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 - this might not apply if you are taking part in a collective switching scheme, so be aware! 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.
The only time you might be charged extra during this period is if you leave your previous contract early and incur a penalty. To ensure this doesn't happen to you, read our guide on when to switch energy supplier without a penalty.
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.
If your switch has taken longer than 21 days, we would recommend you contact both your old and your new supplier to find out what is going on.
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.