There are around 50 independent energy suppliers in the Uk offering environmentally friendly products and and innovative pricing and discount schemes.
Although there is a long way to go before the Big Six energy companies feel the pressure from these much smaller companies, consumers are starting to notice that there are cheaper alternatives that not only save them money, but also use supply energy from more environmentally friendly sources.
The independents are gradually nibbling away at the market share of the Big Six and one of the ways some of them are winning new customers is by offering “refer a friend schemes” that provide sign up bounties to both the switcher and the person who referred them.
This approach effectively turns customers into a highly motivated sales force as some of the rewards being paid can mount up significantly. We look at some of the companies offering “refer a friend” schemes in this article.
Bulb Energy refer a friend scheme
Bulb Energy offer a refer a friend scheme that pays £50 to the switcher and £50 to the referrer. This is the highest pay out in the market, and is driving very rapid growth to this small independent energy supplier.
For example, in September 2017 we reported that Bulb had acquired their 100,000th customer. This landmark was soon surpassed, however, as they announced their 200,000th customer in mid November 2017.
To further shake up the market, and boost their customer numbers even more, Bulb recently announced a doubling of the referral rewards so that at the time of writing Bulb Energy pays out £100 credit each to the switcher and referrer.
Although this huge £100 bonus is for a limited time only, it remains to be seen if Bulb will extend this market leading reward scheme for the foreseeable future. it must be convincing huge numbers of new customers to switch to them.
The switching reward is paid as a credit into your Bulb customer account so that it can be used to fund your energy costs, or transferred to your bank account if you wish.
Pure Planet refer a friend scheme
Pure Planet are another independent energy company that offer a refer a friend scheme.
They are the UK’s first mobile-only energy supplier, and offers 100% renewable energy at up to 20% less than the Big 6 prices. What Pure Planet pays for the cost of energy on the wholesale market is what it charges consumers. There’s zero mark up so it means transparency and fairness for their customers.
Pure Planet does charge a monthly subscription , currently £10 per fuel, as well as the wholesale cost of the energy you’ve used. The monthly subscription which also covers the standing charge, makes their gas and electricity prices very competitive.
The Pure Planet refer a friend scheme gives both switcher and referrer a £25 Amazon voucher.
It operates via their mobile app that allows the customer to send their share code to real and virtual friends on Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media.
They claim that one of their customers has already received over £1000 in switching rewards so they must have a lot of friends, or has found a way to market their referral link effectively!.
Ovo Energy Refer a friend scheme
Ovo Energy is one of the most established independent energy suppliers.
This company has long championed the use of green energy and has led the market in offering simple tariffs so that their customers are not confused by the labyrinthine products and pricing structures seen too frequently with the Big Six companies.
They also offer a refer a friend scheme that pays out a £25 reward to both the switcher and referrer. The payment is made by a gift card from either M&S, Argos or Amazon.
Ovo Energy also offer another innovative reward scheme. They pay 3% interest on positive account balances up to a balance of £1000. This is more than most bank and building savings accounts, so is well worth considering.
Utilita referral scheme
Established in 2003, Utilita are an independent electricity supply company who specialise in smart Pay As You Go energy. They install a free smart meter for every customer they supply, and offer a highly competitive tariff.
Utilita offer a friend referral scheme that awards the referrer with £20 of free electricity via an account credit, and the switcher a £20 Amazon voucher.
The referrer, who must be an existing customer with an installed smart meter, fills in a form on the Utilita website, rather than supplying a referral link as with the other companies in this article.
Good Energy customer referral scheme
Good Energy, which was founded in 1999, is on a mission to transform the UK energy market by helping homes and businesses transition to using energy from environmentally friendly resources.
They buy all their electricity from renewable sources and 6% of their gas is sourced from biomethane.
The Good Energy refer a friend scheme pays £25 to both the switcher and the the refer as an account credit.
Their customers can refer as many friends as they like, which is great, however the referrer has to complete a form on the Good Energy website, rather than recruit their friends and family via a referral link.
This approach does limit the use of social media and other marketing channels to promote the scheme, by Good Energy customers like those for Bulb Energy do. However the use of the web form probably does ensure that customers are recruiting true friends as they have to know their contact details.
First Utility refer a friend scheme
Founded in 2008, First Utility is one of the largest independent energy suppliers. They also supply broadband and home services such as boiler care, and other home maintenance.
The company’s energy mix is not as environmentally friendly as the others in this article, however they do purchase 24% of their energy from renewable sources.
First Utility offer a refer a friend scheme that rewards both the switcher and referrer with an Amazon gift card. The company give their customers a referral link, which can be published anywhere, and there are no limits for the number of “friends” recruited.
As we are not First Utility customers, and First Utility do not publish the value of their reward, we don’t know how competitive this scheme is.
If you know how much they pay as a reward, please let us know in the comments.
A point to bear in mind
The refer a friend schemes mentioned in this article are an opportunity for you to earn money as well as save money on your energy bills. You can also help the environment too, which is great.
However, you do need to be a customer before you can earn rewards by referring your friends. So if your energy company is not offering as good a refer a friend scheme as another, then you will have to switch your supply to that better paying energy company.
Is this a problem? Not really!
It is really easy to switch energy supplier and as consumers we all should be switching to better deals and benefiting from the customer referral schemes. This makes the energy industry more competitive, which is better for all of us.
I just wish more people would realise that they can save, and even earn, money by being smart consumers and switching to the company offering the best deals.