By Katrina ffiske
We know we should check our energy bills, but most of us can never find the time to do it and as a result, more than half of the UK are giving greedy energy suppliers more money than they need to.
Local company, Switchboo, is a completely free service that automates the process for consumers, so that every year you’re on the cheapest deal without you having to lift a finger or worry about it.
Switchboo was founded by Fordingbridge-based entrepreneur, Luke Chapman (pictured). One year his grandmother, Boo, asked him to help her with the bills and Luke was horrified to see her payments had gone up and up over the years.
Knowing he could save her money, he switched her energy supplier using a comparison site. This was a lightbulb moment for Luke: “I thought there must be an easier way to do this, rather than manually do it for her every year.”
He checked the energy market stats and couldn’t believe that more than half of the UK were in exactly the same position as his Gran.
Having worked with large energy companies, he learned about the energy industry and built, with his developers, a system that automatically compares the market for you and keeps you on the best deal year after year.
This all sounds too good to be true. I was worried that changing providers every year could incur a cost but that isn’t the case.
“We only switch you when your energy deal ends, which is typically after 12 months, so this means you’ll never pay any exit fees for leaving.”
Imagining me on the phone to suppliers for hours sorting things out, Luke said that everything is taken care of for you. “You don’t have to do a thing, our system communicates with your old and new supplier for you and sorts everything out automatically.”
I also thought about my elderly relative, who doesn’t use email, and if the service would still work for her. Luke said: “We like to do everything by email but we realise some people don’t have emails, so in that case we would ask for a relative’s email, or as a last resort, we’ll send some stuff out in the post. Our service works for everyone.”
Luke warns that “more than half of UK consumers could see their bills rise if they did not act. The losses could be even worse during 2021, with many working from home due to the pandemic.
According to Ofgem energy market reports, 53% of domestic consumers are on expensive standard default tariffs and can save £260, on average, by switching to a cheaper tariff.”
Talking to Luke was inspiring; he is warm-hearted, motivated to run a successful business and genuinely out to help people pay less on their bills. At only 21, he has already set up this business with a team of four.
It is wonderful to meet someone who is flourishing in these strange times and helping others at the same time.
I definitely fall into the category of never switching providers, so my first New Year’s Resolution ticked – call Switchboo and save up to £260 on my bills.