Energy industry regulator Ofgem says the majority of gas and electricity customers have never switched providers, and research shows that Brits collectively throw away £3.5billion a year by not switching to a better deal.
With energy prices frequently being raised, it makes sense to check that you are on the best deal possible; receiving the best possible service and the best gas and electricity prices.
Why should you switch utility suppliers?
Many customers use different providers for their gas and electricity, if this is the case you will almost certainly be able to save money by switching to a different supplier.
Switching your gas and electricity so that you are getting both from the same supplier will often qualify you for dual fuel discount. You can further save money by choosing to manage your account online and pay by direct debit to benefit from even further discounts.
Many customers find themselves stuck with the provider they inherit from the previous occupants of their home. While the tariff many have been suitable for them, it may not be the best deal for you, therefore it is important to look at other suppliers.
How do you switch my gas and electricity?
Switching your utility suppliers is actually incredibly easy; however we have included a list of what you have to do to make it even easier for you.
First of all use a supplier comparison site to compare the best deals available to you. You will need to provide your address so that they can pinpoint via region, as well as the name of your current suppliers, current payment methods and the name of the tariff you are currently on. If you are unsure of any of these details you can find them on your last utility bill.
Additionally the site will need to know your annual kWh consumption. Sometimes this can be more accurate than basing the comparison on how much your pay for your energy, as it may not be a true reflection of your consumption if your account is in credit or debit.
In the case that you do not know your annual kWh usage, you can contact your current supplier to ask for it. If you have not been with the supplier for a full year an estimate can be made based on your payments to the account, however this will not be as accurate.
What happens next?
Once you have decided which tariff is most appropriate for you, you will either need to fill out an online application form or speak to an advisor who will be able to fill out the application form on your behalf.
Your application will then be sent to your new provider within 24 hours to start the switching process, if you change your mind after requesting the switch you are offering a ‘cooling off’ period of around 2 weeks in which you can stop the application going through.
Once your cooling off period has ended, the new provider will contact your old provider to start the switching process, which can take between one and two months.
If you plan to pay by Direct Debit then you will need to leave the account as it is for the time being. Your final meter reading will be taken and a final bill issued based on that reading. If your account is in debit, your old provider will ask for payment in full. If your account is in credit you’ll get the money paid back to you.
Your new supplier will contact you to confirm the start date of the new supply and details of when the first payment will be required, then you can begin saving money!