The Energy Switch Guarantee is a voluntary set of promises that suppliers sign up to in an effort to provide a "reliable, hassle-free switch" to customers.
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Launched by Energy UK, the trade association for the UK energy industry, the Energy Switch Guarantee aims to give peace of mind to those wanting to switch energy providers.
The guarantee is essentially a list of 10 commitments that will protect households throughout their switch — from sign up to billing.
Energy suppliers can voluntarily commit to these pledges, and in turn will be able to display the Energy Switch Guarantee logo.
What are the 10 commitments?
- Your service will not be interrupted Because all energy providers use the same wires and pipes, there is no need to change any equipment over. So there is no need to shut off your gas or electricity at any point during your switch.
- It’s free. There is no charge to compare and switch your energy.
- It will take 21 days or less. After your 14-day "cooling off" period, it should take no more than seven days to complete your switchover.
- There won’t be anyone coming to your home. Unless you are receiving a new meter as part of your switch, there is no need to have anyone from your new supplier visit your home.
- Your new supplier will deal with your old supplier. You won’t need to contact your old supplier to let them know you’re leaving. Your new supplier will coordinate with them to arrange the switchover date, and write to let you know when it is.
- Your new supplier will send your new details straight away. This is so you can review the deal to ensure it is as expected within the the "cooling off" period. This means you have two weeks to review the new plan to ensure it is as expected, and are entitled to change your mind without penalty.
- You won’t be double-charged. Because your old and new supplier communicate about your switchover date, they will stop and start your billing periods accordingly.
- Your new energy supplier will take care of any mishaps. If an issue arises during your switchover, your new supplier commits to helping investigate and fix it.
- You’ll receive your final bill within six weeks. This will happen whether or not you provide a meter reading, but you should aim to provide one so that you are billed correctly.
- You will be refunded any money within 14 days of your final bill date. If you are in credit at the time of your switch, your old supplier will refund this money back to you within two weeks of your bill date.
How will the Switching Guaranteed Compensation Standards help consumers?
Following on from these 10 commitments, concerned consumers might be glad to know about the introduction of the Switching Guaranteed Compensation Standards. The Standards are a new measure introduced by Ofgem that came into force on 1 May 2019. They are designed to alleviate consumers' fears over anything going wrong with their switch by obligating suppliers to compensate customers if problems occur at any time during the process.
Which suppliers have signed up to the Energy Switching Guarantee?
As of 2019, all of the big six plus more than a dozen other suppliers have signed up to the voluntary guarantee: