How to switch energy company
Over 250,000 people switch energy company or tariff every month. Energy companies want to make the switching process as simple and hassle-free as possible, which is why they have recently launched the Energy Switch Guarantee. The Guarantee is an industry-led initiative which aims to increase customers’ confidence in the switching process.
There are several ways to switch. You can:
- phone your energy company or look at their website to find out what deals they have
- use one of the accredited price comparison websites
- or you can switch at events in shopping centres and supermarkets
Which switching websites should I use?
All recognised switching websites should display the Confidence Code logo. Ofgem's Confidence Code is a Code of Practice which was set up to help make switching easier, more reliable and to give reassurance to consumers. Information on the Confidence Code can be found on Ofgem's website.
What information do I need to switch energy company?
To switch energy company, you'll need the following:
- the name of your current tariff
- how you pay for your energy (i.e. by direct debit, on receiving the of bill, etc)
- how much gas and/or electricity you use
You will find all this information on your latest energy bill, or Annual Statement. You can still contact your energy company if you don't have this to hand.
What happens when I switch energy company?
Once you've decided to switch, and have chosen your new company, they will ask you for a meter reading. This is to make sure you are billed correctly.
Your new company will work with your existing company to make sure you're billed for any outstanding money that you owe. They will then get in touch with details of when your contract starts.
How long does switching take?
Energy companies work together to make switching as quick as possible. The process normally takes around 3 weeks from start to finish.
What happens when I switch tariff?
When you switch tariff, your energy company will transfer you across to the new one. There will be no interruption in your supply.
Will anyone need to come to my house to complete the switch?
No, it's not necessary for energy companies to visit your home to complete the switch. If you have any concerns, please contact your energy company.
Will my energy supply get cut off when I switch energy company?
Don't worry, energy companies use the same wires and pipes, therefore your energy supply will not be interrupted. If you are receiving a new meter as part of the switch, your new energy provider will contact you to arrange a suitable date for the installer to visit and explain the interruption ensuring it is managed safely.
What if I'm in debt to my existing energy supplier?
Customers who use a prepayment meter can switch supplier, and transfer their debt, even if they owe as much as £500 per fuel. The process is known as the Debt Assignment Protocol. For more information see our Debt Assignment Protocol - Frequently Asked Questions factsheet (PDF 100KB).
What can I do if I change my mind?
There is a cooling off period of 14 working days where you can change your mind. Just get in touch with your energy supplier to let them know.
What do I do if I want to make a complaint?
If you want to make a complaint about how your switch was handled, you should contact your energy company. Our how to make a complaint page has further information on how the complaints process works.