If you’re unhappy with your energy provider, you don’t have to stay with them. It’s more than likely you won’t be rewarded for being a loyal customer. In fact, when your tariff runs out, you’ll automatically be placed on their standard tariff and, potentially, be charged an extortionate rate for the privilege.
It’s definitely time to switch.
How do you switch energy provider?
Switching energy suppliers is easier than you think! Here’s how it’s done:
- Find out what type of meter you have - you will either have a digital meter, or an analogue one. If it’s digital, it might be a single rate (if you have one rate throughout the whole day), or it might be a two-rate meter (if you get cheaper energy at certain times of the day, i.e. during the night).
- Find out if your energy provider will charge you an exit fee to leave the contract early. If you’re within 42-49 days of the end of the contract, you won’t be charged to leave.
- Check what your current suppliers charge for their various tariffs.
Then think about what type of tariff you would like to go onto:
- Dual fuel
Sometimes this decision might be taken out of your hands, depending on the type of meter that you have - for example, if you have a prepayment meter. Of course, you can switch from whatever meter you currently have to one that allows you to change your tariff.
However, bear in mind you may incur a charge to have a new meter installed, and you will have to wait for an engineer to install it.
Carry out a fuel cost comparison
Once you have all of this information to hand, you can then see what better deals there are out there by carrying out a fuel cost comparison.
You’ll need the name of your current supplier and the tariff you’re currently on (both of which can be found on your energy bills).
If you know your annual usage, give them that information too (this will be on your annual statement, so don’t throw any bills away). You will get a much more accurate quote.
By using an online utilities cost comparison, you’ll get your different savings options displayed. You can see just how much money you could be saving every year.
In some cases, dual fuel deals (where you get your gas and electricity from the same supplier) may work out the most cost-effective option. Research from uSwitch found that. Between 1 Jul 2018 and 31 Dec 2018, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with uSwitch saved £447 or more.
Switching energy providers
Once you’ve decided which energy provider you are going to switch to, get in touch with them. You can do this either online or over the phone, whichever you prefer. Your chosen energy provider will sort out the switch for you. Not only will they set it up for you, but they’ll also let your current energy provider know that you’re leaving them.
On the day of the switch, take a note of the meter reading and give it to your new energy provider, so they know what your first reading is. That way they won’t charge you for any energy used before that.
Finally, give your old energy provider a final meter reading and pay their bill when it comes through.