Moving home and changing your gas and electricity supplier

Moving house? You might want to consider switching your gas and electricity supplier to make sure you're on the most suitable energy tariff. Here's how to go about it.

Moving house? You might want to consider switching your gas and electricity supplier to make sure you're on the most suitable energy tariff. Here's how to go about it.

Written by
Sofia Hutson
Utilities expert
14 JANUARY 2022
6 min read
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Should I change my energy supplier when I move house?

Moving house is a great opportunity to see if you can get a better deal on your gas and electricity.

When you move into your new home, the existing energy supplier will often put you on what's called a 'deemed contract'. This can be one of the more expensive tariffs, so, to avoid paying more, you might want to start shopping around as soon as possible.

How do I choose a new energy supplier?

It's easy. You can use our energy comparison service to get a range of quotes from energy providers. Just give us your new postcode and a few details about yourself, and we'll do the rest.

What steps do I need to take before I move house?

Before you leave your old home, there are a few things you’ll need to do: 

  • Step 1 - Consider your options
    Check your existing tariff to see if there's an exit fee. Then compare your tariff against other deals available and work out if it's cheaper to take your existing tariff with you when you move, or switch after paying any exit fee. 
  • Step 2 - Call your energy supplier
    If your comparison results show you're better off staying with your existing tariff, let your supplier know two weeks before your moving date so they can prepare to move your account to your new address. If it's cheaper for you to switch, tell your supplier at least 48 hours before you move and confirm the date. They can then send the final bill to your new address. 

  • Step 3 - Take meter readings on the day you move
    Take meter readings at your old and new house on the day you leave. You don't want to be charged for someone else's energy use, so take the readings as soon as you move in to cover yourself in case you get an unexpected bill. Taking readings will also stop you being overcharged and will offer you some protection if you don't agree with your final bill. You may even find that you're owed money on overpayments, which you can claim back by calling your supplier. 

What to do after you move

  • Step 1 – Find out who supplies the energy for your new home
    When you move into your new home, the existing supplier for the property will automatically put you on a ‘deemed contract’. This is the supplier’s default tariff and is usually more expensive. You’ll need to take a meter reading and submit it to the supplier on the day you move in. You should also ask them about the best tariff for you. At this point, you can decide whether to stay with the existing supplier or switch to a new one.
  • Step 2 - Compare suppliers and switch
    Don’t feel under any obligation to stay with the existing supplier to the property. Moving home is an ideal time to compare energy providers and switch to the right tariff for you. Your new supplier will handle the switch – you'll be notified if you need to submit a meter reading or if they need anything else. As you’re on a deemed contract there’s no exit fee to pay.  

To find out more about how to switch, see our guide to switching energy

Did you know?
You can only switch supplier or tariff from the day you become responsible for the property – so, once you’ve exchanged contracts or signed a rental agreement. You’ll still need to pay a first bill with the existing supplier to the property, as the switch process can take around 15-21 days to complete.

How do I find out who supplies the energy in my new home?

If you're not sure who supplies the energy to your new home, don't worry – it's easy enough to find out.

To track down your gas supplier, visit the Find my supplier website or give the Meter Number Helpline a call, on 0870 608 1524

To find out who provides your electricity, you can call the Local Distribution Centre (LDC) for your area, on one of the following numbers: 

  • London, South East and Eastern England: 0800 029 4285
  • South Wales, West & East Midlands: 0800 096 3080
  • South West England: 0845 601 2989
  • Southern England: 0800 048 3516
  • North West England: 0800 048 1820
  • Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire and North Wales: 0330 101 0444
  • Yorkshire: 0800 011 3332
  • North East England: 0845 070 7172
  • Central and Southern Scotland: 0330 101 0444
  • Northern Scotland: 0800 048 3516

Can I change my energy supplier if I rent?

If you're moving into a rented home and pay for your own gas and electricity, you have the right to change energy supplier.

It may say in your contract that your landlord has a preferred supplier, but that's unlikely, and it doesn't mean you can't switch. Ask your landlord about changing suppliers, but you don’t need their permission to switch unless their name is on the bill.

What if I’m moving to a new business premises? 

If you’re moving your business to a new location, you’ll automatically be put on a deemed contract. Deemed tariffs can be more expensive, but they do mean you have the freedom to switch whenever you want without any penalty fees. Business energy contracts tend to last much longer than domestic ones, so it’s the perfect time to switch your business energy supplier.

Do I need to tell my current energy supplier if I decide to switch?

No, you don't. Thanks to the Energy Switch Guarantee, switching is hassle-free and your new supplier will inform the old one on your behalf. The guarantee also means there are no fees to switch, and the process should take no more than 21 days.

Frequently asked questions

What should I do if my new home has a prepayment meter?

If there’s a prepayment meter at your new home, your estate agent or landlord should provide you with a key or card to top it up. You can also ask the energy supplier of the property for a new key or card. 

While prepayment meters can help those struggling to budget their energy spending, they aren’t usually the best tariffs. If you own the property, it’s worth seeing if you can move to a standard credit meter so you can pay your bills by direct debit instead. Call your energy supplier to see if you can change to a regular or smart meter

If you’re renting, you don’t need your landlord’s permission to change the meter. However, they can make you change it back when you move out.

What should I do if my new house has a smart meter?

If you have a smart meter, check that it’s in ‘smart mode’ . It should send the first reading automatically to your supplier when you move in. If it’s not in smart mode, you’ll need to take manual readings and submit them just as you would with a standard meter. 

Also, be aware that if the smart meter in your new home is first-generation (SMETS1), and you decide to switch, you may temporarily lose the smart functionalities. This is because first-generation smart meters are gradually being moved onto a single national communications network, and it might not be compatible with your new supplier yet.

Can I take my fixed-rate contract with me when I move home?

A few energy suppliers allow customers to move their fixed-rate contract over to their new property when they move home. You might be considering this to avoid any exit fees. 

But there’s no guarantee your existing fixed-rate tariff will remain the same, as energy prices can change depending on the area of the country you’re moving to. 

Not all suppliers let customers keep to the same deal, And, it might not be possible if they don’t offer a service in the area you’re moving to. You might also find that a cheaper deal elsewhere cancels out the loss you’ll make by paying an exit fee.

What else do I need to cancel when moving home?

You’ll need to cancel your utility contracts when you move home and give the providers your new address so they can send you a final bill. These include: 

  • gas and electricity
  • water
  • broadband
  • landline
  • council tax