If you’re a tenant and are directly responsible for paying your energy bills, you can choose which supplier you use. However, if you decide to switch, you may be required under your tenancy agreement to tell your landlord – so speak to them about it first.
Your landlord or letting agency shouldn’t unreasonably prevent you from switching. They must let you know if they have any tie-ins with specific suppliers and give you details of applicable tariffs and charging details that come with those suppliers. Read your tenancy agreement to check for any clauses about energy suppliers. Find out more about tenants' rights.
Yes, you may switch. If you use a pre-payment meter, you should be able to switch with a debt of up to £500.
Your switching rights are not affected if you have a smart meter, but your new supplier may not be able to offer you the same smart meter functionality as your old supplier. If this is the case, your new supplier has a responsibility to tell you about any potential loss of functionality, such as remote meter readings, before you complete your switch. Your new supplier can operate your meter as a traditional meter, taking manual meter reads, so you can still switch.
If you’re in credit you should ask your current supplier to refund that money. Once they’ve paid the money they owe you, you can switch. If you’re in debt with your supplier, you may be required to pay what you owe before you can switch. If you’re a pre-payment customer you can have a debt of up to £500 and still be able to switch.
Check before you switch to find out if there is a cooling-off period available to you. You may not always be able to change your mind once you’ve entered into a new contract, and may need to pay an exit fee to get out of a fixed-term contract.
If something goes wrong, the first thing to do is take this up with your energy supplier. If they can’t resolve the issue, you can write to them stating that you wish to make a complaint. Or you can get in touch with Citizens Advice for help. If your complaint still isn’t resolved, you can contact the Energy Ombudsman. You’ll find contact details for Citizens Advice and the Energy Ombudsman on our useful contacts page.
If you are on a standard variable tariff (that means the price you pay for your energy can rise or fall,) you will have no exit fees so you are free to switch at any time. If you are on a fixed tariff you will pay the same amount for the whole of your contract. Your price will not change. You can still switch but you may have to pay an exit fee.
It’s when someone gathers a group of consumers together and negotiates with suppliers to get a better deal on energy for that group. This can be any collection of people e.g. those who live in the same area, who read a specific newspaper or who have a common interest.
For some, collective switching is a convenient way to get a better deal. Deals offered by collective switching schemes may differ from those offered to individuals.
You don’t have to accept any deal that is offered by a collective switching scheme, and you might want to shop around yourself to compare all the deals that are on offer.
You may be on a particular type of tariff that gives you cheaper rates of electricity at certain times of the day or for certain purposes, for example to supply your electric storage heaters. It’s important that you check that this tariff is still the best for your needs. In the first instance you should contact your supplier to discuss what options are available to you, and they should be able to provide information that is clear and easy to understand about the tariff that you are on and what your options could be. You can use this information, and the Tariff Information Label that is on your bill, to contact other suppliers to see if they can offer you a better deal.
Contact the new supplier and after you agree on your new energy offer, they'll start the process, notifying your current supplier of the switch. You’ll need your postcode, the name of the current supplier, the name of the energy offer you're currently on and how much you spend on gas and electricity (you can find this information on a recent bill), an up-to-date meter reading and, finally, your bank details if you will be paying by direct debit. View a list of energy providers.
Contact the new supplier and after you agree on your new energy offer, they'll start the process, notifying your current supplier of the switch. You’ll need your new postcode to hand, as well as the name of the supplier at your previous property, the name of the energy offer you're currently on and how much you spend on gas and electricity. You can find this information on a recent bill. Finally, an up-to-date meter reading in your new property is necessary, as well as your bank details, if you’re paying by direct debit.
Check that there isn’t a prepayment meter in your house when you move somewhere new. If it is, contact your supplier immediately so that you don’t end up paying off any debt left by the former occupants, and to make sure you are paying the right rate. View Energy Comparison Sites.
Switching energy supplier, although a relatively simple process, can take up to 21 days.
This usually refers to a period of time after the consumer has entered into a contract or signed up to a tariff during which they can reverse their decision without incurring any cancellation fees.