Government & Industry Pledge Support for First Utility’s ‘Fix the Switch’ Campaign

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DECC announcement illustrates the importance of fixing the switching process.

First Utility - there is a better way

First Utility - there is a better way

Today, Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, gave his support to creating a faster energy switching process. This follows the First Utility’s Fix the Switch campaign which challenges the industry to cut switching time from five weeks to one day.

There are many negative myths around the switching process which are unfounded and unjustified; it is a simple, safe and secure process. However, First Utility, believes it takes far too long and is putting off some consumers from getting better deals. It wants to speed up the process to ensure all consumers get the best deal available.

A number of industry players have also pledged their support for faster switching, including Ofgem, Which?, a number of the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, Ecotricity and others from the independent supplier community, uSwitch, GoCompare.com and Energy Helpline.

Today’s announcement from DECC illustrates clearly how important it is to get the current slow, antiquated switching process fixed. First Utility’s research suggests that a third of the population are put off switching supplier due to the time it takes. If just a third of additional households did switch to a better deal, it is estimated that UK consumers would benefit from £1.5bn in savings.*

First Utility has already engaged with representatives from across the energy community to investigate ‘quick win’ measures that can be put in place to streamline the switching process straight away before a broader overhaul of the system takes place.

Ian McCaig, CEO, First Utility said:

“Our campaign has captured the attention of consumers, politicians and the industry. We’re delighted to see such broad support for a faster switching process. The important thing now is that meaningful reforms are made immediately for the benefit of consumers and then we work as quickly as possible to achieve the goal of one day switching – which would represent ultimate empowerment for the consumer and make the energy market more competitive.”

About First Utility

First Utility is the UK’s largest independent energy supplier. It supplies gas and electricity to over 200,000 residential and business customers throughout the UK and is committed to helping them spend less on their energy bills. It offers cheaper tariffs, helps customers use less energy through the use of innovative technology and campaigns for industry change.

It was one of the first UK energy supplier to offer smart meters to its customers and in 2012 launched my:energy, an online analytics service providing personalised information regarding energy usage to help reduce consumption.

*In September 2013 Which?’s switching site claims an average savings of £141 per year. uSwitch claims that, “Between 1st November 2012 and 31st April 2013, people who switched energy supplier for both gas and electricity saved an average of £294.” One third of dual fuel households (7,293,000) saving an average of £217 per year by switching supplier (as an indicative average across a range of switching sites) equates to £1.5bn.

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Laura Harris
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