We’re all familiar with getting a new phone tariff when our old contract runs out. Yet it is only now that energy customers are taking advantage of switching energy suppliers.
According to Energy UK, last year was a record-breaking year with more than 6 million people switching energy suppliers in the UK.
Why switching energy suppliers is a good idea
Loyalty can often mean you’ll end up paying more as prices keep going up, but there’s no shortage of account providers and suppliers, big and small, looking to attract new customers. Figures from energyhelpline suggest there is as much as a £400gap between the cheapest annual deals on the market (£758) and the average standard variable tariffs from the six main energy suppliers, which for a dual fuel customer paying by direct debit, stands at £1,162**.
Shopping around for the best energy deals on the market can cut your energy bills by more thanr £400 a year. That’s why we have partnered with energyhelpline to set up a collective energy switch scheme – the Telegraph Energy Club – that uses the power of group buying to find low-cost energy deals that can really save you money.
Can I switch energy suppliers if I rent?
Switching energy suppliers if you are a tenant is possible and should be straightforward. As long as the gas and electricity bills are in your name and your direct responsibility, then there is no reason why you can’t switch your energy provider. Even if the landlord has a preferred supplier, you have the right to change it. However, it’s best to let the landlord know in order to avoid any trouble after you’ve moved out. If the utility costs are included in your rent, or if the landlord pays it and bills you later, it’s best to let the landlord know first before making any changes.
Can I switch energy suppliers if I’m in debt to them?
According to Ofgem, if you’ve been in debt for less than 28 days, it’s okay to switch, and the amount owed is then added to your final bill from the previous supplier – you still have to pay it off. If it’s more than 28 days then you have to pay it off before you can consider switching energy suppliers. If, however, it was the supplier’s fault you were in debt – eg: a billing error – then you can switch regardless.
Five steps to switching energy suppliers
Look at your last few bills to see how much you pay each month, on average, to find a benchmark, and then check as many companies as necessary before you find the one that gives you the best deal. The Telegraph Energy Club can help you with that.
Look into customer service as well as price. You might see a tempting low tariff in the compare charts, but then find out that negative comments on the forums suggest the provider has a poor reputation.
Switching energy suppliers is simple because you don’t have to do anything yourself. Just provide your postcode, your email address, the name of your current supplier and the tariff you’re on, plus how much you currently spend or how much energy your household consumes (it’s on your bill).
You will also need to provide a current meter reading, as well as your Meter Point Access Number (MPAN) and Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN), found on your bill. Providing your supplier with a reading in advance of your switch should avoid any disputes, and with any luck the old one may even end up owing you money!
It usually takes about 17 days to switch energy suppliers, although it may be up to three weeks, There is then a 14-day ‘cooling-off’ period where you can cancel if you change your mind – you’d have to pay to stop the contract after that.
Don’t miss the Summer Energy Switch – registration is now open
The Telegraph Energy Club is open for registrations. You have until 17 June 2020 to register for us to bring you the cheapest deal by auction from the UK's leading energy suppliers. We will contact you after 17 June 2020 with the winning tariff and invite you to switch energy suppliers with no obligation
- Spending more time at home can result in energy bills rising - Switch now and you could save up to £641*
*10% of customers switching their gas and electricity bills with the Telegraph Switching Service and Energy Club between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 saved £641 or more.
**Average savings figure is calculated against an average UK Big Six Supplier Standard Variable Tariff costing £1,162 a year. Usage for a typical home: Gas 12,000 kWh pa and Electricity 3,100 kWh pa. Payment Method: Monthly Direct Debit.
The above article was created for Telegraph Financial Solutions, a member of The Telegraph Media Group. For more information on Telegraph Financial Solutions click here.
Information correct at date of publication.