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How to switch energy supplier

How to switch energy supplier

Worried that switching energy supplier will be a long and complex process? It’s quick and easy when you know how.

Read on for our step by step guide on how to switch energy supplier, or get started by entering your postcode below:

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Uswitch · How To Switch Energy Supplier

What information do I need to switch energy supplier?

To switch energy supplier with Uswitch, you only need your postcode, a recent energy bill and about 10 minutes. If you want to pay your energy bills by Direct Debit (which is usually the cheapest option), you’ll also need your bank details to hand.

Don’t worry if you can’t find an energy bill or annual statement. We can estimate how much gas and electricity you use based on a few simple questions about your household.

How to switch energy supplier online

Step 1: Enter your postcode at Uswitch.com

Gas and electricity prices are set regionally, and some suppliers only serve certain areas. Enter your postcode on the Uswitch website or in the box above, and we’ll narrow down which energy plans are available to you.

Step 2: Enter your energy usage

To tell you exactly how much you could save by switching energy, we’ll need to know how much you use. You can find your consumption details on a recent bill or your annual energy statement.

If you don't have these to hand, you can tell us how much you spend on your energy bills or answer a few questions about your home to get an estimate of your usage.

If you have a bill but can’t find the info you need, check out our Guide on how to read your energy bill or watch the video below:

  • Read the Transcript

    Amy: Hi Tom, I’ve got my energy bill here. It’s very confusing. I need some help because there’s a lot of numbers. I don’t know what information I need to get from it. And, I want to switch but I don’t really know where to start.

    Tom: I’m not surprised. It’s incredibly complicated, there’s loads of different terms that no normal person really understands. The good news is, though, if you do persevere, and we can help go through your bill and pick out some of those important facts, the good news is that there are hundreds of pounds worth of savings available if you can manage it.

    Amy: That’s good. I could do a lot with that haha.

    Tom: So is this your bill?

    Amy: Yes.

    Tom: Cool. Okay, I see you’re with British Gas. They’re the largest supplier, and they’re one of the example bills that we’ve got on our website. Do you know what tariff you’re on?

    Amy: No, I don’t think so.

    Tom: Okay, cool. So, it tells you here (points at bill). It says that you’re on their standard tariff. Now, a supplier’s standard tariff is essentially their most rubbish tariff that you’re going to be on if you’ve never done anything about it. So, if you’ve never switched, it’s their kind of default tariff. There’s no benefits, there’s no security, and the prices aren’t particularly cheap. So, if you can, it’s good to get off that as quickly as possible.

    Amy: Right.

    Tom: Do you know how you pay for your energy?

    Amy: Yes. I know I pay by Direct Debit but I don’t really know how much.

    Tom: Okay, well it tells you here. You’re paying a monthly direct debit, which is good. That’s one of the cheaper ways to pay, and you’re paying £116 per month.

    Amy: Okay.

    Tom: This is the one to really pay attention to. This is your actual usage of gas in the last 12 months. So that’s 16,266kWh. Now that’s slightly above average use, but it’s generally consistent with what people do use. And, that’s what you need to switch. So you don’t need your unit rate, you don’t need your standing charge, but it is helpful to know how much you’ve used over the last 12 months. And then all of that information we’ve just discussed; there’s another page and that gives you all of the same information for electricity.

    Amy: Right.

    Tom: So, again you have your annual consumption, you have your standing charge, and you have your unit rates.

    Amy: Okay.

    Tom: I imagine this is a bit of a mind boggle but the very last thing which I want to show you, which you sometimes need, very rarely but you sometimes need, are your meter numbers.

    Amy: Okay. Why would I need that to switch?

    Tom: So your meter number is a number that uniquely defines your meter. So, it makes absolutely certain that your electricity meter is switched rather than your neighbour’s.

    Amy: Okay.

    Tom: Which is good. So, in 99.5% of cases, we can just look up your meter number and find it and you won’t have to worry about it at all. So chances are you’ll never have to worry about this. But in the rare occasion that we do ask you for it, it’s here on the last page of your bill.

    Amy: Oh right so I don’t have to go and find my meter in my house.

    Tom: Oh no, no, it’s on your bill. You don’t have to go hunting in dark, cold cupboards anywhere.

    Amy: Okay good.

    Tom: So this is your gas meter number here. And then this is your electricity meter number here.

    Amy: The whole thing, like that?

    Tom: The whole thing, just like that. And actually, when you go through our site it will be presented like that and there will be little bits for you to fill in.

    Amy: Okay, that’s clear.

    Tom: Yes.

    Amy: Thanks Tom, I feel like I understand my energy bill a lot better now.

    Tom: Great, and if you have any other questions you can probably find the answers on our website, or you can give us a call.

Step 3: Choose your new energy tariff

With more than 50 energy suppliers on the market, finding the right one can seem an impossible task. We make it easy by displaying the plans we can help you switch to, ordered by cost or how much you could save by switching.

If you want to narrow down the results, you can filter by what’s important to you – whether you’re looking for a green energy plan, a long fix or one without an early exit fee.

Step 4: Confirm your energy switch

The final step in changing energy suppliers is to confirm your switch. To do this, you need to provide your full address and bank details so your new supplier can set up a Direct Debit.

That’s it! We’ll put your new and old supplier in contact with each other and they’ll arrange a switchover date.

Couple changing energy suppliers

What happens after I switch energy supplier?

Uswitch · What Happens After I Switch Energy Supplier

Want to know what to expect when you switch? 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 supply will be the same as before. All that changes is the company that bills you and the rate charged for your energy. There won’t be any interruption to your supply, and nobody will need to visit your home unless you’ve opted to have a smart meter installed as part of your new tariff.

How long does it take to switch energy supplier?

While the energy comparison process can take just a few minutes, the entire energy switching process should 17 days (around three days plus a two-week cooling off period). If you’ve switched gas and electricity, the dates may be different for each. Don’t worry though, your energy supply will not be interrupted at any point.

Will I hear from my new energy supplier?

You’ll receive a welcome pack and letter from your new supplier within a few days of switching. This will outline what you’ve agreed to and give you the details of your new plan. Remember to provide your starting meter read to them when they request it, as they will give this to your old supplier to use for your final bill.

Will I be billed twice?

No. The companies agree a switchover date, so you won’t be billed twice for the same period. You can cancel your Direct Debit with your old supplier if you wish, but make sure you wait until the switch is complete.

What if I change my mind about my energy switch?

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.

When can I switch energy supplier without penalty?

If you switch energy provider while you’re still in your fixed deal period, you may have to pay an exit fee. When you compare with Uswitch, we’ll let you know if your exit fee still applies or if you can switch without penalty. Your exit fee is usually waived up to 49 days before the end of your contract, so you’ve got plenty of time to shop around and start your energy switch before your fixed deal comes to an end. You can read more about the best time to switch energy supplier in our guide.

How often can I switch energy suppliers?

It’s best to switch your energy tariff whenever your fixed deal is due to end, to avoid being rolled onto your supplier’s standard variable tariff. There’s really no hard and fast rule as to how often you can switch energy suppliers, but it’s wise to take any exit fees into account if your fixed deal doesn’t end for a while.

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