A simples guide

How long does it take to switch my energy provider?

You might have been put off switching your energy supplier in the past – thinking it was a long drawn-out process. But things have changed! Now with changes such as the introduction of the Energy Switch Guarantee, it should be hassle free and take no more than 21 days for 70% of energy providers. Read on to find out more. 


What happens once I decide to switch?

Once you’ve decided on the right energy deal for you, you simply fill in your personal details. You will then be contacted by both your new supplier and your old supplier to confirm the change. You needn’t worry about doing anything to make this happen, the two companies will automatically do this for you.

It’s a good idea to take a meter reading at this point so you can confirm it to both companies as required.


And that’s it I’m done?

One of the reasons that people used to be hesitant about switching energy suppliers was that it was thought to be complicated and time consuming. There was also the nagging fear that perhaps the supply would be lost during the process.

The regulator Ofgem intervened to speed up the process and the agreed standard to switch supplier is now just 17 days for those suppliers who signed up to the agreement, as of January 2015. The Energy Switch Guarantee has now extended this to agree that the process must take no longer than 21 days and be hassle free with its 10 commitments.

This includes a 14 day ‘cooling off period’ just in case you change your mind and decide not to switch after all.

The majority of suppliers are on board with this switching timetable but it’s possible, particularly with the new, smaller, independent companies that it might take a little bit longer.

Your energy supply will not be interrupted throughout the switch-over so, if you’re moving to a better deal, it might be worth putting up with any small delay. However, if the switch takes a lot longer than expected, you can make a complaint. This should usually involve contacting your new energy provider for resolution first and, if you’re still not satisfied, you can take your complaint to the Energy Ombudsmen Service.

Anything else I need to do?

With the exception of a little bit of admin, no. The only sign that you’ll have switched will be a (hopefully lower) bill with a new supplier name on it. If you’ve been paying by direct debit, you’ll need to cancel your old one. We’d recommend that you don’t do that until you’ve paid your final bill or received any refund owed to you.

Make sure you settle the final bill quickly too. If you’re still in debt to your current supplier for more than 28 days, your existing supplier might prevent your switch happening until you have paid the outstanding amount.

Find out what you could save on your gas and electricity bills here at comparethemarket.com