Switching Energy Suppliers

Will I save money if I switch energy supplier?

Switch energy provider and save today

  • Search tariffs from over 50 providers
  • Save at least £238* on your energy bills
  • Get a quote in 5 minutes
  • Call 0800 177 7019 to find out more

Switching your energy supplier?

Be with your new supplier within 21 days with no interruption to your service – everything is handled by your new provider, all you need to do is switch and save

It takes five minutes

Pop in your postcode and tell us about your energy usage – using your most recent bill will give you the best results.

We’ll search for savings

We’ll browse the market for the best deals and show you how much you can save if you switch suppliers with us.

Switch, save & relax

Once you’ve started your switch you won’t need to do a thing – your new provider will take care of everything.

How to compare energy suppliers

There are more than 50 energy suppliers competing for your business, so it’s highly likely you’ll be able to save money by switching. But with so many providers and tariffs to choose from, how can you be sure you are getting the right deal for you?

Comparing energy tariffs is simple: you give us a few details about where you live, what type of fuel you use, how many people live in your house or flat, and when it tends to be occupied. Once you’ve entered the info, it’s quick and easy to get an estimate of what your energy bills would look like if you switched suppliers.

When you’ve found a deal you’re happy with, you can confirm the switch. Just provide a few more details and then the switching process begins – and it will be complete within 21 days.

If you’re a tenant, you can switch supplier if you pay the supplier directly. If your landlord pays the bill out of your rent, you will not be able to switch without discussing it with them first, and they will need to make the switch themselves.

Big 6 brands, big price savings – save at least £238* on your energy bills

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We compare a wide range of suppliers and deals from across the market

We work with over 50 energy suppliers, including all the big brands, to help you make savings on your energy bills

How do I switch energy suppliers?

Switching your energy provider is quick and hassle-free: it helps if you’ve got a recent energy bill to hand, but don’t worry if not, we can still guide you through the process. Starting the switching process takes a matter of minutes, and you should be with your new supplier within 21 days. And don’t worry, there’ll be no interruption to your supply during the switch, and there’ll be no work undertaken inside or outside your home.

Here's how the switching process works:

  1. Find a recent energy bill or use our estimation tool. You need to know who your supplier is, and what tariff you’re on. If you don’t know your energy usage, our tool will estimate this for you.
  2. Run a quote & select a tariff. In a matter of minutes you’ll see which suppliers and tariffs could save you the most money. Once you’ve selected the tariff to switch to, you’ll be directed to a confirmation page. This will ask for direct debit details and your meter readings, which helps your new supplier to create a new bill and allows your old supplier to send a final bill.
  3. Check your old account balance. If you’re in credit when you switch, the money should be refunded to your account automatically, but it’s worth checking for the payment and chasing it up if necessary. Similarly, keep an eye out for any final payments that may be in arrears from your old provider.
  4. Allow for around three weeks for the switch to complete. Switching is a simple procedure that doesn’t need any rewiring or work outside your property. In fact, you shouldn’t notice any difference apart from lower bills. It typically takes up to 21 days for a full switch, which includes the obligatory two-week ‘cooling off’ period, during which you can choose to cancel the switch free of charge.

Tips for switching energy supplier

Customer service is a big issue, so you might want to do a bit of online research about your chosen supplier to see what other people are saying about them.

Some people are reluctant to move to a smaller energy supplier with an unfamiliar brand because of the risk they might go bust. But it’s important to know that the energy market regulator, Ofgem, maintains a safety net so that, if a supplier fails, its customers will be transferred to another company with a guarantee of no loss of supply of either gas or electricity. You can find out more about this here.

You’ll also notice that there are different types of tariff. These include Economy 7 tariffs, where electricity is charged at a lower rate between midnight and 7am, and so-called ‘green’ tariffs, where the supplier commits to supporting the generation of environmentally friendly energy.

An Economy 7 deal only makes sense if you can be sure that you will use energy heavily during the low-rate hours, perhaps by using storage heaters and setting your dishwasher and washing machine to run overnight.

With a green tariff, you still get the same gas and electricity as everyone else. But you know your supplier will arrange for green energy to be fed into the grid, reducing the overall dependence on fossil fuels.

If you’re looking to switch energy supplier for your business, you should remember that commercial and domestic energy tariffs can be quite different. Learn more by reading our business energy pages.

Around 68% of people switched to a smaller energy supplier between January and March 2019

The data in the table was captured by MoneySuperMarket between January 2016 and March 2019, based on customers with dual fuel tariffs only.

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Are there any hidden charges or exit fees when switching?

If you have a standard variable rate tariff – one that has no fixed end date – you will not have to pay an exit fee if you switch.

If you’re on a fixed-term tariff, you might have to pay an exit fee if you switch – it depends on the tariff you have (you’ll find details on your supplier’s website, on your bill or in your welcome pack). But even if you’re on a tariff that imposes exit fees, these cannot be charged if you’re within 49 days of the tariff’s end date.

Your provider will write to you when your tariff is coming to an end so that you have six weeks or so to find another tariff.

If you decide to switch earlier and your tariff imposes exit charges, you will have to pay for each fuel. So if the tariff has a £30 exit fee and you’re switching both gas and electricity, you’ll pay £60.

Exit fees vary according to the tariff, but it’s always important to make sure that the amount you save by switching is greater than the amount you pay in fees to your old supplier.

What is the cheapest energy tariff on the market?

The amount you pay for your energy will vary according to how much you use. The prices you see quoted are based on average consumption as defined by Ofgem, the market regulator.

The cheapest tariff on the market will usually be a fixed-rate, fixed-term dual fuel (gas and electricity) deal, paid monthly by direct debit.

Note that it is the price per unit of energy that is fixed – the amount you pay will vary in line with your usage. With a variable rate tariff, the rate per unit can go up or down, leaving you vulnerable to price hikes.

Variable rate deals are also known as ‘default’ tariffs. If you are on a fixed-term deal and do not switch at the end of the term, you will move to your supplier’s default tariff. If you’ve never switched or haven’t switched for a few years, you’re likely to be on a default tariff

Fixed rate tariffs tend to be cheaper than variable rate alternatives, usually by a significant margin. According to Ofgem, the cheapest dual fuel tariff in June 2019 cost £873 a year while the average price of dual fuel variable rate tariffs from the ‘big six’ energy suppliers was £1,254 – a difference of £381.

If you have a prepayment meter, your tariff will be more expensive than the equivalent credit tariff, where you pay for your energy after you have used it.

What is the energy price cap?

There are two price caps – one for standard variable rate or default tariffs, and one for prepayment tariffs. These are calculated and managed by Ofgem and limit the amount that suppliers can charge their customers.

The caps are reviewed every six months. In April 2019 the cap for variable rate deals was set at £1,254, while for prepayment tariffs it came in at £1,242. In October 2019 the caps will be set at £1,179 and £1,217 respectively.

There is no cap on fixed tariff prices.

What types of energy tariff can I switch to?

The number of new energy providers on the market has increased significantly, with some now offering niche products that cater for a range of requirements. For example, tariffs can now be chosen by payment structure and by type.

Payment structure:

  • Fixed (a unit of energy costs the same throughout the year)
  • Variable rate (the cost of a unit of energy can change)

Type:

  • Single fuel (gas)
  • Single fuel (electricity)
  • Dual fuel (one bill for both your gas & electricity)
  • Prepayment meter (pay-as-you-go for your energy, topping up via a ‘key’ or ‘smart card’)
  • Economy 7/Economy 10 (an energy plan that supplies cheaper electricity during off-peak, or night-time hours)
  • Green energy (the energy you use is ‘matched’ by purchases of renewable energy sources such as wind or solar)

What is a dual fuel discount?

Some suppliers offer a so-called 'dual fuel' discount to encourage customers to sign up for both gas and electricity. This kind of discount makes the price lower than the cost of buying gas and electricity separately from that provider.

However, it’s important to compare dual fuel deals against the price of getting electricity from one provider and gas from another. You might find that ‘single’ tariff deals work out cheaper overall, but you’ll have two different suppliers, bills and points of contact to deal with.

How to switch from a prepayment meter

It is possible to switch from a prepayment meter to a credit meter if you are not in debt to your current provider. You might have to go through a credit check.

Some suppliers charge a fee to change your meter, but there are plenty who don’t, so it’s worth shopping around for the best deal.

If you are unable to switch from your prepayment meter, you may be able to switch to a cheaper prepayment tariff. A quick price comparison will show you the suppliers that could save you money.

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Why use MoneySuperMarket to switch your energy?

You could save hundreds of pounds by switching your gas and electricity to a cheaper tariff through MoneySuperMarket.

We help you compare prices from all the energy suppliers in the UK, so you can find the cheapest deals in the market.

It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper energy deal.  All you have to do is answer some simple questions, and we'll show you tariffs and offers from all the energy companies. We’ll also show you how much you could save by switching to each tariff, to help you choose the best one for you.

We can help you switch to tariffs from most companies directly through MoneySuperMarket.  Just click the green button, answer a few more questions, and you’re done.

If you’d prefer to talk to someone, you can call us on 0800 177 7087. We can answer any questions you might have, and even switch you to a new deal over the phone.

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How we work

MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.

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So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.

  

Never overpay again. Switch online, call 0800 177 7019, or let Energy Monitor tell you when there’s a better deal