Labour leader Ed Miliband, Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint and the Labour Shadow Cabinet have today joined The Big Switch as cross-party support continues to grow.
The Big Switch, launched last month by Which? and 38 Degrees, aims to get consumers a cheaper deal on their energy bills. More than 200,000 people have already joined up to take part in this completely new way of people using their collective power to buy energy.
Politicians from across the political spectrum have already signalled their support by signing up and over 100 MPs, representing all of the major parties, have signed The Big Switch Early Day Motion.
Labour Leader Ed Miliband said:
“Soaring energy bills are driving up inflation and contributing to the cost of living crisis afflicting millions of families. The energy industry needs a radical overhaul to bring down gas and electricity bills for millions of consumers. Labour is backing the Big Switch because we believe empowering the public will create more competition and more transparency and help people pay a fair price for their energy.”
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:
“We know people are really struggling with their bills as household incomes are squeezed so it is encouraging that over 200,000 people are taking action to get a better deal on their energy bills.
“There is still time for people to join The Big Switch to get a cheaper deal so spread the word to your friends and family.”
Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint said:
“Collective switching is a simple but potentially trailblazing way to give people more control over their energy bills. When people come together, they will have more power to negotiate cheaper energy bills with the big energy companies.
“It sets an exciting precedent which organisations such as local authorities and housing associations could take up to negotiate better energy deals on behalf of their residents. Our energy market needs reform – and people power is the first step.”
Notes to Editor
1. High resolution images of the Shadow Cabinet available upon request.
2. Key facts:
- According to Ofgem, 60% of consumers have never switched energy supplier;
- 75% of people are currently on their supplier’s ‘default’ standard tariff; and
- Which? research has shown that consumers are missing out on £4 billion a year by not switching.
3. Currently 211,860 people have now joined [as at 18:00hrs on Monday 12th March]. This consists of 188,162 online signups plus 23,698 postal signups.
4. Further information on The Big Switch Early Day Motion can be found here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/2755
5. What is The Big Switch? Using the combined switching power of thousands of consumers, we’ll negotiate with energy suppliers and seek to secure a market leading deal.
6. How will The Big Switch work? After initially registering, we’ll be asking people to supply more details about their current tariffs so that we can negotiate the best deal. Which? has invited all the energy companies to take part. They will be asked to submit a market leading deal and take part in a reverse auction. Once we’ve negotiated a new deal with the winning energy company, we’ll get in touch to let people know how much they could save. Which? will handle the switching process, making it as quick and easy as possible.
7. How do you sign up? Visit: https://www.whichbigswitch.co.uk/ It just takes a couple of minutes– only your name, address and email address are required at this stage.
8. More information on The Big Switch is available here: http://www.which.co.uk/energy/saving-money/guides/the-big-switch-explained/