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Do I need to contact my energy supplier when I switch?

Picture of Ben Gallizzi, Senior Content Editor at Uswitch
Written by Ben Gallizzi, Senior Content Editor - Energy and Electric Vehicles

27 May 2022

Found a better energy deal and don't want to ring up your current supplier to cancel? Don't worry — you don't have to. Uswitch explains how it works.
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Does Uswitch cancel my old supplier?

If you switch with an accredited switching site such as Uswitch, you don’t need to worry about contacting your current supplier before, during or after switching.

Once you find your new deal and complete your switch request with Uswitch, we contact your new supplier, who in turn contacts your current supplier to arrange a switchover of supply date. That way you never go without supply, and you never have to deal with cancelling your tariff from your old supplier.

What do I need to do when switching energy?

While you don't need to inform your current supplier that you're switching, you should provide a meter reading to your new and old provider on the day of the supply switchover to ensure your bills are correct. You may also want to cancel your previous direct debits, but you should only do this after you've settled your final bill. The rest is dealt with by your new supplier and old supplier.

Will I experience any power cuts during the switch?

Rest assured, you won’t experience any power outages during your switch, nor will there be any need to dig up and replace any pipes or cables. Your new supplier will provide gas and electricity through exactly the same means as before.

For more information on switching gas and electricity provider how to switch gas and electricity.

Is it safe to switch energy online?

Absolutely. You can simply and safely switch your energy supply online through an accredited energy switching service, such as Uswitch.

If you are unsure of an energy switching service's credentials, look for a notice of their Confidence Code. The Confidence Code is a voluntary code of practice for domestic energy price comparison services and is managed by the UK energy market regulator, Ofgem.

How does switching online work?

There are four simple steps to switching your energy supply online:

1. Head to the Uswitch website

Simply go to the Uswitch energy comparison site and enter your postcode. The energy deals available in your area will show up on your screen.

2. Enter your energy usage details

To get a more accurate comparison, simply enter your energy usage details from your most recent energy bill. This will give us a clearer idea of how much energy your household consumes each month, and provide better results for your search for a cheaper deal.

If you can't find your latest energy bill, you can also answer questions about your lifestyle and that will help us estimate how much energy you use.

If you have a bill but can't find the info you need, you can watch our video on how to read your energy bill.

3. Select a new energy deal to switch to

Your comparison results will show you the best energy plans available to you but for some people the choices can be overwhelming.

Our comparison results have filters so you can refine your search further.

Fixed rate deals only - Fixed rate energy deals lock in the price of your energy for a set period of time, usually a year or so. These deals can prove beneficial in the long run if your energy supplier raises their prices during your plan.

Plans with no early exit fees only - These fees are charged if you decide to leave your plan before the end of the contracted period. The benefit of a plan with no early exit fees is that you can switch again easily if you find a cheaper deal later without having to face a penalty charge.

4. Confirm your switch

Once you've picked the plan you want, all you have to do is complete the process to confirm your switch.

Provide us with your address and bank details to set up a Direct Debit (this method of payment is usually the cheapest option for most energy deals).

Learn more with our guide to the benefits of paying your energy bill payments by Direct Debit.

What happens after I've completed my switch online?

Once you've submitted your details with Uswitch, the switchover process will be taken care of by your new and old supplier.

Your new energy supplier will be in touch after the two-week cooling off period with information about your switch date.

There won't be any interruption to your energy supply as you will still be receiving the same physical energy.

Can I change my mind about switching my energy?

Yes, there is a two-week cooling off period that gives you 14 days to cancel your contract without giving a reason. This period begins once you’ve confirmed your switch online or by phone.

Can my energy supplier stop me from switching?

If you pay for your energy bills it’s entirely up to you whether you want to switch your energy, and your supplier can’t stop you. Many fixed rate energy plans run on a contract of 12-18 months and you may have to pay an exit fee if you switch during this period, but there’s nothing to stop you from switching if you’re willing to pay the exit fee.

Will any work be required to complete the switch?

No, you will not need to have any pipes or wires changed or anything installed. The change of energy supply is taken care of by the suppliers. The physical energy is the same and it flows through the same pipes and wires to get to your home.

The only exception is if you’ve opted to have a smart meter installed as part of your switch. In that case, your supplier will arrange for an engineer to visit your home. The installation should take just a couple of hours. You can find out what happens during a smart meter installation in our guide .

How long does it take to switch?

The entire switching process takes around three weeks, including a two-week cooling off period. Your new energy supplier will contact your old supplier to arrange the switch date.

Your new supplier will send you a welcome pack outlining what you're paying for and what to expect.

Switching energy when moving house

You’ll need to contact your supplier when you move house but only in the sense that you need to submit a final meter reading on the day you move so you don’t get overcharged when you switch supplier in your new property. You’ll then need to take a meter reading when you’re in the new property to inform the existing supplier that you’re now using the energy and ensure you’re charged appropriately.

What if I'm in credit or in debt?

If you’re considering switching and you're in credit with your energy company, you might be wondering what happens to your credit if and when you switch to a different energy provider.

Your final meter reading will be applied to your final bill, which will then be set against the amount of credit you have in your account. Depending on how much you have, your final bill will be discounted or fully paid with any extra refunded to your bank account. If you’re in credit but haven’t received a refund, you can contact your supplier to resolve the issue.

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