The Dragons have backed this new energy switching firm – but should you?


Energy customers who hate shopping around for the best deal can now use a free service that will automatically switch you to a new, cheap tariff every year.

New online service Look After My Bills claims it can take the hassle out of changing energy provider and save hundreds of pounds in the process.

Loyal customers who fail to switch potentially miss out on savings of around £375 a year, according to figures from energy watchdog Ofgem.

Backing: All five Dragons’ Den investors offered to back Look After My Bills

This is because when their cheap fixed deal expires, customers are automatically rolled on to their supplier’s standard tariff, which is almost always more expensive.

In the past, the best way to shop around has been to use comparison websites such as and, which list the cheapest tariffs.

But each time the deals expire, the onus is on the customer to remember to shop around again.

Appearing on Sunday night’s episode of Dragons’ Den, the founders of Look After My Bills say their service goes a step further and will automatically switch customers to a new cheap deal every time their tariff ends. They say it means households will never have to worry about being overcharged again.

All five Dragons’ Den investors offered to back them — eventually securing a £120,000 investment in exchange for 3 per cent of their company. But how exactly does the so-called ‘auto-switching’ service work? And are there any catches?

To be eligible for the service you must have access to the internet, be happy to forgo paper bills, manage your account online and pay by direct debit.

To sign up, visit the website look You’ll need to enter details such as your name, date of birth, address, employment status, telephone number and email address. You’ll also be asked for the name of your energy supplier and details of your tariff if it is fixed, and when the deal expires.

If you are on a variable deal, the firm will begin searching for a cheaper one immediately as there is no exit fee on this type of tariff. If it finds a deal that will save you at least £50 or more, it will begin the switching process straight away.

Energy bills: Customers who fail to switch could miss out on savings of around £375 a year

Energy bills: Customers who fail to switch could miss out on savings of around £375 a year

Energy bills: Customers who fail to switch could miss out on savings of around £375 a year

You will also need to supply your meter reference numbers and bank details, which Look After My Bills will pass on to the provider so it can set up your direct debit.

You’ll be sent an email as your switch date gets close, then another email after the move is complete, with the details of your new energy provider.

If your new deal is another variable-rate deal, the firm will continue to search the market for cheaper deals in case your provider raises its prices.

It typically takes between 17 and 35 days to switch. Once your new deal has started, you will be responsible for providing meter readings.

If you want to manage your account online with the new provider, you will need to set up this yourself, and if there are billing or supply issues you will need to contact it directly.

If you’re on a fixed tariff, Look After My Bills will wait to move your account, but you can enter your details ready for when this finishes. It will then send you email updates informing you how long you have left until your deal expires.

It will begin searching for a cheaper deal in the weeks before that date. Each time you switch, you have a 14-day cooling-off period to cancel your new deal. You will need to do this directly with the provider.

The firm makes money by charging energy firms a commission for each customer it refers.

It only works with just over half of all energy firms — meaning you may not get the cheapest deal available. It says it does not include suppliers it feels do not provide good customer service. But some smaller firms may simply decide they do not want to pay the commission as they operate on tighter margins.

A spokesman for Look After My Bills says: ‘Our commitment is to switch customers to a fair deal, but it may not be the cheapest.

‘You can’t always trust the too-good-to-be-true providers.’

Martyn James, of online complaints service Resolver, says: ‘Switching services are a good way to check your options — but be savvy. The best deals may be available only by going to suppliers directly. So use these services to narrow the field and be prepared to ditch them if you find a better offer somewhere else.’

The firm plans to include broadband in its service by December, followed by insurance in the future.

If you want to stop using it, send an email to with the word ‘cancellation’, your name and postcode in the subject line. Customers can also call Look After My Bills on 0203 950 1166 if they having difficulties.

The firm plans to include broadband in its service by December, followed by insurance later

The firm plans to include broadband in its service by December, followed by insurance later

The firm plans to include broadband in its service by December, followed by insurance later

There are other online switching services available, too, such as Flipper and Labrador, which claim they can save you £385 and £537 a year respectively.

Unlike Look After My Bills, which will only switch you when your fixed deal has expired, these firms promise to never stop searching for a cheaper deal. If they work out that you may save even after paying an exit fee, they will switch your account.

Labrador says it won’t move you unless it makes you a minimum saving of £80 a year after exit fees.

Flipper says it will not switch you unless it can guarantee a saving of at least £50 a year.

However, Flipper also charges a £25 annual fee. This is because, unlike Look After My Bills and Labrador, which take a commission from suppliers, it does not take money from providers for referrals.

Customers who sign up for Flipper and Labrador do not have to pay their bills by direct debit — although many suppliers offer a discount if you do pay this way.

Flipper will compare deals from any firm that offers an online tariff. Labrador provides a list of the energy suppliers it works with on its website, which it says covers almost 80 per cent of the market.

Both services prefer to communicate with customers by email, but those who need help can call Flipper on 0345 528 0000 and Labrador on 0800 0608790.



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