How to Switch Energy Providers

Energy
October 20, 2021

If you are curious about how to switch energy supplier, read on for all the information you need. When you know how to change utility provider the best way, you should find the whole process fast and simple.

To switch energy suppliers in the UK all you need is a recent energy bill, your postcode and around 10 minutes. You need your bank details too if you want to pay the bills with direct debit. If you can’t find a recent energy bill, don’t worry.

A few simple questions about your household can give us a good estimate. Then we can use those rates to give you a good idea of potential savings you can make if you change utility provider.

How to Switch Energy Providers Online

This is the simplest way. Enter your postcode online at Uswitch.com and we will tell you about all available plans. Remember some suppliers only serve specific areas and prices are regionally for gas and electric. Next enter your exact usage. You can find this on your annual energy statement if you don’t have a recent bill to hand.

You will see all the plans available for you to change to and you can compare which will save you the most money. There are over 50 energy suppliers on the market so trying to choose one without comparing plans can seem impossible. If you are looking for something specific, such as an early exit fee, a long fix or a green energy plan, you can fine tune the results further.

Finally just confirm the switch by providing your bank details and full address. The new supplier can then set up a direct debit. Your new and old supplier will contact one another to arrange a date to switch over.

How Long Does it Take to Switch Energy Providers?

Although comparing companies only takes minutes, the whole process of changing suppliers can take up to 3 weeks. If you are switch gas as well as electric, each changeover might have a different date. Your energy supply won’t be interrupted at any stage.

Tips for Changing Energy Providers

When changing energy you need to know what type of meter you have. You might be on a prepayment meter, a credit meter or Economy 7. Prepayment meters have to be topped up using a key, a credit meter is paid by regular or direct debit. An Economy 7 meter means you have a daytime use rate and a night time use rate on your bill.

Compare energy plans at Uswitch to see fixed as well as variable gas and electricity prices. With a fixed tariff you will pay the same price for every unit of energy for the 12- or 18-month contract. Variable tariffs might go up or down depending on various factors in the energy market.

You also need to choose either a dual fuel tariff or switching your gas and electricity tariffs separately. If you use gas as well as electricity, it can be cheaper if you get both from the same provider.

If you want a renewable energy plan look for the green badge on the comparison results. A lot of tariffs usually have some level of green energy. Here are some more tips to ensure you make the right choice when you change utility provider:

  • Read Customer Reviews Making a large saving is important but you’ll also want to ensure the new supplier offers a good service. The star ratings on our comparison list include ratings based on real customer reviews, for your peace of mind.
  • Avoid Exit Fees Your supplier might charge you an exit fee if you’re on a fixed plan which hasn’t yet expired. This is usually around £60. We will let you know if there will be any exit fees. These fees are typically waived about 49 days before the end of your plan, so we will let you know when you can switch over without paying a fee.
  • Consider Small Companies Too It’s likely you will see some brand names you’ve never heard of when comparing energy suppliers. Don’t dismiss these because a lot will have good customer reviews and competitive prices.
  • Set Up Direct Debit The prices shown in our comparison tool apply to direct debit. You can pay by another method, such as credit card or cheque, but direct debit is usually the cheapest.
  • When to Change Utility Provider Switch energy providers when the fixed deal you are on is about to end. You can switch whenever and however often you like, but watch out for exit fees.

How to Switch Energy Supplier When Moving House

It is useful to know how to change utility provider if you are moving home so you can make sure you aren’t paying too much. First you need to notify your current supplier at least 48 hours before moving.

This gives them time to send the final bill to your new address and close the account. Read the meter yourself on moving day so the bill will be accurate.

Read the meter in the new home on the same day you move in. After that you can contact whichever supplier the new property is using. The supplier can then change the account into your name. This might not be the best deal for you of course, so it is worth entering your new postcode on Uswitch and find out what else is available.

Changing Your Mind about Switching Energy Suppliers

There is a cooling off period of 14 days, so if you decide you don’t want to change utility provider any more, contact the new supplier and tell them. They can cancel the switch for you and your supply will not be interrupted.

What Happens after the Switch?

Your gas and electricity supply will be the same as before, whichever supplier you have or are changing to. The only things that change are the price for your energy and the company who sends you bills. Unless you choose to have a smart meter installed, nobody will need to visit your home.

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