Although now is not the right time to be switching energy because of the rising costs, we're here to prepare you for when the time to switch comes.
Here's what you need to know.
Switching energy providers
At the moment, there aren't many options if you want to switch energy providers. By signing up to our switch ready programme, we can tell you when there are more energy deals available. It takes less than 1 minute:
Log in to your Confused.com account and confirm your address, energy usage and energy supplier's details.
We'll send personalised energy deals straight to your inbox.
Choose a deal you're happy with and we'll complete the switch for you.
Get personalised electricity deals straight to your inboxGet switch ready
How do I switch energy suppliers?
Now is not the best time to be switching energy suppliers due to the current market. But you can enter just a few simple details about your home with us and we can let you know when energy deals become available again.
When energy deals do become available, you can then compare energy tariffs with Confused.com. You need to answer a couple of simple questions about your property and how much energy you use.
If you’ve got a bill to hand then our quotes should be more accurate, but don’t worry if you can’t find one. We’ve done enough comparisons to give you a pretty good estimate.
We deliver a list of tariffs available to you, sorted in order of how much you can save by switching. Just pick the price that’s best for you and select the switch button.
We then need a couple more details so your new provider can set up your account, and then they should contact your existing provider on your behalf to kick off your switch.
What to do when your energy supplier goes bust
When your energy supplier goes bust, you should take meter readings straightaway – but the main thing to remember is not to panic. Many customers have seen their energy suppliers go out of business, so you’re certainly not alone. Price rises in energy markets have been too much for some of the smaller suppliers to cope with.
If your energy supplier goes bust, the UK regulator, Ofgem, has to make sure there’s no interruption to your gas or electricity supply. They’ll appoint a new supplier, who should eventually get in touch with you. It’s a good idea to take meter readings again once the new energy supplier is in place.
You’re not recommended to consider switching until the new provider has been appointed. That way you should be able to compare the new tariff you’re being offered by them with what’s available elsewhere.
You should always ask the new provider to put you on their lowest tariff, but you can still compare their best price to the deals that are on offer from other suppliers.
When's the best time to switch energy suppliers?
If it’s been a long time since you’ve switched
Suppose you’ve been with your current energy provider for more than a year, then it’s well worth comparing quotes to see if you could save money by switching.
Just before your current deal expires
You could find yourself paying much more if your fixed price tariff comes to an end and your supplier puts you on their more expensive, variable tariff.
It’s a good idea to start looking around a couple of months before your current deal expires to see what other offers are out there.
When your supplier is about to raise its prices
If you’re on a variable rate and your supplier tells you they’re going to increase your energy prices, then it makes sense to shop around.
Compare quotes from other providers straightaway, before the price change kicks in. If your supplier is raising prices, other providers might be about to do the same, so you could have to act quickly to lock in a fixed price deal at a lower tariff with someone else.
Providers tend to hike their prices following rises in wholesale energy markets. Your supplier has to give you 30 days’ notice before they actually increase your prices.
Before it starts getting cold
Traditionally, summer is the best time of year to switch energy providers and find a better deal. Suppliers often put their prices up in the winter as it’s that time of year when demand for energy is highest and everyone has to put on their central heating to keep warm.
If I switch, will there be any interruption to my gas or electricity supply?
None at all. Your new supplier uses the same wires, pipes and meters that you currently use. They also contact your existing supplier to arrange for the transfer of your supply. The only thing that you should notice is that your bill is coming from your new provider.
How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?
The majority of energy suppliers are signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee which means your switch should take no longer than 21 days. This includes your statutory 14-day cooling-off period during which time you can change your mind.
What if I change my mind about switching my energy supplier?
If you want to cancel the switch, you should tell the supplier you were meant to be switching to straightaway.
Once you’ve requested a switch, you have 14 days to change your mind. There has to be a 14-day cooling-off period by law – it starts the day after you’ve agreed on the terms of a switch to a new supplier.
Can I switch energy suppliers if I rent?
Just because you don’t own the property you live in, doesn’t mean you can’t compare quotes to find the best deals in the market. If you rent and you pay a supplier for your energy directly, then you can easily switch suppliers.
The only situation where you won’t be able to switch energy providers when you’re renting is if your landlord is the one who pays the supplier.
How do I switch energy suppliers if I'm moving home?
Before your move, you should shop around and compare the latest deals in the market. If you find a better tariff, then you should tell your supplier you’ll be leaving them a couple of days before you move. Whoever is supplying the new property needs to know your move-in date.
But you don’t have to change supplier just because you’re moving house – if you find your current deal is the best value, then you can stay with the same supplier on your current tariff. You just need to give your existing supplier a minimum of 48 hours' notice of your move, telling them your new address and the date you’re going to be moving in.
Either way, you need to take meter readings just before you move out and give them to your current supplier to make sure you only pay for the energy you use. Once you’re at your new home, you should take meter readings on the day you move in – whoever is supplying the property needs them to calculate your bills accurately.
Can I switch to a renewable energy supplier?
Switching to a renewable energy provider should be just as straightforward as making the switch to a mainstream provider.
You'd be doing your bit for the environment and reducing your carbon footprint. It certainly all adds up: the average UK household’s carbon emissions come to just over 20,000 tonnes a year.
There could be more good news as you might even save some money versus the tariff you’re currently on. You should compare quotes and decide how renewable and green energy suppliers stack up for you.
Tips for switching energy suppliers
Get ready- To compare what you’re currently getting with the latest offers, you need to dig out your current bills so you get the exact breakdown of what you’re currently paying per unit of electricity and gas together with how much you currently use.
Check your meters- We need to know if you have a standard credit meter, Economy 7 meter or a prepayment meter. If you have a standard credit meter, you should have a direct debit or regular billing set up. Economy 7 differs as you pay 2 different rates for your electricity – 1 for the night and 1 for the day. You know if you have a prepayment meter because you have to pay for your energy before you use it and keep topping it up regularly.
Select your tariff- If you’re making a switch, you need to decide on what type of tariff works best for you. You could lock in a fixed tariff if you enter a 12-18 month contract. On the other hand, if you think prices might fall in that time, you might prefer a variable rate, where the price you pay could change from time to time depending on what happens in the wholesale energy markets. If you select a dual tariff, that means both your electricity and gas comes from the same supplier – it can sometimes work out cheaper than having 2 different suppliers.
Watch out for exit fees- You could have an exit fee to pay if you want to switch but you’ve already got a fixed tariff deal. The exit fee tends to be around £60, though it usually doesn’t apply if your current contract has only 49 days or less to go. If you’re near to this point, you might decide it’s best to wait a little longer before you make the switch.
Use a direct debit- If you’re happy to proceed with your switch, it’s always best to set up a direct debit as the payment method for your energy supply. There’s usually a discount if you pay by direct debit and it can make things a lot easier for you as well.