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Planning to switch? Make sure it goes smoothly

Most energy switches are hassle-free and completed in under 21 days.

Here's how to make sure you're in the best shape to move to a money-saving deal.

Bill

Have a recent bill to hand

The information you need to get an energy quote can be found on your energy bill. If you have a recent bill to hand, you'll be able to answer the questions we need to ask.

If you don't have a bill to hand, we'll show you how to find the information you need.

Supplier

Check your supplier

If you don't have a bill to hand or are moving into a new home, don't worry - you can still find out who your supplier is. To find out how, choose your fuel type by clicking on one of the buttons below.

  

Energy

Know what tariff you're on

To work out how much you can save, we need to know what you're paying at the moment - so we'll ask you for the name of your current supplier and your tariff (shown on your bill).

House

Tell us how much energy you use

If we know how much gas and electricity you use, or how much you typically spend on energy bills, we can give you a more accurate quote.

The figures you need are on your bill, but remember that you use more energy in the winter, so if possible look at more than one bill to get an average.

Meter

Know your meter

Your meter type makes a big difference. In addition to standard meters, there are Economy 7, Economy 10 and prepayment meters (pay as you go). If you have one of these, the details should be on your bill.

If your meter transmits your usage details direct to your supplier without you having to take readings, then you have a smart meter - we will also ask about this.

Numbers

Nail the meter numbers

When you apply to switch, you'll be asked for

•   Your 13-digit electicity Meter Point Administration Number (sometimes called your 'S' number or 'electricity supply' number) and
•   Your six to 10-digit gas Meter Point Reference Number (sometimes called your 'M' number).

These are on your bill, or you can call your current supplier to get them.

Property

Have you got your property details right?

Energy firms group properties into two main categories: residential and commercial. If you apply for a residential tariff but the records show your address as being in commercial use, your application might be rejected.

If you think this could apply to you, perhaps because your home has recently been converted from a commercial premises, then contact your current supplier and ask them to update the records (this can take up to 30 days).

  • Energy

    Ready to switch?

    Now you've got everything you need for a smooth energy switch, it's time to get started.

  • Bulb

    Want to know more?

    Get more tips on comparing energy tariffs.

Energy switching FAQs

Will I have to pay an exit fee?

Some fixed-term energy tariffs have an exit fee – this will be charged if you leave with more than 49 days still to run on your contract. If you have a dual fuel (gas and electricity) tariff that has an exit fee, you will be charged a fee for both fuels. Any fees will be added to your final bill.

What if I’m switching tariffs with my existing supplier?

If you’re moving to a different tariff with your existing supplier, the switch should take no longer than 21 days as they will have your details. You’ll keep the same account number and login details. If your current tariff has an exit fee, you may still be charged, even though you’re not switching supplier.

What is the ‘cooling off’ period?

From the point that you sign up to switch energy, you have 14 days in which you can change your mind and stay with your current supplier, without any cost or penalty. This is known as the ‘cooling off’ period.

What information do I have to give to my new supplier?

Your new supplier will contact you once the switch is under way – this may be several days after you start the process, so don’t worry if you don’t hear anything straight away. At some point you’ll be asked for an opening meter reading. You may also be asked to register online or to download the supplier’s app.

Do I need to tell my old supplier?

No. Your new supplier will contact your old supplier and sort out the switch, including providing them with a final meter reading (based on the opening meter reading you give to your new supplier). Your old supplier will cancel your direct debit.

Will I have to pay for my energy twice if my old and new suppliers overlap?

No. Your new supplier works with the old supplier to ensure you only pay once for the energy you’ve used.

What happens to any credit or debt on my account with the old supplier?

Any credit amount will be returned to you by your old supplier once it receives a final meter reading from your new supplier and produces a final bill. Any debit can usually be cleared by a single direct debit payment, but if a large sum is involved, there may be delays or cancellation to the switch if the debt cannot be settled straight away. Ideally, any significant debt should be cleared before you switch.

Will my energy supply be interrupted?

No. The actual gas and electricity you use is brought to your home by an energy distribution firm that is different to your supplier. The distributor will stay the same when you switch, so there’ll be no interruption to supply.

Will any work be done inside or outside my home?

No. Switching energy supplier is an administrative process which is managed by your new supplier. You’ll continue to get gas and electricity through the same pipes and wires, with no need for an engineer to visit your home.

What if I have a smart meter – will this work with my new supplier?

The answer depends on which kind of smart meter you have. SMETS1 smart meters only communicate with the supplier that installed them, and they go ‘dumb’ if you switch supplier. This means they no longer send automatic readings and you no longer see information on how much energy you’re using. Work is underway to make SMETS1 meters universally compatible. SMETS2 smart meters are already universally compatible. If you’re not sure which type of meter you have, your supplier can tell you.

How often can I switch supplier?

You can switch supplier or tariff as often as you like, but you should always check for exit fees on your current tariff. If you switch more than 49 days before the end of a fixed-term tariff, you may be charged a fee, which could eat into or exceed any potential savings you might make by switching.

What do the meter numbers look like?

The MPAN format

We're looking for 13 numbers on the bottom row, presented like this:

MPAN

The MPRN format

The MPRN format differs from meter to meter, but it will be 6 to 10 digits long:

MPRN