Energy switching myths

Myths about switching energy busted

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We address some common myths surrounding switching energy to show you why you can save money when you shop around

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Energy switching

The number of people switching energy suppliers, whether it’s gas, electricity or both, is steadily increasing. It’s a quick and easy way to find a cheaper energy tariff, and thanks to the energy switch guarantee you’ll be with your new provider hassle-free within 21 days – with no interruption of service.

However there are a few common misconceptions about switching energy tariffs – so we’ve gone through them to explain and clarify below.

Myth 1 – I can’t switch with my current tariff

You might think you won’t be able to switch providers if you’re on a certain tariff type, or your circumstances mean you’ll be stuck with your current tariff. But that isn’t true:

I’m on Economy 7 or 10: If you’re on an economy 7 or 10 tariff you’ll still be able to switch between different providers’ own economy tariffs – but if you want to switch to or from one of these tariffs you might need a new meter installed.

I’m on a prepayment meters: Prepayment meter customers can also switch suppliers, generally if you owe less than £500 or have been in debt less than 28 days

I’m renting: Unless your landlord is paying the utilities directly, you’ll still be able to switch energy suppliers as any homeowner would

Myth 2 – I don’t need to switch

You might also believe switching isn’t necessary, which would be true if you were on the best deal available. Even then, you can always benefit from shopping around to see what’s available.

I’ll get a loyalty bonus: In most cases loyalty doesn’t pay with energy tariffs. Many providers save their best rates for new customers, while existing customers often find themselves on the more expensive standard variable tariffs when they don’t switch in time

I have a smart meter: Smart meters can help you reduce your energy bill, generally by showing you how you use gas and electricity so you can adjust your habits and cut costs. However the savings aren’t automatic – when you switch energy providers you’ll be on a cheaper tariff in 21 days and the savings start there

The energy price cap will save me money: The energy price cap only applies to people on standard variable tariffs – which are already expensive as it is. Switching can always help you find a cheaper deal for both electricity and gas – and the price cap won’t guarantee protection from price changes, as Ofgem schedules adjustments in the price cap twice a year

I already have a good deal: If you’re reluctant to switch because you’re already on a good deal, it might be worth thinking about the length of contract and type of tariff you’re on, as well as the level of customer service you’re getting. These are all important factors to consider, so shopping around might help you find a provider that ticks all the boxes, not just price

Myth 3 – Switching will cause difficulties

You might be tempted to stick with your current tariff because switching seems like a hassle that will cause problems – but this isn’t true.

I’ll need new pipes and equipment: You won’t need to install any new pipes or equipment when you switch energy providers – in fact you won’t need to do anything, the whole process will be handled by your new provider

I’ll have to install a new meter: Just as with your pipes and equipment, your meter won’t need to change unless you’ve asked your new provider to install a smart meter

I’ll be without service: At no point during the switch process will you be without service – there should be no interruption at all and you can continue using gas and electricity as normal

I’ll be billed twice: Your old supplier will bill you up to your switch date, and then your new supplier will take over – there should be no overlap. However you can always take an energy meter reading on the day of the switch and give it to both new and old suppliers, to make sure everyone is on the same page

Myth 4 – Energy suppliers are going bust

While it’s unlikely that your energy supplier will go bust, Ofgem has a safety net which means you’ll never go without supply if your supplier does go out of business. This involves Ofgem finding you a new supplier too, though a process designed to find the best deal available for you.

Myth 5 – Switching isn’t worth it

Some people believe that the whole switching process just isn’t worth the effort, but that’s not true.

The process is too complicated: The switching process couldn’t be easier, thanks to the energy switch guarantee. All you’ll need to hand is your energy bill, and finding your new supplier will take minutes when you compare through MoneySuperMarket. The actual switch is handled entirely by your new provider, and you’ll be on your new supply in 21 days.

I’ll be charged hidden fees: MoneySuperMarket won’t charge a fee for using our price comparison service. Other than possible exit fees if you’re switching before the end of your contract, there should be no other costs at all – which is why it’s always a good idea to look for a new supplier when your contract is nearing its end

I won’t save enough money: It’s always worth shopping around to find a better deal, as there’s usually a chance you’ll be able to save a few quid at least – over 98% of people who switched with MoneySuperMarket made a saving on their energy bill*. In fact 51% of people who apply to switch with MoneySuperMarket could save at least £280*. If you compare deals from suppliers and don’t find a cheaper option this time, at least you’ll know you’re on the best price available for your needs

*51% of customers that applied to switch via MoneySuperMarket could save at least £289.40, March 2020.

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