 days. By default you won’t be switched again for six months, but you can change your preferences to make this a shorter or longer interval. You can also set the minimum amount of savings required to trigger a switch. Exit fees will always be considered when measuring savings.

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User-friendliness

It takes just a few minutes minutes to sign up to Switchd and then you’ll never need to worry about comparing energy providers again – so it definitely scores highly on user-friendliness.

You start by entering your postcode and email address on the Switchd home page. You’ll be asked if you want to switch electricity, or both gas and electricity. You’ll then need to enter some details about your current energy tariff as well as how much you spend on energy. Switchd will estimate this for you, if needed, although it’s always best to give exact figures if you can.

From there, Switchd will run the numbers and tell you how much you could save. If you’re happy with this, enter a few personal details to complete registration, and Switchd will take care of the switch.

 

Is it safe?

Switchd is safe to use, as your payments will still go directly to the energy supplier. It’s worth noting that Switchd doesn’t screen out companies with poor customer service or a less-than-perfect track record. Having said that, it does score consistently highly on customer satisfaction itself.


Top tips for reducing your energy costs in lockdown, from Switchd’s Morgan Young


Sustainable option

You can opt for Switchd to only search green tariffs. It will then select the cheapest green energy tariff on the market for you – and keep you on the cheapest one for good by auto-switching you each time a new deal comes up.

Unique selling points

  • Big savings. Switchd says it will save the average customer £400 – one of highest out there.
  • Green energy option. Choose to compare only renewable energy providers.
  • Whole market. For customers on a monthly paid-for plan (see below), it will search the entire energy market, not only those that pay commission. It says this service saves an average of £108 more than the free plan.

The plus points

  • Free option. Save on your energy bills hassle-free and without paying a penny.
  • Bigger savings. Opportunity to make further savings with paid-for plans that search the whole energy market, not just those that pay commission.
  • Frequent switching. Choose how often you want to be switched, should a cheaper deal come up. You don’t have to wait until your current deal comes to an end as Switchd will take exit fees into account when it calculates savings.
  • You can change your mind. You have a 14 day cooling off period if you don’t like the provider you’re switched to.
  • No need to wait. You can sign up even if your current deal hasn’t ended.

 

Any drawbacks?

  • No screening. Unlike competitor Look After My Bills, Switchd doesn’t filter out companies that may have a bad track record or poor customer service.

 

Cost of use

Switchd has four pricing levels. However, you won’t pay a penny until you’ve saved at least £50.

  • Free. Switchd won’t search the whole market for the best deal. Instead, it will only search the energy providers that pay it a commission. It argues that this is how most free price comparison websites work. This is the same model that is operated by most (if not all) other free auto-switching services. Switchd says that customers on this tariff still save around £300 a year.
  • Lite (£1.99 per month). With the cheapest paid service, Switchd will swap you to the best deal on the entire market, whether it pays commission or not.
  • Standard (£3.49 per month). With this tariff, you’ll gain access to telephone customer support.
  • Premium (£4.99 per month). On the top tariff, you’ll also get WhatsApp support and a dedicated customer support agent.

All paid-for plans are said to save customers upwards of £400. You’ll need to decide if for you, it’s worth paying a monthly fee for potentially higher savings.

How do these costs compare to competitors?

Look After My Bills works in much the same way as the free plan provided by Switchd. Both services will compare the best deals from a reduced panel of suppliers (those that will pay a commission fee).

The major difference is that Look After My Bills will only search for a deal when your current deal is about to end, while Switchd will search every day and take any exit fees into consideration.

Switchd offers the choice of three paid-for services that give access to the full market of energy suppliers, meaning you may save more over time (so long as you are happy to pay a monthly fee).

 

Other options

Similar auto-switching services worth considering are:


Top 6 truly green energy providers for 2020


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