How to switch suppliers

Over 250,000 people switch energy company or tariff every month. Energy companies want to make the switching process as simple and hassle-free as possible. Alternatively, you can switch to another company.

You can stay with your existing energy supplier and switch tariffs to a deal that suits you better. Your supplier will be able to discuss the different tariffs available. If you decide to switch, your supplier will explain the process to you.

It’s simple to switch. This is what you need to do:

  1. What you need

    To help find the best deal for you, you'll need to know:

    • the name of your current supplier and tariff
    • how you pay for your energy (for example, do you pay by direct debit, or when you get a bill);
    • and how much gas and/or electricity you use

    You'll find all this information on your latest energy bill or Annual Statement. If you don’t have this to hand, contact your energy company, they should still be able to help.

    There are several ways to switch. You can:

    • phone your energy company, look at their website to find out what deals they have
    • use an accredited price comparison website;
    • join a collective switching scheme;
    • or switch at events in shopping centres and supermarkets

    All recognised switching websites will display the Ofgem Confidence Code logo. The Confidence Code is a Code of Practice set up to help make switching easier, more reliable and to give reassurance to consumers. Information on the Confidence Code  can be found on the Ofgem website.

  2. What happens when I switch?

    Your new supplier will work with your  old supplier to complete your switch. Your new supplier will ask you to provide an opening meter reading. This is to make sure you get the right bill. 

    It is important to provide your old supplier with a final meter reading. This will make sure you get any credit owed.

    How long does switching take?

    Energy companies work together to make switching as quick as possible. The process normally takes 2 weeks and 3 working days.

  3. Can I change my mind?

    There is a cooling off period of 2 weeks where you can change your mind. Just contact your new energy supplier to let them know.

    What happens when I switch tariff?

    When you switch tariff, your energy company will transfer you to the new one. Don’t worry - you won’t get cut off in the process.

    Will my pipes or meters get changed?

    No, it's not necessary for energy companies to change pipes or meters. If you are worried, please contact your energy company.

    Will my energy supply get cut off when I switch energy company?

    Don't worry, energy companies will work together to make sure you won't get cut off.

    Can I switch if I owe money to my current supplier?

    You can still switch if you are in debt to your energy supplier although suppliers do have the right to stop you from switching if you owe them money.

    Can I switch supplier even if I am paying off a debt on a prepayment meter?

    Using a process known as the Debt Assignment Protocol (DAP), prepayment meter customers can switch supplier even if they have a debt, by transferring the debt to their new supplier. The maximum level of debt that can be carried to the new supplier is £500 per fuel type.

    Have a look at this fact sheet for more information on switching when you are paying off a debt on a prepayment meter.