Switching is on the up. But have you dipped your toe in the money-saving water yet? According to Ofgem, between January and April this year, a massive 1.3 million people switched their gas and 1.6 million people switched their electricity. And, why wouldn’t they, when switching energy suppliers could save you hundreds of pounds a year?
Switching hit a six-year high last year as more households compared and shopped around for the best gas and electric deals. So, are you in? Check out our easy switching guide below to find out how long it takes to make the switch.
What you need to know before switching energy suppliers
Switching energy suppliers is probably a lot easier than you may have anticipated. You don’t need reams of information or in-depth knowledge of the energy market.
Looking to switch today? Just make sure you have these three things to hand: a recent bill (although this is not essential); address and address history if you have not lived at the address for over three years, and details of your current plan, supplier, payment method and usage.
How do I switch suppliers?
The process of switching energy suppliers is simple and it takes no time at all. First, you’ll be asked to enter your personal details regarding energy usage.
Then we’ll show you a selection of the best deals best on your energy preferences (green energy, Big Six energy suppliers, fixed tariff only etc.). We’ll then take your your direct debit details (we’ll pass these from your old supplier to your new supplier).
And, that’s the switch, done and dusted! You’re on your way to getting yourself the best energy deal. Your switch is then processed and followed by a 14-day cooling-off period.
What is the cooling-off period?
No cold showers here. This is essentially just a 14-day period after the switch in which you can change your mind and cancel the switch. The switch between suppliers only takes place after the cooling-off period has ended. In total, the switching process usually takes no longer than 17 days. For more information on the cooling-off period, check out this article from Citizens Advice.
Will my energy supply turn off in between switching?
In short, no. Your energy will not be switched off at any point when you switch suppliers. For more information on this, we have a guide on what happens to your supply in between switches.
What if I don’t hear from my new supplier?
If you have switched with Switchcraft, but haven’t yet heard from your new supplier, don’t panic. Simply get in touch with our team for an update on your switch. If you have switched with another website, get in contact with the new supplier who will be able to inform you about any issues.
Why do switches sometimes fail?
Switching rarely fails, but if it does there’s usually a simple explanation. Possible issues include details being entered incorrectly (i.e. the customer has stated that they have a different meter from the meter they have) or not enough information is provided to complete the switch.
What if my supplier owes me money?
If your current supplier owes you money, they’re usually quite good at letting you know. But if you’re not sure, there are a few ways to find out.
Firstly, if you have an online account with your energy supplier, it may be as simple as logging in to find out. The Big Six energy providers refund customers automatically (EDF and British Gas will refund credit every six months).
If you haven’t heard from your supplier or you’re not with the Big Six, call your supplier and ask them to refund you. They should be able to tell you how much they owe you and when they will pay you back.
If you’re not sure what you’re owed or if you’re owed anything at all, it’s always worth double-checking with your supplier.
Around 11 million British households are in credit to their energy suppliers to the tune of £1.3 billion collectively – with one people in 10 having over £200 to reclaim. That’s a lot of cash we’re sure you’d rather have in your pocket.
What if I owe my old supplier money?
If you owe your current energy supplier money, they’ll certainly let you know about it! But it doesn’t mean you can’t switch. If you’ve been in debt to your supplier for less than 28 days you can still switch. Any amounts owed will be added to your final bill from your old supplier.
If you are paying off an energy debt through a prepayment meter, as long as you owe less than £500 for gas and £500 for electricity, you can still switch to a new supplier.
However, if you’ve been in debt to your supplier for over 28 days, you will need to repay the debt before you can switch.
Looking to change energy supplier?
We believe that everyone deserves a fairer deal on energy. Switchcraft is a free auto switching service that continually scours the market for better energy deals. Sign up in 3 minutes, and after that, we’ll automatically switch you to a better deal every year.