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Best time to switch energy supplier

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Switching energy suppliers regularly can save you hundreds of pounds on your energy bills. But before switching, it's important to first consider your tariff's end date.

Read on to find out when your deal ends and what you can do to optimise switching.

Energy tariff end-dates explained

If you choose a fixed-rate energy deal, the price you pay for each unit of gas and electricity will be the same for a set period - usually one or two years. Once you reach the end date of this deal - if you haven’t switched or organised to switch - you’ll automatically roll onto your supplier’s standard variable rate (SVR) which is often a lot more expensive.

Thanks to regulations implemented by the energy regulator Ofgem, your supplier cannot charge you exit fees if you switch within 49 days of the end of your tariff. 

It's important to know when your tariff is ending so that you can switch to a better deal and avoid paying more by falling onto your supplier's SVR.

How can I tell if my energy deal is coming to an end?

You can find out if your tariff's end date is coming up by doing the following:-

  • Check your bill: The quickest and easiest way of finding out the end date of your current deal is to check your latest energy bill. Information about your tariff's expiry and any exit fees is usually on the second page of your bill within a box titled "About your tariff".

    If your bills are posted online, simply log in to your account to access information on your tariff's end date.
  • Contact your energy provider: If for whatever reason you're unable to locate a copy of your bill, reach out to your energy supplier directly. They will be able to provide you with information on when your tariff is due to expire and any early termination charges (ERCs).
  • You'll receive an end of tariff notification: Energy suppliers must legally notify you of when your tariff is approaching its end. This notification will arrive between 42 - 49 days of your tariff expiring.

What happens if I switch before my tariff end date?

Most fixed-energy deals are for either 12 or 24 months. And while it is possible to leave your energy deal early, you may have to pay an early termination fee. If you do decide to leave early, you may be charged anywhere between £30 - £50 depending on the length of the deal you signed up for. 

There may be instances that require you to cancel your contract before its scheduled end date. You can find out whether your deal has exit fees attached by checking your energy bill or speaking with your supplier.

What happens if I don't switch after my tariff end date?

If you don’t take any action to switch to a new deal once your fixed-rate tariff ends, you’ll be automatically rolled onto your supplier’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR).

Being on the SVR means you’ll usually be paying a significantly higher rate which can increase further over time. As such, it’s important to keep an eye out for when your energy deal is coming to end, so you can avoid paying more for your energy.

Can I choose to stay on my current energy deal once it ends?

Energy suppliers are legally obligated to contact you 42-49 days before your fixed deal is due to come to an end. Along with this notification, your supplier will provide information about renewal deals they have available. 

While these offers may be slightly different to your current tariff, they’re typically the best your supplier can offer at that time.

While it may be convenient to opt for a renewal deal with your existing provider, it’s always a good idea to shop around. Price comparison websites like Switchcraft could find you a cheaper and better deal that saves you hundreds of pounds.

If I fall onto my supplier's SVR, do I need to worry about a tariff end date?

Being on the SVR means you are no longer in contract and so, there are no end dates or exit fees to worry about.

Although being on your supplier’s SVR is generally a lot more expensive than being on a fixed-deal, you are given the benefit of flexibility. This kind of flexibility may be suitable for those moving house in-between looking for a new deal, for example.

But as a general rule of thumb, staying on your supplier’s standard variable tariff is a bad idea, particularly as prices can fluctuate quickly.

Switch your supplier

To get the best deals and save money on your energy bills, you should regularly switch suppliers. Compare energy deals with Switchcraft and see how much you could save.

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