Over 4.5 million customers have switched energy suppliers in 2017 between January-October, with numbers expected to rise throughout the winter months. Switching energy providers is often associated with many important questions for customers: Am I going to be bombarded with calls from my current supplier? Will I be without energy during the switch? What happens to my smart meter?
In this article we’ll take a look at how to switch energy provider in 8 easy steps (without all the industry jargon!), this way you will have all the information you need before you switch providers. Hopefully this will make the switching process as simple as possible.
We have broken the switching process down into 8 easy steps. From speaking to our customers we identified a series of questions and concerns they had before switching providers and we have answered these throughout our guide.
Find a copy of your recent energy bill, this will help you get the most accurate quote from potential suppliers. If you don’t have a recent bill you will be able to get an estimated quote, be aware the total savings/annual cost may differ slightly with an estimated quote. Also it’s worth checking your energy bill to see if you have an exit fee with your current supplier as this may influence your decision on whether to switch now or wait till you no longer have an exit fee.
Find a reputable switching site which you are comfortable using such as Compare the Market, GoCompare or EnergyLinx.
Get a quote for your energy on the comparison website. They will ask you to enter your postcode, current supplier and tariff name, estimated annual usage, meter type and payment preference. All of this information is collated to provide you with a list of quotes. Remember some sites will only show you energy providers who have paid to be on the site, if you select the ‘show quotes from all suppliers, not just those I can switch to from this site’ option, all providers will appear, not just those who have paid to be there.
Review the company to see if they are right for you. You can check out the providers customer service rating, social media pages and even call their customer service team to check out the service level received.
When you’ve picked a supplier which you are happy with you can then select the tariff you want. Remember to check out how long the tariff lasts and if there’s an exit fee.
You are ready to switch! Some providers will pay to allow switching direct through the switching site, whilst others will ask you to go direct to their website or call their customer service team. The whole switching process is completed by your new provider; they will be the ones to let your current provider know you’re leaving. After switching all providers will give you a 14 day cooling off period, if you change your mind just call your current provider and let them know you want to stay.
Your new provider will send you a welcome pack and contact you with a date when your gas and/or electricity supply are moving over to them. If you are switching both fuels (dual switch) the dates may be different, don’t worry - this is normal. On this date the new supplier will ask for you to send over meter readings, these will be sent to your old supplier so they can calculate your final bill and also used by your new supplier when calculating your first bill. This means you won’t be paying for the same energy twice!
The easy switching process is complete. You can now enjoy paying less for your energy bills.
Have a smart meter already?
Call your new provider and see what they can do. Some energy providers install and support the same style of smart meters so your new supplier may be able to take over your current meter. Some providers have unique smart meters which can’t be set up to send meter readings to your new supplier, when you move they still have some functionality and you can see the meter readings which you can then send to your new supplier.