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How to switch energy supplier

Martin Lane Photo
Written by Martin Lane, Managing Editor

25 January 2019

You could save money on your gas and electricity by comparing energy prices. Here is how to switch energy supplier and how much you could save by choosing a better deal.

Young couple switching energy supplier

Why switch?

Switching your energy supplier could save you money on your gas and electricity.

If you switch, you could:

  • Save more than £200 a year on your energy bills

  • Find a more energy efficient tariff

  • Get greater flexibility to switch in the future

Who can switch?

As long as you pay for your energy bills yourself and are not in debt to your supplier, you can switch your energy.

If your landlord pays your energy bills, you cannot change your tariff. However, you could ask them to switch to a cheaper deal which could save you both money.

You can switch your gas and electricity if you pay by direct debit or by prepayment meter, so shop around to make sure you get the best energy price.

What if you are in debt to your supplier?Can you switch if you use a smart meter?

How to switch

You can switch your energy service online or by phone, by following these steps:

  1. Search deals by postcode because prices are based on where you live, and some energy companies only supply certain areas.

  2. Compare tariffs from a range of suppliers to find the best deal. You can compare gas and electricity products here.

  3. Enter your energy usage to get the most accurate results. You can find this on your most recent bill, or on your smart meter if you have one.

  4. Confirm your switch by providing your new supplier with your full address and bank details. You will also need to give a meter reading on the day of the switch.

You will then receive a welcome pack from your new supplier with the details of your plan. Your old supplier may contact you if you owe money or are due a refund.

What if you change your mind?

How long does it take?

It usually takes up to 21 days for your energy service to be moved.

Your new supplier will contact your old supplier to agree a switch over date, and let you know when they send out your welcome pack.

If you have switched both your gas and electricity, they may be moved at different times but your service will continue without interruption.

Will it cost you?

You may have to pay a cancellation fee to your existing supplier if you decide to switch.

This is usually between £25 and £30 for each service, so if you are switching both your gas and electricity you could pay around £60 in exit fees.

If your energy contract is ending, you may be able to switch without paying a cancellation fee. Check your energy bill for more information about the costs of cancelling your service.

Things to consider

Before you switch, ask your current supplier if they can move you to one of their cheaper tariffs. This could save you money without having to go through the switching process.

You should also compare service levels. The Citizens Advice website ranks energy companies based on their handling of complaints, from best to worst.

If you get Warm Home Discount with your current supplier, make sure your new supplier also offers the scheme.

Once you have switched, check your bills regularly to make sure you are still getting the best deal. Read our guide to how to manage your energy service for more information.