Are you looking to switch energy suppliers? Perhaps you’ve been reading about the launch of new fixed-rate tariffs and are looking to save on your gas and electricity bills. If you are, then we’re here to help.
As Connections Experts, we’ve helped thousands of households switch to a better value energy tariff, and over that time we’ve been asked thousands of questions. You can find answers to the most common below.
What is energy switching?
Energy switching refers to changing the company that supplies the electricity and gas you use at home. When you switch, you’ll close your current energy account and open a new one.
You’ll get a final bill from your old supplier if you still owe any money, or a refund if your account was in credit. From then on, you’ll pay your new supplier automatically each month by direct debit.
Why switch energy suppliers?
Energy switching is straightforward in the UK, and households choose to switch for several reasons. One of the most common is to save money by switching to a better value tariff or locking in a low energy price with a fixed rate tariff.
You might also choose to switch to a supplier with better customer service than your current provider. For those concerned about their environmental impact, switching to an energy provider with green commitments is an easy way to cut your carbon footprint.
Paying by direct debit
When you switch energy providers, they’ll usually require you to set up a direct debit payment. This payment is taken automatically every month, and you can adjust the monthly amount.
To set up a direct debit payment you’ll need to provide the sort code and account number of your UK bank account.
Your first payment will be based on the average energy use of a property similar to yours. Over time, your payment amount will be adjusted based on how much energy you actually use.
You should only pay for the energy you use. If you use less energy than estimated the amount you overpaid will be kept as credit.
Will I lose power when I switch energy suppliers?
You won’t lose access to electricity or gas during the switch.
Your electricity and gas supply is managed by a separate company, called your energy distributor, which can’t be changed. They maintain the infrastructure connecting your house to the national grid.
When you switch suppliers, you’re only changing the company you’re purchasing energy from. There won’t be any physical changes made to your property. That also means you won’t need to book an engineer appointment or even be at home for the switchover.
What do I need to switch energy suppliers?
You’ll always need your property address and postcode, UK bank details for direct debit payment and contact information to open your personal account. Opening meter readings from the day of your move aren’t essential but do help your supplier bill you accurately.
You may also need the serial numbers of your gas and electricity meters.
Sometimes, your new supplier might ask for your tenancy agreement to prove residency, your move-in inventory report or recent photos of your energy meter.
While switching energy suppliers is very simple, suppliers sometimes have inaccurate records of property details, particularly when a house has been split into flats. In these cases, the extra documents will be used to make sure you only pay for the energy you’re responsible for.
What’s my energy-switching cooling-off period?
Your cooling-off period is the period at the beginning of your contract during which you can cancel without penalty. It usually lasts two weeks.
During this time, you can cancel the switch at any time by contacting your new supplier.
Will I have to pay an exit fee?
When you switch suppliers, you’ll be told beforehand if your new tariff has an exit fee. You’ll have to pay this fee if you decide to switch suppliers again between the end of your cooling-off period and the end of your initial contract.
You won’t have to pay an exit fee if you’re moving home or leaving the UK.
Does it cost money to switch energy suppliers?
No, switching suppliers is free. The only exception is if you are still under contract with your previous supplier and have to pay an exit fee.
Can I switch to any energy supplier?
Any UK energy company can supply any UK property, regardless of where it is.
Some suppliers are currently only offering tariffs to their existing customers, meaning you won’t be able to switch to a fixed rate plan if you’re not already on a variable tariff.
Some suppliers might also have extra requirements, like needing a UK address history or running a credit check.
To learn more about which suppliers you can switch to, or if you have any other questions about switching energy, book a free call with Please Connect Me today.
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