- Sunday 05 July 2020
Most people don't switch energy provider when their 'honeymoon early discount deal' is up, so they end up paying hundreds of eum a year more than they need to. The problem is the hassle of switching - but a new type of company promises to change all that by doing it all for us. Founder Brendan Halpin (right) of WeSwitchU.ie tells us all about it.
Why did you set up your own business?
I come from a family farming background so my business ethos and work ethic were prevalent from a young age. I set up WeSwitchU.ie when I identified a gap in the energy market for this kind of service.
Isn't this a nerve-wracking time to do so?
Absolutely, but it's also a time when many people are looking at how they can save on money. It's very rewarding to be able to be part of the solution for people and especially when you can really make a difference with savings of MO a year on average. Plus, you don't need to venture outside your door. However, while everything can be done online with us, we also offer the option to speak to a human if needed.
Why do we pay so much for energy?
The most significant factor relates to our dependency on global energy prices. In recent times wholesale prices have decreased significantly but these have not been passed on to consumers.
What should we do about It?
One of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce your home energy bills is to switch energy supplier. From the outset, a supplier will offer an amazing deal to get a customer on board, but these discounted tariff plans are generally for 12 months and can soar after this point. If a customer signs up with WeSwitchU. ie, we source and switch customers to the best deal for their household energy consumption every year.
The savings are huge from switching. Yet only 15% do it - and fewer in the lockdown? Why? Switching providers can seem a bit daunting. Switching inertia and the hassle involved (are also factors). But we make it very easy. WeSwitchU.ie requires a once-off sign-up that ensures you switch to the best provider when your contract expires every year and the savings could make a real difference because of discounted rates and the cashback offers you get when you switch.
How much do people save?
Recent research by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities found that active customers, with average annual consumption, who switched every year for the last four years saved €1,700 on dual fuel, €1,100 on electricity and €700 on gas.
So you are going to do the switching for us. How does this work?
New customers enter a few basic details online to register. Then each year, when their contract expires, WeSwitchU.ie moves them to the best energy deal on the market tailored to their unique consumption profile. Once you sign up, the only time you need to engage with the service is to give us permission to proceed with a switch after we've found the best deal for you. Our service is free for customers.
How are you remunerated?
Our arrangements are with energy suppliers, plus it's the same one for all so we are independent
How do consumers know you won't refer them to whoever pays the most commission?
Being independent is important to the team at WeSwitchU.ie because we see the site as a service to its users, not just a business
On a personal note, what did your parents teach you about money?
Don't over-extend yourself!
What was your most expensive fun purchase?
My car. I'm now looking forward to trading in and switching to an electric vehicle.
What do you do to relax?
I play golf once a week.
Is It expensive?
It can be when you lose golf balls...
What was your best financial decision?
Setting up WeSwitchU.ie.