Switching from one energy supplier to another has become more accessible now than before. With more changes coming in the next few years in terms of regulations, most of the remaining challenges to switching will be gone. The standard practice for people who are switching energy suppliers is to conduct the business over the phone or in person. The process could be tricky, and while some people still use the conventional method, many are discovering the convenience of using comparison websites.
These comparison sites like Utility Bidder are specifically designed to streamline the steps involved in getting a quote from a new supplier, all the way to completing the switch online. But despite the convenience of using comparison sites, many consumers still forego the opportunity; not realising how much more they will be paying on their bills over a period of time. What these people do not realise is that switching drives competition among suppliers, eventually lowering tariffs even further.
Why do some people prefer not to switch energy suppliers?
One of the primary reasons why some people are hesitant to switch is their lack of confidence in the quotes they receive. Others also assume that if they change, their service may be interrupted and cause them more trouble. Another hindrance is that some people who are not tech-savvy are turned off by the idea of going online to get quotes and switch.
Overcoming challenges through an improved switching process
One of the potential resolutions to the challenges faced by consumers when they switch suppliers is the installation of smart meters. The government is requesting energy suppliers to offer smart meters to their consumers. A smart meter provides detailed information on the energy consumed by a consumer, which in turn gives them more confidence in the quotes they receive from suppliers.
Ofgem is also planning to make changes to the current switching process. Beginning in 2020, improved data systems that enable consumers to switch will further enhance the process and changing energy suppliers may be completed by as early as the following working day after closing a new deal.
Lastly, automatic services used in switching are also more common now. What these services do is to monitor consumption regularly and automatically transfer you when there is a better tariff available. With an automatic switching service, a consumer no longer needs to search for quotes and re-enter personal information online manually.
Changes need to benefit everyone
All these changes aimed at improving the process of switching energy suppliers need to cater to everyone. First, comparison websites and digital switching services need to be user-friendly. Online interfaces need to be less confusing and straightforward to use so that even people who are not tech-savvy will not have trouble figuring it out.
Next, online services also need to have improved security measures so that consumers will feel confident about sharing their personal information. Lastly, consumers also need to have complete access to quotes and prices from all suppliers they are considering.