BizSwitch Limited is a UK-based price comparison website (PCW) for businesses to retrieve instant quotes and switch contracts for dual fuel energy prices – removing the need for businesses to deal with energy brokers.
They needed a way to source customer meter and consumption data quicker to provide a smooth switching journey, particularly with price volatility.
Challenge – Business energy quotes relied on traditional broker calls and searches
For years, the only way for microbusinesses and SMEs to compare business energy price quotes has been to engage with telephony departments at energy brokers who source contracts for their customers and take a commission on the deal. These brokers make hundreds of outbound telesales calls each day to reach potential customers which takes up a lot of time for business owners and managers.
BizSwitch sought to disrupt this well-worn approach to securing non-domestic energy contracts. BizSwitch is the first end-to-end switching website for non-domestic energy users, offering prices from over a dozen energy suppliers with complete fee transparency. It is also a member of the recently launched Energy Ombudsman’s Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme.
Avoiding the need to interact with multiple brokers and manually compile information drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to retrieve a quote. So, the option for a business to search for energy deals online would take much of the time-consuming administration burden out of securing an energy contract. It would also add flexibility to business operations since multiple quotes could be retrieved at any time instead of only when each broker is able to provide it.
There are two key pieces of information required to effectively switch a non-domestic energy user to a new contract: confirmation of the meter number against the business address, and the annual energy consumption of the meter. BizSwitch needed access to this data to enable the quote and switch to take place, and it needed this data quickly to ensure a pleasant and effective experience for the website user.
BizSwitch sought out ElectraLink to acquire this data after learning of their highly regarded reputation for data provision and technical development.
Solution – The trusted QuoteRight API provides data to BizSwitch’s quoting site
ElectraLink is the only organisation that can provide GB energy market data at the speed and level of granularity BizSwitch needed for its platform. ElectraLink provides site-level information – including MPAN, consumption, meter type and more – to organisations which can demonstrate their solutions and projects offer an innovative or far-reaching benefit to the energy market.
BizSwitch opted to use ElectraLink’s most popular API called QuoteRight, which integrates with internal systems to inject data instantly into customer portals to enable rapid quoting and switching thanks to an API call that returns values within 0.2 seconds.
The approvals process for ensuring sound governance and data security is intensive and assessed on a case-by-case basis yet can be navigated within 15 business days. ElectraLink and other energy market participants, such as suppliers and network operators, take part in the governance approvals process.
After an initial testing stage, BizSwitch’s portal was up and running using live data to help many businesses with a fast, simple switching experience.
Results – BizSwitch users retrieve energy quotes within minutes
QuoteRight has been hugely successful in delivering the meter and consumption data BizSwitch needed to serve microbusiness and SME customers. It allows a user to compare prices and switch within three minutes, anywhere, anytime.
According to Tim Hipperson, Managing Director at BizSwitch: “Without the ElectraLink solution, we would not be able to quote accurately or effectively for business electricity contracts. The QuoteRight solution allows us to extract business meter consumption data almost instantaneously, providing the customer with a quick and seamless switching journey.
“On top of that, the API allows for updates and new information to flow seamlessly without the need for human intervention on our end, therefore ensuring the customer data is correct, up to date and forever quick and seamless.”
BizSwitch and ElectraLink integrated, tested and implemented the solution in under three months. Tim was pleased to see that the application process was thorough with data protection at the forefront and did not impact the rapid delivery of the solution. BizSwitch’s platform saves many hours of broker calls and manual information gathering, and extinguishes delays in finding quotes, giving businesses value-for-money and more time to serve their own customers.