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One of the best ways to save money on your gas and electricity bills is to switch energy supplier. Find out how easy it is to switch your provider so that you can start saving today.
We know it may seem like a stressful process to switch energy supplier, but it’s actually not as difficult as your current provider would like you to think.
In this guide, we break down just how quick and easy it is for you to switch energy supplier. Read on to discover how to switch to a better deal for your gas and electricity in just a few simple steps. It’s time to start saving!
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You’ll need to get a few details together concerning your current gas and electricity supply before you start making plans to switch energy supplier. Let’s have a look at what questions you should ask yourself before you decide to switch.
Your meter type determines the type of energy plan you can switch to. If you have a traditional prepayment meter, you will only be able to switch to a pay-as-you-go tariff. If you have a traditional credit meter, you can switch to a tariff that is paid either via direct debit or on receipt of a bill.
Customers with smart meters are able to switch to any type of tariff, no matter the payment method. However, since some smart meters are not compatible with certain providers, we recommend contacting the new potential provider to see if the meter will lose its smart functionality when you switch.
You’ll want to know the energy rates and details of your current tariff so that you can compare against offers from other energy suppliers.
You should check to see if your current tariff charges an exit fee for ending the contract early. Even if you do have to pay this fee to terminate your current agreement, you could still end up saving more money by switching to a cheaper energy tariff with a different supplier.
Your projected annual spend will be more accurate if you’re able to provide your actual gas and electricity usage in kilowatt-hours. This information can be found on your utility bill.
The average UK household consumes 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas annually.
Not sure how much energy you consume? Try using our consumption calculator to find out how much electricity your household consumes.
Once you’ve gotten the information together about your current supply, you are able to compare energy tariffs and choose the best provider to suit your needs.
You’ll want to consider a range of factors when choosing a new energy supplier and tariff. From price and customer service to green energy deals and rewards programs, it’s worth identifying your energy needs and expectations in order to find the best tariff for your home.
The kind of meter you have also determines the type of tariff you can select. If you’ve got a smart meter or a credit meter, choosing a tariff with a direct debit payment method will be your cheapest option.
We always recommend choosing a fixed-rate tariff. This guarantees that the price you pay for your energy will not change for the duration of the contract. However, if you are only planning to stay at the property for a short period of time, it may make sense for you to go on a flexible tariff that does not have an exit fee.
Check out our guides on the UK’s cheapest electricity and gas providers (coming soon!) to help you select an affordable plan for your home.
Now it’s time for you to call your chosen provider and open an account. Most suppliers also allow you to register either online or through a third-party service, like us here at Selectra.
If the account is not going to be in your name, the authorized account holder will need to give permission for you to switch energy supplier on his or her behalf.
We recommend you have the following details ready to present to the supplier:
If you are signing up for a tariff with a direct debit payment method, you will need to provide your bank details. Since you are guaranteed a 14-day cooling-off period during which you can change your mind and cancel the switch, no payment should be taken out for at least two weeks from the date you register.
It will take another two to three weeks before your energy supply actually switches over to the new provider.
In the meantime, you will receive a confirmation letter and a welcome pack from the new provider. You will also need to give a meter reading to your new supplier. The company will pass this information to your old energy supplier, which it will then use to calculate your final bill or organise a refund for any credit on your account.
Once the switch takes place, any credit left on prepayment meters from the previous supplier may be cleared from the meter. If this happens, you just need to contact your previous energy supplier to get the credit refunded.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common questions people ask when it comes to switching energy supplier.
It takes on average 17 days to switch energy supplier.
Customers always have a two-week cooling-off period after confirming an agreement with a new energy supplier, during which they can change their mind before the switch takes place. After this two-week period has passed, it should take no longer than a week for the switch to go through.
You can rest assured that there will be no break in your gas or electricity supply when you switch energy supplier. You will not experience any sort of power cut during the switch, and no one should have to come to your property to replace any meter, pipes or cables.
If you are in debt with your current energy company, you must pay off the debt to be able to switch. If you try to switch energy supplier without having sorted out your debt, the current company will block your switch.
If you’re not able to pay off the debt, contact your energy supplier and ask to set up a repayment plan. Your plan could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly, and it will be arranged to best suit your financial situation.
Once you have set up a repayment plan, you will then be able to switch energy supplier. This will save you money in the long run by allowing you to go ahead and switch to a more affordable energy plan, instead of having to wait until you’re able to pay off the debt completely.
Yes, tenants can switch energy supplier at the property they are renting. Unless your landlord is paying your energy bill, you get to decide what company you pay to supply gas and electricity to your home.
Even though you have the right as a tenant to switch energy supplier, you may still want to check in with your landlord before you make the switch.
It is possible that your smart meter might lose its smart functionality if you switch to a different energy supplier. The meter would still function - it would just operate as a traditional meter and you would be required to submit meter readings manually.
If you’re worried about your smart meter losing its smart functionality, contact the provider you want to switch to and ask. The new supplier may even be able to install a new smart meter for you for free.