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How to switch gas and electricity

How to switch your energy supplier for gas and electricity

To switch energy suppliers, you only need your postcode, a recent energy bill and about 10 minutes. You can switch your gas and electricity energy supplier by phone or online with a trusted energy price comparison site — uSwitch explain how.

Take back control of your energy bills with uSwitch!

We make it easy to compare and save up to £679

Those who have never switched energy supplier before often believe it to be a painful, confusing process. But by using an accredited energy comparison website like uSwitch, you'll be surprised just how easy it is — and yes, you really can save hundreds of pounds a year by changing energy plans.

How to switch energy supplier online

Step 1: Go to a trusted energy price comparison website

Check the website is accredited by Ofgem, will compare the whole energy market and will provide a bespoke comparison for your energy usage.

Step 2: Enter your postcode

Gas and electricity prices are set regionally, and some suppliers only serve certain areas. This will narrow down which plans and suppliers are available to you.

Step 3: Enter your usage information

For the most accurate comparison results, you'll also need to input your household's consumption details. You can get those off your most recent energy bill, or you can estimate them by answering questions about your lifestyle.

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

Step 4: Review your comparison results and pick a new plan

This is the part many people find daunting - picking a plan and supplier from the long list of options

If you're overwhelmed by the options there are ways to refine your results, using filters.

  • You can opt to just see plans the site can switch you to (instead of the entire market, which will include brand new and just-starting-out suppliers).
  • You can view only fixed rate energy plans (where your kWh rate is locked in for a year or so).
  • You can view only plans without an early exit fee (cancellation fee).

Some sites offer further helpful information such which plan is most popular in your region or info about suppliers' customer service.

Step 5: Confirm your switch

Once you've picked your new energy supplier and plan, the last step is to confirm that switch by providing your full address and bank details (if you've chosen a direct debit plan, which are usually the cheapest).

That's it! Your new supplier will be alerted to their new customer, then will contact you after the two week cooling off period (required in the event you change your mind and want to cancel) with follow up information about your service switchover date.

  • 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 and change energy supplier

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 £679