A start-up that switches users to the cheapest energy tariff could save customers up to £300 a year on their bills, and some predict that this will revolutionise the home energy market.
The Labrador energy switcher plugs into a home’s broadband router to monitor energy usage and switch the user onto a cheaper tariff as soon as it becomes available. The company estimates that users could be switched onto lower tariffs between 1-3 times per year, saving up to £300. The service even allows users to specify which tariffs they want to switch between, such as green tariffs.
Labrador is targeted at the increasing number of homes that have a smart meter installed, of which there are more than 8 million in the UK today. By 2020 energy suppliers will be obliged to offer a smart meter to every UK household.
The start-up was financed through crowd funding and makes its money through acquisition fees from suppliers. So far it has signed up over 500 customers since its launch in February.
Switching energy suppliers can be a daunting and confusing process. But what makes this service unique is that the user doesn’t have to actively research and switch to a cheaper rate themselves, Labrador completes the whole process automatically.
Jane Lucy, founder and CEO of Labrador, said: “We’re not about behaviour change: we assume consumer lethargy will remain.”
At SunGift we’re constantly on the lookout for the latest green and energy saving solutions, and our dedicated team often test these products themselves. Ollie, our residential solar surveyor, has been living with Labrador for the past 4 weeks, and so far has had no issues. We’ll let you know how he gets on after a few more months of trialling this new service.