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Big switch

Walsall's Big Community Energy Switch is an informative initiative that helps you find the best energy deals possible.

Download our leaflet to find out more about our latest scheme.

If you want to get involved, register your interest in the initiative. Please make sure you read and understand the terms and conditions of any external third party provider.

Should you wish to contact a 3rd party, energy provider or comparison website, please remember that you are doing so of your own free will. We can only recommend you read and understand any external companies' terms and conditions to ensure you are getting the best deal and services you require.

We are committed to helping you reduce your bills and are helping you achieve lower fuel bills through eight rounds of collective fuel switching using the collective switching and reverse auction processes.

What are collective switches?

Collective switches are initiatives where residents get together to form a single powerful buying unit, where cheaper energy bills could be the result for each household that signs up. Switching is available to all householders whether you own or rent or have a prepayment meter. Even people with a debt on a pre-payment meter of up to £500 are able to switch supplier.

You can register online from today for the next Big Community Energy Switch

The council is committed to helping residents reduce their bills including energy bills and has helped residents seek lower fuel bills through eight rounds of collective fuel switching. Around 2000 Walsall households have used the collective switches and auctions to switch, saving in total an estimated £431,000.

Data protection

Walsall Council does not require your information for the use of these guidance pages, however, you may be asked to provide your personal information to a third party or comparison website in order to use their services. We can only recommend you read and understand how your data will be used to ensure you happy with the way any information you provide will be processed. You can normally find this information within their Privacy Notices or statements.

Previous collective switch auctions: average savings for Walsall residents

  • June 2014 auction led to average savings of £259 per person, per annum
  • October 2014 auction led to average savings of £221 per person, per annum
  • February 2015 auction led to average savings of £250 per person, per annum
  • May 2015 auction led to average savings of £280 per person, per annum
  • October 2015 auction led to average savings of £273 per person, per annum
  • May 2016 auction led to average savings of £293 per person, per annum
  • October 2016 auction led to average savings of £232 per person, per annum
  • February 2017 auction led to average savings of £136 per person, per annum
  • May 2017 auction led to average savings of £155 per person, per annum
  • February 2019 auction led to an average saving of £198 per person, per annum
  • May 2019 auction led to an average saving of £242 per person, per annum
  • October 2019 auction led to an average saving of £279. per person, per annum
  • February 2020 auction led to an average saving of £344 per person, per annum
  • May 2020 auction led to an average saving of £ 226 per person, per annum
  • November 2020 auction led to an average saving of £218 per person, per annum
  • February 2021 auction led to an average saving  of £130.11 per person, per annum
  • May 2021 auction led to an average saving  of £26 per person, per annum

From the start of the scheme in 2014, 3486 Walsall residents have switched supplier with a total estimated saving of £412,154 per annum, or an average £118 per person per annum.

Registrants

16354

Switchers

3486

Total realised savings

£ 412154

Tonnes of CO2 saved

352

Results of May 2021 auction

Ichoosr pledge to help reduce CO2 emissions with the help of switching residents to renewable energy tariffs. As part of this, they only allow 100% renewable electricity tariffs to enter the auction. 

Shell Energy won:

  • dual fuel online MDD
  • elec-only online MDD
  • dual fuel paper MDD
  • elec-only paper MDD

(MDD - monthly direct debit)

Omni Energy won:

  • pre-payment meter (PPM) 

Market conditions

Wholesale energy prices have risen consistently in recent months, leading to a 3-year high. The Ofgem tariff cap is now woefully out of kilter with the market, and we have a complex message to communicate. The market conditions now mean that many suppliers’ Standard Variable Tariffs (SVT) are at a negative margin, which means they are losing money because of the tariff cap, which sets the limit for variable tariffs. There is now an unprecedented volume of fixed tariffs above the tariff cap, including the auction winning tariffs, as suppliers would not bid in the auctions with negative margin tariffs. The market will re-adjust when the tariff cap is reset, and we will see dramatic increases in SVTs, which will rise above the fixed tariffs available today. Ofgem will announce the new cap in August for introduction in October.

Comparing the auction tariff against current tariffs or even standard variable tariffs will likely result in negative savings. However, as suppliers are increasing prices each day, looking at current prices is a false comparison - but it is the one we have always used, and the one customers expect and understand. Some customers may recognise a small increase in their monthly bill by accepting the fixed auction winning tariff that will protect them from the expected rises in October.  Others may prefer to wait and see, taking the risk that they may face even higher tariffs later in the year.

So accepting the auction tariff and fixing it for one year now, even if it shows negative savings now, could lead to positive savings within months.

The switch to another energy company is on their specific terms and conditions and we have no control over this. In most cases, the switch and energy prices are for a 12-month period only. If you have already switched, we urge you to check when your tariff is up for renewal and to think about what you may want to do before it finishes.

  1. Contact your energy provider to see what new tariff will be offered - this may be higher than the ‘switch’ tariff
  2. Register for a new collective switch
  3. Use a comparison website to see if the new tariff being offered is the best deal currently available

The decision to switch or stay with a current energy provider is yours and not the council's and we are committed to providing you with the information that may help you find a cheaper energy provider or reduce your fuel bills.