How to save up to 241 euros in electricity and gas per year with ‘collective purchases’ | Markets

The energy crisis that has plagued Spain and the rest of Europe since June has catapulted the price of electricity in the wholesale market above 300 euros this Thursday. In this context, and given the possibility that the price continues to rise, different intermediaries offer consumers alternatives to massively negotiate user contracts and thus achieve better rates from suppliers through “collective purchases”. Currently, in Spain this service is offered by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), the Dutch company SwitchHero and the Selectra price comparison website,

Collective purchases are a modality that allows entities to bring together a large number of consumers to negotiate more competitive rates. The intermediaries run auctions to which all the marketers who so wish are invited to bid to offer the lowest price, in this case for services such as gas and electricity. Users can ask the intermediary for information about the final supplier and the terms of the contract, in case they want to cancel the purchase. Industry sources affirm that this type of model was implemented for the first time in 2000 by the We Commerce platform.

Collective purchase of the OCU

This model is not something new in Spain. In fact, since 2014 the OCU began holding collective electricity auctions in which companies competed to offer better rates to consumer groups. According to information from the entity, in the 2021 edition of its campaign it is intended that a normal household can save an average of 241 euros per year, and there are already 8114 registered consumers. The organization clarifies that not all households will save the same and that the greatest savings will be obtained by households whose prices have been revised in recent months.

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To participate in this campaign, you must register as a “supporter” of the OCU on the campaign website. The organization states that the action is aimed at electricity contracts up to 15 kW of power and gas with annual consumption up to 50,000 kWh and you can leave the service at any time by filling in a form. Companies can also register if they have these types of supplies.

On the other hand, according to the entity: “The rates that will be required from the trading companies will be an electricity and natural gas rate with fixed prices for at least 12 months. However, as with the rest of the rates, the variations made by the administration in the regulated values ​​(basically toll rates and charges) will be reflected in the rate. These rates will probably be modified on January 1 for the supply of electricity and on October 1, 2022 for the supply of gas ”. The organization He estimates to start the hiring process in mid-December. After this date, uA consumer cannot join until the next edition.

SwitchHero Collective Purchase

On the other hand, SwitchHero, an intermediary company in the energy market, offers a similar model and also for free, but also renews the contract with the best supplier every year without having to participate in any procedure except registration. The Dutch company, which announced its entry into Spain on Wednesday, affirms that it is negotiating with the energy companies to “guarantee households a price of electricity and gas more than 50 euros below the market, whether the rates rise or not. they go down ”. According to its forecasts, the company estimates that it will reach a quota of 30,000 to 50,000 customers in our country and a turnover of 1.5 million in 2022.

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Company sources have indicated to Cinco Días that SwitchHero analyzes the average price of energy on a monthly basis and that, unlike OCU and other collective purchases, it sets the average market price, after calculating it monthly. Likewise, the other collective buyers make these collective purchases on very specific occasions, while SwitchHero negotiates collective purchases continuously over time: “It is not a specific action but a service to any user who registers. on its platform at any time of the year, “say the sources.

The company guarantees to find each client the best annual rates to achieve savings of 30 euros in electricity and 50 euros in gas and electricity savings in at least one year. Likewise, they indicate that the service is free of costs and can be canceled at any time, since it receives commission from the providers every time a user hires their services, so its objective is “to achieve the best agreements”.

SwitchHero clarifies that, in some cases, additional documentation may be required to change providers. On the other hand, the company states that consumers can change providers completely free of charge if there is no permanence clause in the contract, but that if they have a contract with a permanence clause, the provider could claim 5% of the price of the energy that has not been consumed and that would remain to be consumed in the remaining time of the current contract.

Collective purchase of Selectra and ANAE

Likewise, Selectra, a comparator of electricity and gas rates in Spain and France, offers collective purchases through its website “Club Selectra”, in cooperation with the National Association for Energy Savings and Efficiency (ANAE). According to the entity, any user can sign up for this initiative, the sixth edition to be held in mid-January.

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For this, it is only necessary to complete a free form, which according to the company does not imply any type of commitment or obligation and “will only be used to know the volume of interested parties, and to be able to negotiate the best rate in the market”. Selectra sources have indicated to Cinco Días that the contracts that are agreed are annual and “tend to be without permanence.”

Selectra affirms that its differential compared to other collective buyers is its knowledge of the energy sector and the companies in the sector. According to its website, in the previous collective purchases of ANAE and Selectra 45,000 users were enrolled and a price per kilowatt hour (kWh) was achieved 10% cheaper and 180 euros per year of savings in both supplies. In the case of the next edition, the entity intends to achieve savings of around 200 euros per consumer.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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