Collective switching for better energy deals

There is a growing pattern emerging in Europe. It is helping consumers to reduce their energy bills and shake up market provision. This is the pattern of ‘collective switching’ and a large number of consumers joining forces to move energy suppliers for better, cheaper offers.

Consumer organisations often facilitate this process by approaching different energy companies and asking them to compete by offering better value energy for those consumers who sign up to the campaign.

In 9 collective switching campaigns organised by BEUC members, almost 3 million consumers signed up and those who switched saved an estimated €135 million. Overall savings are even higher. This is because collective switching campaigns often trigger improved offers and conditions by energy companies to regain market share for switching-prone consumers.

At the same time, we should not forget that collective switching campaigns are just part of the picture. What we need in the end are companies abiding to rules such as switching deadlines and authorities who really care about making the energy market more competitive.

Consumer organisations will continue pushing collective switches or price comparison tools to help consumers navigate what is a complex market. But in the end, it will be in the hands of regulators to cleanse the market of some of its bad practices.

Our factsheet on collective energy switching.