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Quick Guide to help you see how easily it is to switch energy suppliers can be.
These days, energy costs are rising; to save money you may want to consider switching your energy suppliers for gas and electricity. However, many people fear interruption or temporary loss of service in the event of making such a change. You don’t need to worry—changing your energy supplier has never been easier! Read on to learn how to quickly and efficiently switch energy suppliers to save money.
Step 1: Comparison Shopping
Before choosing your new energy supplier, it’s recommended that you comparison shop to find the best energy prices. Using a comparison tool is easy and fast; the site will provide you with a quote in as little as a few minutes. To use a comparison tool, just enter your postal code into the field provided. Then you may be required to answer a few easy questions. Be sure to provide the most accurate information on your energy use as possible. The quote will be based on the information you provide.
Step 2: Review Comparison Results
Once you’ve input the information, the quote will provide you with a selection of tariffs, and then you’ll be able to choose the most cost-effective energy prices for your budget. Some people may find the results a little confusing, as there are so many to choose from. If you feel overwhelmed with the results, use the supplied filters to help focus on the type of service you prefer. For instance, you choose to review only fixed-rate energy plans, plans without an early exit fee, etc.
Step 3: Confirm You’d Like to Switch
Once you’ve chosen a new energy plan, you’re ready to start your switch application. You’ll need to wait for instructions from the new energy supplier. It could take up to 14 days before you hear from them. This is normal and is known as the “cooling off” period. During this step, you’ll usually need to provide the new company with your address and bank details. Bank details are only needed if you choose to pay by direct debit, which can be cheaper and save you money over other payment options. After the cooling-off period, your new energy supplier will let you know the date of the change of service and will visit your home to do a meter reading. The last thing—you’ll receive a final bill from the previous energy supplier. They may owe you a refund, in case you’ve overpaid your bills.
Some Common Questions About Switching Energy Suppliers
Here are some common questions that many people have about switching suppliers:
1). Will my energy service be interrupted when switching suppliers?
No, because you’ll still be buying the same energy; the only difference will be the charge for that energy. It can be confusing—but the energy source will remain the same no matter what. When you switch suppliers, only the supplier and price charged for the energy changes. Nothing else. In fact, you won’t need to face the installation of new wires, pipes, etc. As a result, there will be no interruption in your energy service.
2). Does my new supplier take over as soon as I confirm the switch?
No, in fact, the entire process can take up to about 21 days, which includes the cooling-off period. During this time, the previous energy supplier will contact the new supplier. They will determine the date for switching over the energy service and then let you know when this will be.
3). Will I need to worry about double billing?
No, because the companies will agree on a switching over date, and you’ll be able to cancel any direct debit you had with the previous company. You’ll need to set up a new direct debit for the new supplier. So, you shouldn’t be billed twice.
4). Is it possible to switch suppliers if I owe money to the current supplier?
You may be able to switch if you owe money to the current energy supplier: a). Can switch if you’ve been in debt 28 days or less, in which case the debt will be added to your final bill. b). For debts over 28 days old, you’ll have to first pay this off before making the switch. c). Prepayment plans are a little different: if you owe £500 or less, it’s possible to have your outstanding balance transferred to the new supplier, under DAP (Debt Assignment Protocol).
5). Can I change my mind about making the switch?
Yes; in fact, the cooling-off period includes 14 days, in which time you’re allowed to change your mind. This is a requirement mandated by law, which starts the day after you agree to contract.
6). Can I switch suppliers again?
Yes, it’s possible to switch as often as every 28 days, but you’ll need to be aware of cancellation fees that may be applied. However, these fees can be quite expensive. Be sure you understand the cost of cancellation fees before making a change.
7). As a renter, can I switch energy suppliers?
Possibly. If your landlord pays the energy bills and charges you for the cost, then you don’t have the right to switch suppliers. However, you may be able to discuss making a change with your landlord. On the other hand, if your landlord has specified a “preferred supplier” in the rental agreement, you can change energy suppliers. It would be a good idea to let your landlord know about the decision to switch. Even so, you still have the right to switch. You will have to ask your landlord’s permission if you don’t have a smart meter and one needs to be installed.
8). Is it possible to choose a renewable energy supplier for my electric service?
Yes! This choice is completely up to you. However, renewable energy can cost more, so be sure to carefully check the prices you’d have to pay, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
9). How do I switch energy suppliers when moving to a new home?
This is easy your current supplier know about 2 days in advance of making the move. If you want to stay with this company, then let them know where you’ll be moving. Or this could be a good time to switch suppliers. Start by using a comparison tool and following the rest of the steps outlined above. Note: it can be helpful to take a meter reading at your current residence and give this to your existing energy supplier. Then you’ll only be charged for the energy you’ve actually used on the final bill. When you move, take a meter reading and give this to the new energy supplier you’ve chosen. Sometimes, the new supplier will put you on what’s called a standard variable-rate tariff. These can be quite expensive. So be sure to change your tariff to a cheaper rate as soon as possible after moving in. Switching energy suppliers is easier now than ever. Just follow the steps in this guide to make the change easy and fast. You won’t have to worry about service interruption, and will be quickly enjoying the newer tariff and cheaper prices.