Energy is at the heart of the home, powering everything from the oven to the wireless router. It’s something we’ll always need, so it makes sense to make sure we’re getting the best deal on our gas and electricity when we can.
That’s why so many people like to shop around to find the right energy supplier at the right price. It can seem like a complicated process, but we’ve put together the main things you need to know before you save money by switching your energy supplier.
How does energy switching work?
Step one – find the best tariff for you and switch online – we’ll just need a few details from you like the name of your existing supplier, where you live and the average amount of energy you use.
Step two – you’ll get a 14-day cooling-off period to make sure you’re happy with your choice and during this time we’ll keep you updated with emails which include details about your new online account.
Step three – we’ll let you know when cooling-off has ended and tell you how much your monthly payments will be. This is based on the information you gave us when you registered and can also include usage information from your previous supplier, so may change depending on your usage and tariff.
Step four – finally we’ll ask you for your opening reading which we’ll send to your previous supplier who will close your account. It can take up to 28 days for them to receive this reading, so you won’t receive your final bill straight away. Your first payment may come out straight away, depending on your Direct Debit date. After your first payment, you can change the date of your Direct Debit online.
And that’s it… you’re switched. Overall the process takes just under three weeks.
Can I save money by switching energy provider?
Yes, potentially. Shopping around for the most competitive deal could result in you paying less for your energy bills, leaving you some leftover budget to spend on the things you’d like.
How do I switch supplier?
First of all, you’ll need to do some research into the options available to you, looking at the tariffs available out there.
If you’d like to look up customer reviews to get a feel for the quality of customer care, websites like Trustpilot show reviews from customers. Alternatively, sites like Which? publish reviews from independent panels. This quickest way to switch is to click here.
Comparing tariffs isn’t just about comparing prices, although that undoubtedly is a major part of it – after all, we all want to pay less for our bills. But suppliers these days aren’t just competing on price anymore, many offer gadgets or vouchers that you may find useful.
As the name suggests, a fixed tariff means that you’ll pay a specific amount, usually on a monthly basis, for your energy for a specified period of time. Most fixed rate tariffs last at least a year.
The benefits of fixed rates are that you’ll know how much you’re paying each month and you’ll be protected from unexpected price increases.
Variable energy tariffs change. They can increase or decrease depending on wholesale energy prices. In most cases, as there’s no exit fee, they tend to offer more flexibility than fixed tariffs.
How do I actually switch energy supplier?
Once you’ve compared the market and found a tariff you like, you’ll be ready to act:
- Let your new supplier know that you want to join them. You’ll need to provide your details to do this. Either give them a call or apply directly online. Once they have your details, they’ll be in contact with both you and your previous supplier.
- You’ll need to provide meter readings when your new supplier asks for them so that you’re billed correctly from the start of your new energy contract.
- Last but not least, you’ll need to pay your final bill with your old provider.
Once your move is done, you can expect to receive a confirmation that it’s all complete.