Energy becomes the ‘easiest product to switch’ for first time: Smart Meter

05 March 2019, 08:59

Energy becomes the ‘easiest product to switch’ for first time

  • An “extraordinary turnaround” as energy rises from 7th place 4 years ago;
  • Improvement follows reduction in switching times from 6 weeks to under 21 days;
  • Consumers respond by switching energy provider in record numbers;
  • Mortgages, current accounts and broadband are the hardest products to switch.

Switching your energy provider is now the easiest financial switch, according to UK consumers.  It is the first time that energy has topped the GoCompare annual poll, which looks at the 10 main financial products, and marks an astonishing turn-around for the energy industry.

GoCompare’s annual Switching Report1 has looked at the easiest and hardest products to switch for the past six years and while car and home insurance have consistently been voted the easiest switches by consumers, energy switching languished in 7th place as recently as 2015.

However, since then, initiatives such as ‘17 day switching’ and the Energy Switch Guarantee have helped contribute to an extraordinary turnaround.  A transaction that used to take six weeks or more, is now usually completed inside 21 days, and UK consumers are noticing! 2018 was a record year for energy switching with over 5.8 million - or one in five - customers making a change, compared to just 3.2 million in 2014.2.

Rank

Product switched

‘The switch was easy’

1

Energy provider

83%

2

Home insurance

81%

3

Car insurance

80%

4

Landline telephone

78%

5

ISA or savings accounts

77%

6

Mobile phone provider

75%

7

Credit card

71%

8

Broadband provider

70%

9

Bank current account

69%

10

Mortgage

46%

The report found that 64% of UK adults had changed provider for at least one of the ten most common financial products and services in the last 12 months, and GoCompare asked them about their experience.  While most found switching energy provider, home and car insurance straightforward, changing mortgage, current account and broadband provider were considered the most difficult.   

Commenting on the research, Matthew Sanders from GoCompare said, “This is great news.  Non-switchers often perceive switching to be harder than it is, so it is important to say that it is easier than ever now to switch and save some of the biggest personal finance bills.  People who have shopped around in the last 12 months say energy, car and home insurance are the easiest products to switch.  They are also ones where you can quickly make big savings. 

“The energy industry deserves credit for improving the service significantly for switchers.  A few years ago, energy switchers were getting a raw deal.  Now we have record numbers of people switching.  It clearly shows that if the process is quicker and simpler, more consumers will switch, and that can make a huge difference to household budgets and the level of engagement with personal finance.

“It is important that we maintain this momentum and the work of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on loyalty penalties will be key in the next 12 to 18 months.  The tactic of charging existing, loyal customers more than new ones for the same products and services is still too widespread.  The CMA has proposed a series of recommendations and it remains to be seen how product providers and regulators respond.  But in the meantime, we urge consumers to shop around and take advantage of easier switching.”

For more information on energy switching; https://www.gocompare.com/gas-and-electricity/

-Ends-

For further information please contact:

Anders Nilsson or Louisa Marsden at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 655 132

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

  1. On 14 December 2018, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,001 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panellists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
  2. Energy UK annual switching figures, 21 Jan 2019. https://www.energy-uk.org.uk/media-and-campaigns/press-releases/440-2019/6996-another-record-year-for-switching.html

GoCompare

GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

GoCompare does not sell its customers’ data.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For more information visit www.gocompare.com and www.gocomparegroup.com

Contact Information

Louisa Marsden

louisa.marsden@gocompare.com