How to switch gas and electricity

How to switch your gas and electricity

It's easy to switch your supplier with uSwitch - a step-by-step guide.

Take back control of your energy bills with uSwitch!

We make it easy to compare and save up to £512

Few of us approach the idea of switching energy supplier with anything less than trepidation. After all, dealing with your supplier when something goes wrong is bad enough, so how complex will it be to switch to a new supplier?

Contrary to expectations, switching gas and electricity is a relatively painless process that needn't take more than 5 minutes to complete. It really is as easy as changing a mobile phone contract.

We'll take you through the options, show you the best deals for saving on gas and electricity prices and notify your suppliers of the switch. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps.

uSwitch will help you to compare gas and electricity prices - you can switch one or both of your suppliers with us, and we can help you find the best deal if you only have electricity.

What you'll need to begin

  • Your full postcode
  • Your latest gas and/or electricity bill
  • Your annual consumption in kWh will give you the most accurate comparison, so grab your annual energy statement if you have it, but don't worry if you don't, this is not essential.

Having your latest bill will allow you to give us the most accurate information about your energy usage, but don't worry if you don't have one handy - we can work out your usage by asking you a few extra questions. If you've entered your energy supplier's name and the plan your on we will still be able to give you a good estimate of how much we could save you.

Our step-by-step guide to finding a cheaper energy deal

  1. Tell us your postcode

    Gas and electricity prices change depending on where you live.

  2. Tell us about your current supplier(s) and energy use

    To help us compare prices for you, answer a few quick questions about who supplies your energy currently and how much you use or pay. This takes about 5 minutes.

    We can work out your energy bill with the usage details you provide, as we hold pricing information for every plan on the market.

  3. Tell us what you want

    Tell us how you want to pay and what type of energy plan you're looking for (e.g., fixed or green). This will help us find the right plans for you.

  4. Pick a plan from the list of suppliers

    Based on the information you've given us, we'll show you a list of all suppliers and the savings you can make. You can also see customer satisfaction ratings for each supplier. Once you've read the details, you can pick the best plan for you.

  5. Confirm your switch

    You'll need to provide a few details including your name and address, which we will pass on, along with your switch application, to your new supplier. Your new supplier will inform your old supplier of the switch, and set up your new account.

    You'll then need to:

    1. Take a meter reading on your switch date.
    2. Pay your final bill to your old supplier and cancel any Direct Debits

And that's it - you're done!

  • Read the Transcript

    Well I knew about uSwitch from the TV adverts. I just logged onto the website and keyed in my postcode like it asked me to. Then it asked me for my average bills and told me what I could save. They [his children] never turn the lights off when I'm out of the room so it does mount up and become very expensive for us.

    Honestly, it took about two minutes, it was so quick. In fact I was slightly concerned as to whether I'd completed it, it was that quick. We were shocked that we hadn't found this out before because if we can save money other people can, and it's so quick and easy to do, you can save the money in five minutes. I know uSwitch have been going for quite a long time now so I'm confident with the name, it's a name most people know.

    That's my job, to turn lights off. Nobody turns the lights off in this house no matter what I say, we're trying to brainwash them but it's not working!

    The price of our gas and electricity was going up so we decided to try and look elsewhere. It was a really simple process from start to finish, took two or three minutes, we were switched and done. It just said we've switched over, and the saving works out to 75 or 80 pounds a month, it's a huge amount. The nice thing was it showed you each supplier, and the savings each supplier was able to give you.

What happens afterwards?

What can you expect after you switch supplier? Here are a few common questions answered:

Will my energy supply be interrupted when I switch supplier?

No. Regardless of what supplier you're with your gas and electricity will be the same, the only thing that changes is how that energy is charged. Even though you switch supplier you'll still be getting the same physical energy. There won't be any an interruption to your supply, and nobody coming round to your house to put in new pipes or cables. The only thing that changes is the company that bills you.

Am I with my new supplier as soon as I confirm my switch?

No. The entire process takes 17 days (three days plus a two week cooling off period). 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 gas and electricity, the dates may be different for each. Don’t worry though, you will always receive energy during this process.

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 to ensure an accurate final bill.

Will I be billed twice?

No. The companies agree a switch over date , so provided you've cancelled your Direct Debit, you will not be billed twice.

What if I change my mind?

You have a cooling off period of 14 days. If you decide that you no longer want to switch your supplier, just contact your new supplier and let them know. They will be able to cancel the switch for you without interrupting your supply.

Can I switch suppliers again?

You can switch suppliers every 28 days if you want to, but be careful to check for cancellation charges. We recommend checking your status once or twice a year to make sure you're still getting the best plan. If you're on a fixed term plan, with a fixed tariff rate until a given date, it's also worth making a note of the end date so you can switch around a month before.

How to switch gas and electricity

Why ‘be an energy shopper’?

‘Energy shopping’, a term coined by an Ofgem campaign, simply means shopping around for the best energy deal.

According to research carried out by the regulator in 2014, 62% of British homes have never switched energy supplier. This statistic is worrying as it means a large of homes continue to pay too much for energy.

Switching energy is simple (even simpler now the RMR has been enforced) and is a quick and easy way to save money.

Read more…

  • Energy Bills Learn everything about your energy bills, from how to read them to how to use them
  • Annual Energy Statements Your annual energy statements are vital to switching your energy
  • Household Bills You may not enjoy opening them, but your household bills can save you a lot of money

Take back control of your energy bills with uSwitch!

We make it easy to compare and save up to £512