After you’ve signed up with a new supplier, the switching process should take around 3 to 4 weeks.
Many suppliers have signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee scheme, which promises a switch in 3 weeks.
What if I change my mind?
You have a cooling off period of 14 days from when you sign up with a new supplier. If you decide that you don’t want to switch, just contact your new supplier and let them know. They will be able to cancel the switch for you.
Will my energy supply be interrupted during the switch?
The only thing that changes is how your gas and electricity are billed. There won’t be any interruption to your supply during the switching process, and no-one calling round to your house to install new pipes or cables.
When will the switch to my new supplier happen?
Your new energy supplier will contact your old supplier and agree a switch over date which they will let you know about. If you’ve switched both gas and electricity, the dates may be different for each.
Will I hear from my new energy supplier?
You’ll receive a welcome pack and letter from your new supplier. This will outline what you’ve agreed to and give you the details of your new plan. You may also hear from your old supplier but the only thing you need to give them is your final meter reading, which they will often.
Will I be billed twice?
No. The companies agree a switch over date, so you shouldn’t be billed twice for the same electricity or gas. However, your final bill from your old supplier may be higher than your monthly payments, if your account was in debit or based on estimated readings. And your new supplier may take payments earlier in the month than your old supplier. So if cash is tight, you should budget for the possibility of higher than normal payments during the switching period.
As part of the switching process, your new supplier will ask you to send them meter readings for the switchover, which you can take a few days either side of the set date.
Your new supplier will normally inform your old supplier of the final meter readings, but sometimes your old supplier will ask you for these.
The final bill from your old supplier may take some time; you may even get an interim estimated bill before the final bill. If your old supplier is signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee they should send you a final bill no later than six weeks after the switch.
If you are in credit with your old supplier, they will refund this amount, though some suppliers have been very slow at making these refunds, so it’s a good idea not to allow too much credit to build up in your account if you are thinking of switching. If your old supplier is signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee they should repay any credit on your account no later than 14 days after sending you the final bill.
Can I switch suppliers again?
You can switch suppliers every 28 days if you want to, but be careful to check for early exit / cancellation charges.
If you’re on a fixed term plan, with a fixed tariff rate until a given date, suppliers must notify you 42-49 days before the end of your plan. At that point, you can start the switch to a new supplier without facing any exit / cancellation fees.