in partnership with IKEA


IKEA Switch & Save

Frequently asked questions

This page provides information about the partnership between Big Clean Switch and IKEA and answers the questions we’re asked most often about switching to renewable electricity.

Our partnership with IKEA

About this service

IKEA is committed to helping its customers live more sustainably. Switching to green electricity is one of the most impactful things you can do to help with climate change. For a typical home, this is the equivalent of taking a car off the road for six months of the year, every year. 

We also know that many households are currently facing rising bills due to people spending more time at home. So, IKEA has teamed up with Big Clean Switch to help homes across Great Britain save money by going green – and to increase those savings, IKEA is offering every home that switches through its energy page £35 of free energy*.

So far, Big Clean Switch and IKEA have together saved IKEA customers over £2.4 million on their energy bills, while helping thousands of people switch to planet-friendly power.

Who is Big Clean Switch?

Big Clean Switch is part of Brakkn Ltd. Brakkn is a B Corp, which means that it sees creating social and environmental value as going hand in hand with creating value for shareholders. Big Clean Switch is funded through the commission Brakkn receives from a supplier whenever someone switches to clean electricity through the campaign.

How is the account credit funded?

When you switch your energy provider through a comparison site like Big Clean Switch, they receive an ‘introducer fee’ from the supplier. IKEA has arranged for their share of the commission to be converted into an exclusive £35 account credit to maximise savings.

Our exclusive offer

The £35 of free energy offer

How does it work?

Use the dedicated IKEA page to compare the price of green suppliers with what you’ll pay if you do nothing and stay with your current provider. In the first half of 2020, homes switching through Big Clean Switch saved over £270 a year on average.

When you switch to most of the suppliers available through Big Clean Switch, you’ll automatically receive a £35 account credit. The credit will be applied within six weeks of the switch going live, and participating suppliers are indicated in your quote results. 

The £35 of free energy is only available for those customers who complete a household energy switch application to a participating supplier via the IKEA switching page, and whose switch then goes live.

Which suppliers are taking part in the £35 free energy offer?

Switch to any of the following suppliers through the IKEA Big Clean Switch page and they will credit your account with £35 within six weeks of the switch going live:

GoTo Energy
Octopus Energy
People’s Energy
So Energy

Am I guaranteed to save money?

Big Clean Switch vets the suppliers they work with to make sure that their customer service and environmental credentials are up to scratch. So, while most people will save money switching through our site, we would never claim to offer the very cheapest tariff on the market. To find the very cheapest tariff, try searching a whole market comparison site. You can find a list on Ofgem’s website, here.

Is the offer available in Northern Ireland?

Unfortunately not. The energy system is different in Northern Ireland and we are unable to help switch customers in Northern Ireland at this time.

About switching

How easy is it to switch?

Switching is simple. Signing up takes less than 10 minutes. It’s useful to have an energy bill to hand from your current supplier.

Can I switch my gas too?

Yes, although unlike with electricity, we don’t make any commitments about the environmental credentials of the gas tariffs on our site. That’s because so far, gas from renewable sources still makes up a very small proportion of the gas used by UK homes, so very few suppliers offer ‘100% renewable gas’ in the same way as you can get 100% renewable electricity. You can read more about green gas in our blog post, here.

How is my quote calculated?

Our website uses your current tariff rates and the information you give us on how much energy you use to calculate an estimate of how much you’ll spend over the next 12 months. It then compares this with how much you’ll pay for each of the tariffs on our site. Bear in mind that if you’re on a fixed tariff that comes to an end in the next 12 months, the site will assume that you’ll drop onto your current supplier’s default tariff. The cost of their default tariff will often be higher than your fixed rate. Our site will take that into account when it generates your quote. You can see how your quote has been calculated by clicking on ‘more info’ underneath the ‘Switch’ button on the results page, then scrolling down to ‘Personal projection’. For a more detailed explanation of how we calculate your quote, read our blog, here.

How does switching supplier work?

Once you’ve completed your switching application with Big Clean Switch, we’ll send your details to your new supplier. The day after you submit your application also marks the beginning of a 14 day cooling off period, during which you are free to change your mind and cancel your switch. During this 14 day period, your new supplier will contact your current supplier to let them know you’re moving, make sure your account is in order, and set a date for the switch (which they’ll then tell you about). This is typically about three weeks from the date of your switch application. A few days before the switch takes place, your supplier may ask you for a meter reading, which they’ll pass on to your old supplier so they can issue a final bill.

Will I be charged for switching?

No, switching is free. Big Clean Switch is funded from commission paid by suppliers. This doesn’t affect the price of the tariffs we offer (which are the same price as they are on suppliers’ own websites, other than where we’ve negotiated an even better deal).

Do I need to contact my old supplier to let them know I’m switching?

No. We’ll let your new supplier know that you want to switch to them, and they’ll contact your old supplier for you.

Do I have to pay to leave my current supplier?

If your current supplier has promised to keep the price you pay for a unit of electricity the same for a certain period (known as a ‘fixed tariff’), then they may charge you a penalty for leaving them before the end of that time (usually a year, although some fixed tariffs last longer).

What you may not know is that you can submit an application within the last 56 days of your contract and not be charged. Ofgem rules mean your current supplier can’t charge you a penalty if your switch goes live in the final 42 days of your contract. You can see the rules here (it’s a bit buried in the ‘Fairer Treatment’ section).

Once you’ve submitted your switch application, there is a mandatory cooling off period of 14 days before the switch goes live. The 42 days plus the 14 day cooling off period means you can submit an application in the final 56 days without incurring a fee.

If you’ve more than 56 days to go, switching may still be worth your while if the savings outweigh the penalty. If you think an early-leaving charge might apply to you, give us a ring on 0800 249 4770 and we can talk you through the options.

How will my data be used?

When you use Big Clean Switch, we use the details you provide to communicate with you about switching to renewable electricity, to allow you to compare the price of a range of renewable electricity tariffs with your current supplier, and to facilitate your switch if you choose to proceed. We will also share some of your data with third parties such as MyUtilityGenius, which provides the price comparison functionality on our website, or to agencies we may use to help us communicate with you about switching to renewable electricity. We will also pass some data back to IKEA to allow them to monitor the success of the campaign and ensure their communications are tailored to your needs. We will never sell your data or pass it to other companies to allow them to market their own products and services. For more information on how your data will be used by Big Clean Switch, please see our privacy policy.

I’ve never heard of the suppliers on your site. Can I trust them?

Smaller suppliers make up a growing part of the UK energy market, and many are leaders when it comes to customer service. We review the customer service and environmental credentials of every supplier we work with, so that you can switch with confidence, and we make a simple promise to all our users: if you have a problem that you can’t resolve directly with your new supplier, we’ll take it up with them on your behalf.

I rent my home. Can I still switch?

Probably. The golden rule to remember is that if you’re responsible for paying your energy bills, you can switch (some landlords may include clauses in their tenancy agreements forbidding this, but this is not allowed by law). You can read the government’s guidance for tenants here. Even if your landlord pays the energy bills, why not tell them that they could also switch and help the planet and even save money in the process?

I have a smart meter with my current supplier. Can I still switch?

You can still switch, but you may have to provide manual meter readings to your new supplier for a while. Most suppliers are now rolling out a new generation of smart meters which will allow you to switch providers without losing functionality – if you don’t have one, you can ask your new supplier to install one.

I’m on a pre-payment meter. Can I still benefit from switching?

Yes you can still switch. However, your choice of tariffs will be more limited and the annual savings will be significantly less than for other meter types. It is still worth considering switching though, as you will be able to guarantee that your electricity comes from renewable sources which are kinder to the environment.

I’ve been asked for my meter number. How do I find this out?

In most cases, our system can identify your meter numbers automatically by looking up your address in a national database. Occasionally, however, this information can’t be found in the database, and you’ll need to enter your meter number manually. There are two types of meter number – one for gas, known as an MPRN (meter point reference number) and one for electricity, known as an MPAN (metering point administration number). If you can’t find the number on the meter itself, both numbers should be shown on a past bill. Note that a full MPAN is 21 digits long – it may be printed on your bill across two rows. If you don’t have a past bill, drop us a message on live chat and we’ll be able to help.

My switch was cancelled because my old supplier said the account was in arrears. Can I still switch?

Yes. Once your account with your old supplier is paid up to date, you can submit your switch application again – or phone us and we’ll process the switch over the phone.

I have (or am thinking about getting) solar panels – can I still switch?

Yes, absolutely. You are free to switch your supply to a different provider in exactly the same way as a house without solar panels. Your Feed In Tariff arrangement will remain unchanged.

About green energy

What is ‘renewable electricity’?

Different types of renewable electricity sources include wind power, solar power, hydro power, bioenergy, tidal and wave power. Electricity that comes from renewable sources is kinder to the environment compared to traditional fossil fuels that can cause air pollution and contribute to climate change (oil, gas etc).

Why is renewable electricity a good thing?

Traditionally, electricity has been generated by burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas. Generating power in this way causes air pollution and releases gases like carbon dioxide that contribute to climate change, so there is global agreement that we need to massively reduce our dependency on them. This also makes sense because these energy sources take millions of years to develop, and as we use them up, they’re getting more and more difficult, expensive and environmentally damaging to get out of the ground. In contrast, renewable electricity sources won’t run out in this way, and have much lower climate change impacts.

Isn’t renewable electricity expensive?

Far from it. As more and more renewable electricity generation has been installed, the cost of building and installing the equipment has fallen. You can find out more about what influences the price of green tariffs in our blog, here.

Doesn’t all electricity come from the National Grid? How do 100% renewable electricity tariffs work?

When you’re on a renewable electricity tariff, your supplier promises that, however much electricity you use in your home, the same amount of renewable electricity will be put into the National Grid. The more this happens, the greener the Grid will get. Because you’re still getting your electricity from the National Grid, there’s no need for engineers’ visits and no disruption to your supply when you switch.

Is there a risk that I’ll lose power when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow?

You’ll still get your electricity from the National Grid, which manages the UK’s electricity supply to ensure everyone always has enough power. At the moment, this means we still need some fossil fuel or nuclear generation to provide power when conditions aren’t right for renewables, but this can be reduced by having a diverse range of renewable power sources, using batteries to store energy when conditions are right, and using smart technology to reduce the amount of power we need.

What are biofuels and are they better than fossil fuels?

Trees and plants act like solar batteries, capturing the sun’s energy and storing it. This energy can be converted into electricity – either by burning it if it is combustible (which is known as biomass) – or by allowing it to rot, and then burning the gases released in the process. Because new crops can be planted to replace trees and plants used to generate electricity, biofuels are considered renewable. And although burning these plants – or the gases they release as they break down – releases greenhouse gases, the new crops that replace them will absorb similar gases from the atmosphere, which means they have a much smaller impact on our climate than fossil fuels.