How to switch energy supplier
To switch energy supplier, all you need is your post code and a recent energy bill. You can find out various tariffs through Ofgem approved sites, which ensures you get the best deal based on your current living situation. Ofgem have researched that you can on average save around £300 on your annual energy bills if you switch supplier.
We have put together a guide to show you how easy it is to switch energy supplier with a few easy steps. We will also show you what will happen after you switch and how long the process takes.
Fixed rate vs. Variable Rate
First off, it may be a good start to quickly explain the energy tariff system we have in the UK. There are basically two types of tariffs, a fixed-rate tariff and a variable-rate one. A fixed-rate energy tariff guarantees your energy rate(s) for up to 12 months. A variable-rate tariff is prone to increase or decrease depending on the energy price. Therefore, a fixed-rate tariff will give you far more protection against rising energy prices since you will be paying the same monthly price. However, should the energy price decrease and end up lower than your fixed-rate tariff, you will have to stick to your fixed-tariff price unless you plan to switch plans. The fees to cancel your tariff can range between £25 and £50 but some plans allow you to switch for free.
Can I switch suppliers with a smart meter?
The answer is yes. You can still switch supplier with a smart meter. Since 2016, all energy suppliers have been installing smart meters to make customers more aware of their daily, monthly, and annual energy costs. The government has set a target for all suppliers to install smart meters in every home by 2020.
While you’re in the process of being switched over, the new supplier should be able to discover if you have a smart meter installed. This will save you a lot of time since some smart meters are likely to lose their functionality once you switch. If this were to be the case, your new supplier will offer one of their smart meters as a replacement. Otherwise, you might be left with a standard meter. However, note that energy suppliers are obliged to fit every household with a new smart meter by 2020.
Steps to switch (We can do this for you!)
- Enter your post code and keep a previous energy bill handy. You will be asked some lifestyle questions to find a selection of tariffs that best suits you, but it’s best to keep an energy bill to one side for a more accurate reference.
- Review each comparison and find the right deal for you! You can refine your results based on whether there is a cancellation fee or if you prefer a fixed-rate plan.
What happens next?
After you’ve confirmed the switch, your old supplier will be contacted by your new supplier. This is done to agree a switch-over date. Normally, the whole process takes 17 days, which includes time for your new supplier to send you a welcome pack and confirmation, as well as your old supplier making contact to confirm your final meter reading. You will receive energy normally during this entire process so there’s no need to worry about your gas being cut off.
You can switch energy suppliers every 28 days should you decide to switch again. However, it’s important to check with your supplier if there are any cancellation charges. There is a cooling period of 14 days after you put in a request to switch suppliers, so if you cancel within this time you can contact your supplier and stick with your current supplier without any additional charges.