A simples guide

Switching energy suppliers

What’s that saying – a change is as good as a rest? Change can be scary but it’s usually a good thing and if you switch energy suppliers you can give your wallet a little rest too. But knowing where to start and whether you’re going to get a good deal at the end of it all, might make it all seem like hard work. But we’ll let you into a little secret – it’s not hard and in the time it takes to read this, you could save yourself a few hundred quid – want to find out more?

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Why should I switch?

If you like saving money, then you should think about switching. How much you could save depends on where you live (energy prices are set by location) and how much you use. If you live in the North-East you could find yourself saving an average of £619 and if you live in the East-Midlands, which has the smallest average saving of £370, this is still worth shouting about.

But you might find yourself wanting to switch for more noble reasons – like customer service. Whether you’ve been put on hold for too long or are fed up listening to the same looping pan pipes soundtrack every time you call; customer service is an equally good reason to swap supplier.

Isn’t switching energy supplier hard?

Nine out of ten people who’ve switched found the process straightforward. Switching really is easy, but despite this more than 60% of people don’t actually remember ever switching supplier even though it could save them hundreds each year.

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So, what do I need to know if I want to switch?

First, check if your existing supplier charges you a cancellation fee – you’ll probably want to factor this in if you do decide to go for it. After that, it’s a question of just following these simple steps:

• Find your latest energy bill – you’ll need the information on it such as who your current supplier is, what tariff you’re on and how much you pay or how many kilowatt hours you use. However you can still switch without your bill.
• Compare – you can do this right here using our energy comparison service.
• Make the switch – Just hit the “switch now” button, complete your application form and your new supplier will let your old one know and they’ll agree on a switchover date.
• Take a meter reading – on the day of the agreed switch over, this will ensure your final bills are charged correctly.
• Settle bills – pay your last bill and then cancel any Direct Debits you have, or alternatively make sure you get a refund if you’re in credit.

So you see, if it’s the endless ‘please don’t go’ pleading from your supplier that you just can’t face, then you’ve got nothing to worry about because your new supplier will do the switching for you.

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What if I owe money to my supplier – can I still switch?

If you have an outstanding bill less than 28 days old, then your existing supplier will simply add it to your final payment. Any more than 28 days and you’ll need to settle up directly before you can switch.

If you’re on a pre-payment meter and you owe £500 or less, then you can ask for your outstanding balance to be transferred to your new supplier – this is known as the ‘Debt Assignment Protocol’. Your supplier may try and stop you from switching but, they’ll need to give you a proper reason why and a way to resolve it.

What if I change my mind – do I get a cooling off period?

If you decide better the devil you know, then you get a 14 day cooling off period to change your mind. The 14 days is a legal requirement and begins the day after you agree a contract (this can be verbally, online or over the phone).

If you’ve paid some money upfront, then you should get it back – although you may have to cover the costs for any admin and services provided before you cancelled.

Flick the switch and make the change

Switching really is straightforward, no complicated forms, no awkward ‘I’m leaving you’ conversations – it’s all rather civilised. So if you’re tempted to make the change and see if you can save some money, why not start right here and now. Use our energy comparison service to start comparing, find the right deal and switch today.

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