Back to all articles

Launch of The Clean Energy Switch

Today we launched our people power campaign to reduce the cost of green energy so people can help fight climate change and reduce their bill. Working with the 38 Degrees the Clean Energy Switch is the first of its kind. A collective switch focused solely on renewable energy.

Big Deal / 38 Degrees press release

  • Britain goes green: first ever mass switch to clean energy launched
  • People power will reduce the cost of green energy so thousands can go green and save money
  • Politicians of all parties back The Clean Energy Switch

Britain's first ever mass switch to clean energy launches today (Tuesday 1 September 2015). The Clean Energy Switch will use the bargaining power of tens of thousands of people to cut the cost of renewable energy making it affordable for ordinary families.

This demand-led consumer approach will send a clear signal that people support renewables and want the Government to as well. The people power campaign is being run by the consumer collective The Big Deal (www.thebigdeal.com) and campaigning organisation 38 Degrees (www.38degrees.org.uk). It has already received high level political support from politicians of all parties including:

Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond Park, said:

"We should all be concerned with ensuring our future is a greener one, so I wholly welcome the first green collective switch. By mass switching to an affordable, renewable tariff, we will not only be doing our bit individually, but also sending a powerful message to Government and the energy industry, showing increasing public demand for cleaner energy."

Labour's Shadow Energy Minister Jonathan Reynolds MP said:

"When 70% of households on the Standard Variable Tariff are being overcharged, people power switches to get a cheaper, cleaner energy deal are welcome. Labour was the first UK political party to organise a big switch but energy market reforms are still needed to ensure everyone gets a fair deal."

Tim Farron MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

"Energy bills are one of the biggest strains on household budgets for people throughout the country. I hear from countless people who feel powerless after years of price rises, and for too long, getting a cheaper price has meant giving up on being green. That is why I have signed up to The Clean Energy Switch today, and I am encouraging people to do the same. Together, we can beat the Big Six, protect the environment and save money."

Angus MacNeil MP, Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar said:

"In the face of cuts to green projects and subsidies, the Tory government has given the impression that they have little interest in promoting green energy. The opportunity to move to lower carbon is a far better solution. By harnessing the power of consumers, we can make it easy for people to help combat climate change, save money and support the renewables industry. I encourage as many people as possible to sign-up to show the Government that climate change does matter to people."

Climate change is a major concern, recent polling by Opinium found that 72% of people believed that it would pose a serious threat to global stability in the next 50 years. Many (69%) also said that the actions of individuals could help reverse climate change.[1]

The same poll revealed that 91% of people would consider switching to green energy, but only if the price was right.[1] 73% of Big Deal's 70,000 members have said that they would be interested in a "competitive priced" green energy deal.[2]

Will Hodson, Co-Founder of The Big Deal, said:

"The Big Deal has long used collective bargaining power to make energy more affordable. With the Clean Energy Switch, we'll make it affordable and sustainable. Millions of Britons feel a duty to help environment - the Clean Energy Switch will help them save some money in the process."

Maddy Carroll, Campaign director at 38 Degrees, said:

"For too long we've been ripped off by energy companies who keep prices high. They're cheating us out of a fair deal. And destroying our environment. The Clean Energy Switch is bringing people power back to the energy market."

How it works:

  • People sign-up for free at the 38 Degrees website https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/clean-energy-switch) or at www.thebigdeal.com entering just an email address and postcode to express an interest. There are zero obligations. Signing up does not mean you have to take the deal.
  • Using the collective bargaining power of tens of thousands of people a brilliant green energy deal is negotiated via a reverse auction with green energy suppliers.
  • The winning tariff is announced, delivering a great green energy tariff. It's free to take and means people will save the planet as well as save themselves some money.
  • People then begin switching to the tariff which is open for a limited period only.

How does this help the environment:

  • Energy suppliers either generate renewable energy themselves or buy it from renewable sources.
  • When someone switches to a renewable energy tariff, the company sources 100% renewable energy for that person.
  • By buying this energy the switcher is sending a clear signal of support for renewables.

For further information contact Henry de Zoete on 07970323112 / henry@thisisthebigdeal.com or Edward Molyneux on 07970061562 / edward@thisisthebigdeal.com

Notes to editors
[1] Polling by Opinium for the Observer, published on 3rd May 2015
[2] 1,628 Big Deal members were asked "Would you be interested in a green energy deal?" - 8% responded "yes" and 65% responded "only if it was "competitively priced."

About The Big Deal - www.thebigdeal.com

The Big Deal is a consumer collective focused on reducing people's energy bills. We bring together tens of thousands of consumers and use our collective buying power to create market-leading exclusive deals.

Launched in March 2014, we now has over 70,000 members and continue to grow. 62% of our members have never or hardly ever switched before - these are the very people who have been let down by the energy market. Moreover, 60% of our members are over the age of 55 and 30% over the age of 65.

We have saved the British public over £4 million and in our autumn switch there was a saving of £300 per family.
The Big Deal charges a commission to the energy supplier who its members switches to. We are always 100% transparent about how much it is unlike price comparison websites. For this switch we will be charging £20 per fuel switched (£40 for a dual fuel switch). This is the same for whichever energy company wins the auction and is cheaper than what the major price comparison websites charge.

Big Deal research exposes price comparison sites' dodgy behaviour online and over the phone

On 20th October 2014, The Big Deal published research that showed that the Big Five switching websites (Go Compare, Compare the Market, MoneySupermarket, uSwitch and Confused) all hide the cheapest deals from users because they don't get paid by energy companies for them. The full research including over 200 screenshots taken over 13 weeks can be found at: https://thisisthebigdeal.com/blog/research-into-price-comparison-websites

On 2nd February 2015, The Big Deal published similar research except into activity over the phone that found that all the Big Five switching websites (Go Compare, Compare the Market, MoneySupermarket, uSwitch and Confused) hid the cheapest deal when talking to customers.

This research led to an official investigation into the behaviour of the Big Five price comparison websites by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/energy-and-climate-change-committee/inquiries/parliament-2010/energy-price-comparison-websites/

The energy regulator Ofgem also tightened up the rules around comparison sites. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30912626

About 38 Degrees - www.38degrees.org.uk

38 Degrees is a community of millions of ordinary people who live all across the UK. We work together on the issues we all care about to bring about real change.

Previous article

An Idiot's Guide To The Government Energy Inquiry

Next article

MPs Back the #CleanEnergySwitch