How To Switch Energy Supplier
How To Switch Energy Supplier
Switching energy suppliers could shave more than £300 off your bills according to industry regulator, Ofgem. So, if you can’t remember the last time you switched your energy plan, then perhaps it’s about time you did. Here’s what to think about and how to switch energy supplier.
Why should I change energy provider?
One of the main reasons why people consider changing energy supplier is to save money. But switching energy company is not always just about cutting costs and you might decide to change provider for other reasons, such as:
- Customer satisfaction – if you’re not getting the service you expect from your current energy supplier, vote with your wallet and switch to a supplier with higher levels of customer care.
- The environment – if you’re concerned about energy use and the effect on the environment, you might decide to switch to a green energy supplier.
Why should I use energy comparison sites?
Energy comparison sites like Quotezone.co.uk make it easy to find a better energy deal by showing you all available tariffs on the market. Plus, as an Ofgem accredited comparison site, you can trust us to deliver free and impartial advice.Our only aim is to help you find and switch to the best energy plan for your home and budget because we don’t think you should pay more than you need for necessities like gas and electricity.
How long does it take to switch energy supplier?
Thanks to the Energy Switch Guarantee, switching energy provider should be hassle-free and take no longer than 21 days. Some switches can even take as little as 14 days to happen.
Around 90% of energy suppliers have signed up to the guarantee which means they have to regularly report on how well they’re achieving certain energy switch goals. The guarantee is there to give customers peace of mind that the switching process will be handled efficiently and with minimal disruption.
The guarantee also means it’s ok to change your mind within the first 14 days if you decide not to switch suppliers – just let the new supplier know.
How does switching energy companies work?
Because of the Energy Switch Guarantee, the process is very straightforward. If you find an energy tariff you like, simply contact the supplier and tell them you want to switch. They’ll contact your existing provider and manage the entire changeover.
The only things you’ll need to do are settle outstanding bills and take meter readings.
Will my energy supply be cut off if I switch energy provider?
No – suppliers all use the same pipes, cables and ducts to deliver energy into your home so you won’t notice any disruption to your supply when you switch energy companies.
What information do I need to switch energy suppliers?
It’s a good idea to have a recent energy bill to hand as you’ll need to answer a few questions so that we can find the best and most relevant deals for you. For instance, we’ll need to know things like:
- Your postcode.
- The current tariff you’re on.
- How much energy you use.
- How you currently pay your bills and how you’d like to in the future.
How do I choose energy tariff?
Tariff is just another name for an energy plan and while suppliers set their own specific terms and conditions, two of the main types are:
- Fixed rate tariff – this is where the unit cost of your gas or electricity (measured in kilowatt hours) is fixed for an agreed length of time. Your bills can still fluctuate depending on the amount of energy you use but if your use is consistent then it can help you budget.
- Variable tariffs – the unit cost of your energy can go up or down depending on wholesale prices. You’ll benefit from lower bills if wholesale costs fall but you’ll pay more if they rise – even if your energy use stays the same.
You can also get green tariffs which means energy suppliers will source some or all their gas and electricity from renewables. Where they can’t use green energy (like solar, wind, hydroelectric or biomass) they may choose to donate money to environmental projects.
There are other types of tariff that are only available if you have a special meter known as Economy 7 or 10 meters. These tariffs have two prices – one cheaper than the other. The cheaper rate is only available between certain times but if you can put appliances on timers, you’ll benefit from reduced costs.
Prepayment meter tariffs are another type of metered tariff but instead of being billed for the energy you’ve used; you pay for it upfront. These are typically expensive compared to other tariffs but it does give you complete control over how much you spend.
What should I consider before I switch gas and electric supplier?
Before you switch energy supplier, you should think about:
- Tariff – all tariffs have their pros and cons so think carefully about which one is right for you. Fixed rate tariffs tend to be the most competitively priced, but it does mean locking yourself into a contract. You can of course leave your contract at any time but there may be hefty exit fees for leaving early.
- Account management – some suppliers offer several different ways to manage your energy account – for example online or paper billing. If you have a preference, check to make sure what you want, is available.
- Problem resolution times – the last thing you want is to sign up to a supplier that takes months to resolve issues. Taking some time to read reviews and ratings can give you a good idea of how well a supplier deals with problems.
Can I switch supplier if I rent?
If your name is on bills and you pay the supplier directly, then yes, you should be able to switch energy company. Although, it goes without saying, you should always double check the terms of your tenancy to see if there are any clauses that relate to this. Some landlords have a ‘preferred supplier’ which means you may have to switch back at the end of your tenancy.
On the other hand, if your landlord pays your bills (and you pay them back) you don’t have the automatic right to switch supplier. Instead, you’ll need to discuss the benefits of switching with your landlord.
Compare quotes and switch energy supplier
To start your energy switch, simply answer a few questions and let us take care of the rest. It only takes a few minutes, but it could cut bills by hundreds; so see what you could save right now.