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19 Sep 2019
Adam Bate Confused.com

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?

The first step is to compare energy tariffs with Confused.com. You’ll 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 will 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’ll 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’ll need a couple more details so your new provider can set up your account, and then they will contact your existing provider on your behalf to kick off your switch.

What happens once I've chosen a new supplier?

Your new provider will do everything for you, but you may need to supply them with a meter reading for your final bill. If you aren’t able to read your meter, then they may send someone to read it for you

If I switch, will there be any interruption to my gas or electricity supply?

None at all. Your new supplier will use the same wires, pipes and meters that you currently use. They will also contact your existing supplier to arrange for the transfer of your supply. The only thing that you will notice is that your bill will come from your new provider.

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What should I consider when choosing a new gas and electricity supplier?

There are a lot of things to take into account when deciding which supplier is best for you. Firstly, and most obviously, you’ll probably be looking at the price and the savings you will make on your current deal. However, you may also want to consider the following:

Payment options

Discounts are available for paying bills by direct debit; although there can be stipulations such as monthly payments if you want to qualify for this (check the terms and conditions). Alternatively, if you don’t have a bank account, other payment options may be available.

Benefits and special offers

There are plenty of incentives out there for switching as energy firms compete for your custom. Factor in how much of a saving these will bring but remember to think about how much you’ll be paying in the long run.

Customer service

You might want to make sure that you pick an energy company with a good customer service rating – if something goes wrong and you need to speak to your energy provider, a company with a poor service rating can make this a painful and frustrating experience.

Do I need to contact my current energy supplier if I choose to switch?

No. Your new energy supplier will arrange everything for you. Once you have chosen your new supplier and agreed to switch to them, they will arrange for the transfer to take place. We recommend that you pay any final bills promptly and if you do pay by direct debit or standing order, it’s good practice to cancel these arrangements once the final bill has been paid.

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

The majority of energy suppliers are now signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee which means your switch will take no longer than 21 days. This includes your statutory 14 day cooling off period during which you can change your mind.

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.

Can my current supplier prevent me from switching to a new supplier?

As long as you are not in debt with your existing supplier, they can’t prevent you from switching.

Your current supplier may object if they have billed you and you have failed to pay that bill for more than 28 days.

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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