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Track your energy switch

So you’ve decided to switch energy supplier – what happens now? Our timeline shows you what to expect as your energy switch gets underway.

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Day 1

We’ll send your application to switch energy to your new supplier. Congratulations, you’re on your way.

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Days 2 to 7

We’ll send you an email confirming your new tariff. Your new supplier will contact your current supplier to request the switch.

If you get both gas and electricity from your current supplier on a ‘dual fuel’ deal, your new supplier may ask to take over each fuel at a different time. This is normal, so don’t worry if that happens.

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Days 10 to 14

You’ll receive a welcome pack from your new supplier that will explain your expected switch date, your Direct Debit or monthly/quarterly payment amount and the due date for your first payment.

If you change your mind and decide not to switch supplier, you have up to 14 days – the ‘cooling off’ period – to cancel the process without incurring any charges.

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Days 14 to 16

You’ll need to provide a meter reading to your new supplier. They will contact you or provide instructions on how to do this in your welcome pack.

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Days 17 to 21

Your switch should complete. Most energy suppliers in the UK are signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee, which means your new supplier will handle the process and your switch will be finalised within 21 days.

In some instances, the switch may take longer, but it should complete within six weeks.

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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.