Switching Energy Supplier

How do I switch energy suppliers?

Switching energy providers is easy and you will never lose your supply in the process. You can switch one of your supply gas or electricity only, or you can switch both together on a dual fuel deal.

You can use an energy comparison service to get a quote. Enter your postcode and answer questions, ideally using information from your energy bill. You will then see a selection of tariffs and be able to choose an energy deal that you feel is right for you.

Once you have chosen a new tariff and started your switch application, you will need to wait to hear instructions from your new energy supplier. You may not hear anything for up to 14 days as you’ll still be in the cooling off period. You will need to take a mere reading and give them to your new supplier on the day of your switch.

You’ll get a final bill from your old energy supplier and make sure to get a refund from them if you’re in credit.


When’s the best time to switch energy providers?

There are loads of reasons that choosing the right time to switch energy providers can be tricky. You may have not consider it at all then found out that you’ve been paying over the odds for years, or that you have alerted to the fact that you could be paying less. You might find the best time to switch is:

·        When you haven’t switched for 12-18 months. Cheaper ‘new customer’ deals often expire after a set period, changing to a standard tariff. This is typically a lot more expensive.

·        Before winter arrives, if you’re not on a fixed-term tariff. Most people use less energy over the summer, so it can be tricky to get a real sense of your energy costs. Comparing prices in the warmer, lighter, months could ensure you get a cheaper tariff before winter sets in and your energy use rises.

·        When you suspect prices are about to rise. You can often hear rumours of a predicted energy price rise in the news. When one energy provider announces a tariff increase, others usually follow suit. If prices start to rise, taking out a fixed price tariff can be a good option – guaranteeing your rate for an agreed period of time i.e. one year.

Be careful about switching to a standard variable tariff when prices are on the up. It’s possible a tariff rise hasn’t yet been factored in.

·        Just before your deal ends. It can take 21-28 days to switch energy providers, even if the suppliers have signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee. Changing before your current deal ends could save you having to pay a few weeks of increased standard tariffs. Your switching window opens 49 days before the end of your contract, and energy regulator Ofgem states that exit fees shouldn’t apply if you switch from a fixed-term contract to another supplier, within that window. Your energy provider should write to you 42 to 49 days before your fixed tariff period ends, so you should know when to start looking.

·        When you move home. Moving home is the perfect opportunity to reassess your energy needs. A change in the number of rooms, different heating systems and even appliances could alter your usage. So switching to a different tariff might suit your needs better.

·        When your circumstances change. If you’re on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff and you retire, for example, your power usage during the day is likely to increase. Kids flying the nest can also change when and how you use energy. You might be able to find a different tariff that suits your new lifestyle better.


Can I switch if I owe money to my current supplier?

You may be able switch suppliers if you owe money to your current supplier (‘energy debt’). If you’ve been in debt to your supplier for less than 28 days you can still switch; your old energy supplier will add what you owe to your final bill. However, if you have debts more than 28 days old, you’ll need to pay this off to your old supplier before you can switch.

If you’re on a pre-payment meter and you owe £500 or less, you can ask for your outstanding balance to be transferred to your new energy supplier under the Debt Assignment Protocol (DAP).


How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?

Switching energy suppliers should take about 21 days, thanks to the Government-backed Energy Switching GuaranteeBut it can sometimes happen sooner and sometimes it takes a little longer. Your new energy supplier will provide you with an expected date for your switch over so that this is clear.

If you don’t hear anything for up to 14 days, don’t worry. Most energy suppliers will wait until the cooling off period has passed to start the switching process.

There shouldn’t be any disruption to your supply on the day of the switch, as your gas and electricity will still continue to come into your home through the same pipes and wires, whoever supplies it. The only thing you’ll notice is a different supplier name on your bill.


Can I switch energy suppliers if I rent?

Yes, usually. As a tenant, you have the right to switch if you pay your supplier directly for the energy you use. Your landlord may have named a ‘preferred supplier’ in the rental agreement, and it’s worth letting them know your decision, but this won’t affect your right to switch.

If you don’t have a smart meter and you pick a tariff that requires one to be installed you’ll need to ask permission from your landlord.

If your landlord pays your energy bills and then charges you, you don’t have the right to switch supplier. You can always ask your landlord to change provider, though.


How do I switch suppliers if I’m moving home?

Moving is the perfect opportunity to find a better deal and switch supplier. You’ll need to give your current supplier notice ideally at least two days before you move.

If you’re happy with the deal you’ve got, you just need to tell your supplier where you’re moving to and the date of the move.

Ensure that you take a meter reading just before you leave your home and submit it to your existing supplier. That way you only pay for the energy you’ve used when your final bill for that property comes through.

Once you have moved, take a meter reading and give it to the energy provider who supplies your new home. If you’ve decided to switch and haven’t carried your old tariff over, then you’ll automatically be put on the new supplier’s ‘default’ standard variable-rate tariff. These tend to be the most expensive tariffs, so it’s a good idea to compare prices and find something cheaper as soon as possible.


Switching Energy Supplier

Looking to switch energy suppliers use a of always use a Ofgem accredited comparison service such as the one provided on the Invictus at Home website

This means that our service is:

  • impartial – not biased to any supplier
  • comprehensive – compares all domestic tariffs from all suppliers
  • accurate and up to date

More information is available on the Ofgem website.