Ten things to know about switching energy suppliers

Switching energy suppliers is usually quick and simple. All you have to do is get a quote and decide on the best tariff for you. If you're uncertain about some aspects of changing your energy supplier, such as when you can switch, having a smart meter, or how long it takes, read this handy blog that answers ten commonly asked questions about switching energy suppliers.

1. How to switch energy suppliers?

Switching your electricity and gas supplier is straight forward and definitely worth it. Here's how to do it in four easy steps:

  1. Have your current tariff details and energy consumption to hand - best to have your recent bill. 
  2. Get a quote either from your chosen new provider or use a comparison website if you're not sure who you want to switch to. 
  3. Choose the quote you like the best and your new supplier will do everything else for you. 
  4. Your new supplier lets you know when your energy is provided by them.


2. How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?

This varies. Generally you should be all switched over within 2-4 weeks. It takes this long because there’s a 14-day cooling off period. Then your new supplier will contact your old supplier and they agree on a switch over date. Your new supplier will send you a welcome pack with information about your new tariff and your old supplier will send you a final bill. 



3. When can I switch energy suppliers?

You can switch your electricity and gas supplier whenever you'd like but sometimes you may have to pay 'exit fees'. Check your current tariff to see if it has an exit fee and how much it is. Even if you have to pay it, do get quotes and compare the tariffs - sometimes it may still be worth changing providers.

If you've recently switched your electricity and gas supplier, you always get 14-day cooling off period. It means you can switch back or to another provider without any penalties. 



4. How do I know if I should switch my energy supplier?

If you’ve never switched suppliers or haven’t in a long time, you will probably be able to get a better deal if you switch. It’s worth checking by using a quote generator. If the quote you get is less than you’re currently paying, and it’s offered by a different supplier, it’s time to switch. If you get a quote that is cheaper than you’re currently paying but it’s offered by your existing supplier, contact them to change tariff. If you don't know who your current supplier is, you can easily find out. 

Sometimes if you’re on a fixed rate tariff, there’s an exit fee if you cancel early. So before you switch check if you’ll incur a charge with your current supplier by cancelling your energy deal.


5. Will there be any disruption to my energy supply?

No. You won’t be cut off when you switch suppliers. On the day of your switch, you won’t notice any changes. 


6. Can I change energy supplier with a smart meter?

Yes, you can. However, depending on the type of the meter you have, switching can sometimes make the smart meter revert to a traditional meter. This will really depend on your energy provider and who you are switching to. If your smart meter reverts to a traditional meter after the switch, you can ask your new provider to install a new smart meter. This will likely be a better spec and transferable next time you switch. You can read more about our smart meters and getting one with us. 

7. Can I switch energy suppliers if I have a debt?

This depends on how long you’ve been in debt for. If you’ve been in debt for 28 days or less, you can switch. If it’s over 28 days, you’ll need to pay the money back before you can switch. 

8. What should I consider when choosing a new energy supplier?

There are four main questions you should ask yourself when considering a new energy supplier:

  1. Do you like the supplier? Customer service is important when it comes to energy, so you should choose a supplier that you feel offers the support you need. 
  2. What kind of meter do I have? This is useful to know because some tariffs work best with certain meters. 
  3. What are the terms and conditions? Read the small print and check if there are fees involved in call-outs, cancelling your tariff or late payments. 
  4. Does the tariff represent your lifestyle? Choose a tariff that will be the best value for when and how you use your household energy. For example, there’s no point choosing an Economy 7 tariff that makes your energy cheaper at a certain time of day if you won’t be at home when the energy is the cheapest.

9. I rent my property, can I switch energy suppliers or does my landlord?

Whoever pays the energy bills is responsible for switching. If you pay the bills in your rented property, it would be good to check with your landlord first. But it’s your money, so ultimately it’s your choice. 

10. Will I have an overlap where I’m paying for both tariffs?

As long as you provide correct meter readings when you switch, you won’t pay any more than you owe. Your old supplier will give your readings to your new supplier. If your new supplier asks you to pay a month in advance, you may get overlap in payments. You should check the details of your tariff to see if this applies to you. 

See what tariffs we offer currently and choose one that suits your needs best.