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01 Jan 2011
Adam Bate

The energy supplier switching process


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Taking the headache out of the energy switching process

Changing your gas or electricity supplier needn't be a hassle, but for some it can seem quite confusing. Here's what happens when you decide to switch your energy supplier.


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How does the energy switching process work?

We compare the prices of all registered gas and electricity suppliers in the UK.  We'll let you compare the best energy deal for your home, based on your own personal circumstances.

What happens once I've chosen a new supplier?

The supplier will contact you to confirm the date when the new service will start.

It's a good idea to  take a meter reading on this date. Your new supplier will either arrange this or contact you to ask you to provide a reading.

This reading will be the 'closing reading', so your old supplier knows how much energy you've used before switching. This will help work out your final payment with them. 

How long will it take until my new supplier supplies my energy?

Ideally, the switch should take no longer than 17 days from the date you arranged to change supplier. This allows for a 14 day "cooling off period" where you can change your mind about switching.

You can look at the average switching time for gas and electricity on the Ofgem website.

Before you switch, check that the new company are able to switch customers faster.

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How seamless will the change of supply be?

Moving to a new supplier shouldn't be risky. Most suppliers are large, trusted companies and all of them are regulated to ensure standards of service.

In the majority of cases the transfer is entirely seamless, and from a regulatory viewpoint Ofgem keeps a close eye check on this.

You won't need any new pipes, cables or meters if you switch suppliers. There shouldn't be any interruption to your gas or electricity supply.

What about my existing direct debit?

If you have a direct debit with your current supplier, you should cancel it once you've paid your final bill and confirmed the transfer of your supply.

Your existing energy supplier will confirm this process with you.

What about my existing debt?

If you have any bills outstanding, your existing supplier may prevent your switch until you've paid the outstanding amount.

If this happens, your existing supplier will write to you to inform you.

Can I switch energy if I work from home?

You can still switch energy supplier if you work or run your business from home. But if half or more of the energy you use is for business purposes, you’ll need to take out a business energy contract.


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