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How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?

Switching energy suppliers is one of the easiest way to save money on your energy bills. But how long does it take? Find out here.

Last updated: 21 May 2020

How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?
Switching energy suppliers can be easier than you might think and will often save you money on your energy bills in the long run. It’s now quick and easy to switch energy providers thanks to new government regulations, energy regulator Ofgem and Ofgem’s Energy Switch Guarantee. Find out how simple it is to switch energy suppliers in this useful guide.

How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?

Generally switching energy suppliers will take around 21 days, this is the amount of time energy suppliers signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee will take. It may be quicker, but most energy providers will wait until after the 14-day ‘cooling off’ period, during which you can change your contract or cancel it completely. You can see the average time it takes a domestic customer to switch gas and electricity supplier in this useful chart from Ofgem. Smaller energy companies and regional suppliers may take longer to switch to so make sure you check with the company you are switching to so that you are aware of the switching period length.
During the time it takes to switch energy suppliers you will be using energy supplied by your old energy supplier, or if you have just moved in, the energy company that last had the contract at that property. You will receive a final bill from that company once the changeover is complete. 

Ofgem Energy Switch Guarantee

The Energy Switch Guarantee gives energy consumers peace of mind that their switch is going to be simple, fast and safe. Over 90% of the energy provider market are now signed up to the Guarantee and you can find a full list of suppliers on the Energy Switch Guarantee website
The process of switching should take no longer than 21 days if your new energy supplier is signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee. On day 1 your new provider will notify your current provider that you are switching energy suppliers and send you a new energy supply agreement for review. During the next 20 days your new and current supplier will work together to complete the switch and make sure you are not charged twice for the same electricity. 

Why is my energy switch taking so long?

Most of the time, if you are using an energy supplier signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee, your switch should go smoothly and be completed in the stated 21 days. However, there are sometimes problems in the switching process that can delay the process:
  • Your meter readings are taking longer than expected to be validated.
  • Your switch is blocked by your current energy supplier because you are in debt to them. You may need to pay your debt off before you can switch supplier.
  • Some information you have given is incorrect or missing.

I have switched energy tariffs – now what?

Most of the hard work will be done between your current and new energy supplier so that you can sit back and relax. You don’t need to contact your old supplier to inform them you are switching, though they may get in touch with you once they are aware you are looking to switch. Any outstanding balances or credit you are owed should also be sorted out by your energy suppliers, so you don’t have to worry about chasing your old supplier. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Switching Suppliers

Will my energy supply be disrupted during a switch?
No – there shouldn’t be any interruption. If you do have a disruption in your energy supply during the switching period, then contact your current energy supplier and they will know whether it’s anything to do with the switch.
Do workmen need to come to the house to fit pipes/wires?
No! There shouldn’t be any need for either your current or your new supplier to come to your home for the switch in energy supply. Everything will stay the same, though you may be sent a smart meter to install depending on what your new contract involves.
How do I avoid paying double during the switching period?
As long as you have been providing accurate meter readings then your current and new supplier should be able to work out the correct amount you owe for your final bill with the supplier you are leaving. If you pay in advance for your energy bills you may be entitled to receive credit back from your old energy supplier so be sure to check!
Harry Pererra

Author: Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in web design and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and broadband. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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