Which? The consumer affairs group today launches the Big Switch campaign, designed to get the more than six in ten households who have never switched their energy supplier to consider doing so. Featured today in The Mirror and The Sun the campaign is encouraging consumers to submit their (non-binding) interest in order to collectively negotiate a better deal from the large energy suppliers.
The timing couldn’t be better and the Which? team deserve credit for launching in the middle of a cold snap when interest in energy prices is set to peak again. It is also just days into the term of new Secretary for Energy & Climate Change, Ed Davey, who began his Cabinet career by suggesting his focus would be on enabling consumers to get a better deal from their energy supplier.
Which? Has long been a trusted consumer brand and I remember blogging last year about CBI research around the Green Deal that showed Which? to be the most trusted brand by consumers looking for advice. This campaign is in my mind overdue and I hope that it will be successful. I’ve signed up this morning and it was dead simple. Congratulations to Which? for kicking it off.
They will though face an uphill struggle in encouraging consumers to make the switch if the latest research from Ofgem is to be believed. In a report available on the regulator’s website they review attitudes to switching and new devices aimed at simplifying bills. It’s clear from the opening of the report though that the vast majority of energy users fall within a ‘disengaged’ category of people who don’t understand their bill, don’t appear to want to understand their bill and/or don’t feel there is much value in better understanding their bill because ultimately they do not trust that their time and interest will save them money. As I mentioned the Which? campaign faces and uphill struggle, but they have made the right start. I also just noticed the first tweets about this from @whichaction and @whichconvo. This is encouraging because a campaign like this is made for social networks. A shame though that Facebook hasn’t also been engaged by Which? I did look for their page to show an example of what they are doing, but perhaps they are waiting for the new Facebook timeline to launch on 29th February.
Either way don’t delay, expressions of interest need to be logged on the campaign site by 31st March.