Cooling off periods help protect consumers from penalty fees if they change their minds after starting a switch. Find out what this means when it comes to switching energy supplier.
What is the energy cooling off period?
When you switch energy suppliers there is a 14-day period after starting the switch in which you can change your mind and cancel, with no consequences. In most cases the switch between suppliers only takes place after the cooling off period has ended.
How long is the cooling off period for energy?
The cooling off period starts the day after a switch is initiated and lasts for 14 calendar days.
Why does the cooling off period exist?
The cooling off period is designed to protect consumers. It means you can’t be charged penalty fees if you change your mind within 14 days of starting a switch. Instead you can use this time to consider your options and make sure you’re happy with the deal you’ve selected.
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A common reason for cancelling in the cooling off period is finding out that the switch will trigger exit fees if it goes ahead.
How can I cancel a switch?
To cancel the switch simply contact the supplier that you are switching to and ask them not to proceed. It’s best to send an email so that there is evidence of the request to cancel. As long as the cancellation is sent within the cooling off period the supplier must return your supply to the previous supplier and refund any charges.
You may also want to tell your current supplier that you do not wish to switch. This isn’t necessary to avoid penalty charges, but you current supplier can also stop the switch if you haven’t had confirmation from the other provider.
If you’re a Switchcraft customer just drop us an email and we can handle it for you.
What happens after the cooling off period?
Some suppliers will start a switch during the cooling off period, in which case the supply will be transferred very soon after the cooling off period ends.
Other suppliers start the switch when the cooling off period ends so that the supply will be transferred within the next few weeks.
In either case you should receive details by email of how to set up your new account and you will be asked to submit your first meter readings.
Can I cancel my switch after the cooling off period has ended?
If you want to cancel it’s important to do it within the cooling off period.
Some suppliers will accept switch cancellations after 14 days has passed if the switch application hasn’t yet gone through. But, don't rely on this.
You can also switch away once the switch has completed however after the first 14 days have passed your new supplier can charge you exit fees for doing so.
Can I switch my energy supplier after the cooling off period?
You can switch energy suppliers at any time. However, if you have recently switched, and your cooling period has ended, you may be charged exit fees for switching somewhere else.
I’ve found a better deal, can I switch to them instead?
If you find a better deal after initiating a switch you can cancel the first switch and start another switch to the new deal. It’s worth waiting for confirmation that the first switch has been cancelled before starting the second. Otherwise, having two switches in progress at once can prevent the second switch from going through successfully.
Can I be charged by the supplier I’m switching to during the cooling off period?
Yes, you can be charged by your new supplier in the cooling off period however, if you decide to cancel all charges have to be refunded. You cannot be charged for the same energy twice when switching – the suppliers need to agree on the usage at which the meter is transferred.
What are the regulations for energy cooling off periods?
Cooling off periods need to last a minimum of 14 days and can only be shortened with express permission from the customer.
If you start a switch on a phone call, the salesperson must give you details in writing of the cooling off period involved.
Cancellations are valid if they are sent to the new supplier within 14 days of a switch being initiated, whether or not they receive a response in this time frame.
Head to Ofgem for the full set of rules.
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