Many people are overpaying for their gas and electricity, by around £200 according to recent government estimates, often because switching to another company is seen as too much hassle. But a company called Flipper is offering a service where it will do the hard work for you, for a small fee.
Quite simply, you pay Flipper £25 a year and they will find the cheapest deal, switch for you and, crucially, keep switching you when cheaper deals come about.
The company promises to save you at least £50 or it won't charge you the annual subscription.
Unlike price comparison sites that get paid when someone switches, Flipper does not receive commission from energy firms.
Finding cheap energy deals could get trickier
Flipper co-founder Hilal Kanafani claimed such a service could prove particularly useful as it is about to get even more difficult to find the cheapest energy deal.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently scrapped the rule limiting suppliers to a maximum of just four energy tariffs in a bid to boost competition.
And while that’s a positive move, it will also mean switching is about to get more complicated, says Kanafani.
“The lifting of the four tariff rule, while certainly likely to result in more dynamic and competitive pricing, will also lead to far more tariffs to navigate and the tariffs themselves will become more complex too,” says Kanafani.
“With more complex tariffs to choose from, it is likely to have an adverse effect on the already small proportion of households who switch.”
Why do we need more than four energy tariffs?
You might be wondering why increasing the number of tariffs is a good thing. After all, it’s only one product, so why do we even need four deals?
According to Kanafani, more choice really does benefit households.
“The way people consume energy is very different from household to household and, while one tariff may be very beneficial to one type of consumption profile, it can have an adverse effect on another type of profile,” he says.
“By removing this restriction, suppliers are able to create tariffs that are beneficial to many more profile types.
“The challenge, from a customer's point of view, then becomes understanding their household consumption profile and finding a tariff that is a best fit.”
Decide your energy strategy
With more choice on the way, it’s important you decide what approach you’d like to take to cutting your energy bills.
Are you willing to spend the time comparing deals on price comparison sites and switching regularly to a new tariff, or would you rather not put in the time?
If it’s the latter, then paying a fee to have someone switch for you could be the answer.
Choose whichever is right for you, just don’t sit on your current pricey tariff forever!