The gas and electricity market is very competitive and that is a good thing for customers. Research from Ofgem and other big names in the industry says you will likely make the biggest savings by switching suppliers rather than asking your current supplier for a better tariff.
Switching Energy Supplier
You can switch a business or home energy supplier by using a comparison site or a broker to find the best deal or even go directly to the energy company. For business energy, once you’ve decided to switch, notify the company that currently provides your energy as soon as possible, otherwise you may have to pay a fee to switch.
It is easier to switch suppliers for domestic energy, by simply using a comparison site to choose your preferred tariff. The new supplier will take care of the transfer and keep you informed throughout.
Savings you can make by switching supplier
Prices in the market rise and fall and Ofgem, the gas and electricity markets regulator, often raises and lowers the price cap for suppliers. At current prices, the average saving by switching energy suppliers is £250 per year. It will be more for those switching from their payment method from quarterly bills to direct debit.
The process of changing energy providers is similar whether you are a residential customer or business, with one or two differences.
You can switch whenever you like but in some circumstances, there will be an exit fee to pay; you should tell your current supplier you are leaving as soon as possible and in some situations, your supplier can prevent you from leaving, like if you owe a debt.
Energy supplier switching process for residential customers
Have your details on hand
- Your address
- Name of your current supplier
- Name of the tariff you are on at the moment (you will find this on a recent statement)
Go onto a price comparison website
such as Energy Helpline to quickly find all the best deals available to you. It will ask you to input your details and will then search for better tariffs. The results will show details of these tariffs so check them to make sure it is what you want.
If you find a cheaper tariff with your current supplier, use this information to contact them directly and ask to be put onto that tariff.
Pick your supplier
Choose the tariff and supplier you would like to go onto. There are usually many tariffs available on comparison sites for each supplier. Once picked, you can confirm the contract and the payment method you would prefer.
Cooling-off period starts
The switching process starts and you have a cooling-off period of 14 days to decide if you want to go ahead with the switchover. It usually takes less than 3 weeks to change the supplier from when you agreed the contract.
You won’t need to contact your current supplier to let them know you have switched, the new supplier should do this for you.
Provide meter reading
Give your new supplier a meter reading near the start date and start enjoying your savings!
Get help to find your best supplier with the Energy Helpline comparison site. Click here to see why we recommend them.
Energy supplier switching process for business customers
There are many suppliers who want to supply your business with gas and electricity in this lucrative market so why not take advantage and make the savings? The process is similar to residential but with less comparison sites to help.
Get details of your current supplier and tariff
Along with any contract details such as cancellation fees. Check how much gas or electricity you use in a year from a recent statement. Cheaper business tariffs or mostly based on consumption so the more you use, the cheaper the unit price will be.
Contact your current supplier
This is to see if you can get a better tariff without having to change supplier, but even if you find one, don’t swap onto it straight away. You want to search for anything better to cut bills
Search other suppliers’ offers
Check the contract thoroughly
Once you have found your best supplier, check the contract before agreeing and compare it to your current contract to see what will change. You normally don’t get a 14 day cooling-off period with business energy switches. Even if you agree over the phone, the contract is still binding.
Inform your current supplier you want to end the contract
Tell your current supplier you will be changing over to a new company and when you will switch over, otherwise they will carry on billing you.
Give meter readings
Take meter readings on the transfer date and send them to both your new supplier and your old one so there is no double billing. Then you can enjoy the savings!
Get help to find your best business supplier on the banner below:
*The information in this article should be used for general guidance only and not as financial advice. Full details are on the link in the footer to our disclaimer page. Always discuss your requirements with a competent and suitably qualified professional before undertaking any work.
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