Hi Skint pals,
Hope you’re all doing great. Me, I’m just about to go and lie down with an eyemask and a herbal tea to try and recover from the shock of receiving a gigantic electricity bill. It was the winter what did it, and living in Scotland where you only get about 35 minutes of daylight in the whole of December, I should maybe have seen it coming, but I didn’t. See, I’m on a fixed tarrif, which I guess I read as ‘leave as many lights burning as you like and we’ll only ever charge you thirty quid a month.’ Anyway, it seems as if the leccy company got wise to my love-affair with the washing machine and decided it was time for me to pay the price.
Luckily, there are other skint girls and boys out there who are fed up with the size of their bills too, and fed up with all that tedious hunting around for better deals. Step forward our caped crusader, Which – ta-dah! The stalwart consumer champion has gone all down-with-the-kids and decided to follow in the online footsteps of sites like Groupon and Wahanda by launching a new group-buying venture with a difference: offering not the usual romantic weekend getaways or blocks of ten pilates classes, but using crowd-power to lobby for lower energy bills.
Here’s the deal: Which is inviting people to sign up to its campaign, the Which Big Switch before March 31. All you need to do is leave your contact details and the names of your current gas and electricity suppliers. Then, Which will use the number of people interested in switching (currently standing at nearly 180,000) as a bargaining tool to get suppliers to offer better deals. Simples, huh? Kind of like a trade union for . . . well, for everyone really, unless you’re like the bloke at the bottom of the post who prefers to go it alone.
Now, usually I have some reservations about crowd-buying. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been seduced into buying something on a group-buying site that I didn’t really need, then forgotten to use the voucher before it expired. But I figure that gas and electricity is a pretty safe bet.
Although Which is doing all this out of the goodness of its campaigning little heart, there are actually a couple of commercial firms that already offer group-buying discounts on energy – Incahoot and Utility Warehouse. Interestingly though, they don’t offer the best deals on the market – to grab those you’d be better going through a cashback site such as Quidco or Topcashback as bagging the money back that they give you for buying through them.
I’ve decided to stick with Which though. I trust them, and am interested to see what sort of deals they manage to lever if they get enough people behind them. Something about the campaign appeals to my inner protester too – I like the idea of joining with thousands of others to lobby for better deals. If the billpayers are united, they will never be divided . . . or something like that . . . (you get my drift).
Got any tips on how to save money on gas and electricity? Do tell – we’d love to hear them.
Oh, and I got an exciting delivery yesterday. The final draft of my lovely ebook cover which I’ll share here just as soon as it’s formatted. It’s got bright lights on it too . . .
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