So you've decided to shop around and find a new energy provider. Now what? Here we will guide you step by step on the simple process to a better, cheaper energy supply.
By the time you have finished your cup of tea you'll have saved yourself a substantial amount of money. So pop the kettle on, compare your results and make the switch! What you'll need is your postcode and a recent energy bill.
Firstly, ensure that the website you've chosen is accredited by the energy regulator Ofgem under the Confidence Code as this means your switching process will be more reliable. According to the Code, sites accredited by Ofgem adhere to certain rules and regulations on how they must run their services.
Different deals and plans are available depending on where you are in the country, with some suppliers only serving some regions of the country. Letting us know where you are is crucial if you want to see accurate prices.
To achieve more precise results from your comparison website you will need to enter your household's energy use. You can enter your energy use in kilowatt hours (kWh), or by the amount you spend.
You can find these details on your latest energy bill. Do not worry if you don’t have a recent bill at hand. By answering a few general questions about your lifestyle these details can be estimated.
Since there are now over 50 energy providers, you are spoilt for choice. To narrow down the results of your comparison, you can filter out any deals that do not apply to you by refining your search. For example, you can choose only to view plans without a cancellation fee, fixed rate plans or simply which plan is most popular in your region.
Now you've chosen your plan, all that is left to do is to finalise your switch. Enter your full address and bank details if you have opted for the direct debit (which is normally the cheapest option), and voilà, you've successfully switched. Your new supplier will be notified of their new customer and you should be contacted within two weeks.
Once you have made your switch you have 17 days before moving over to your new provider (3 days plus a 14 day cooling off period during which you can go back on the switch if you want). You don’t have to do anything during this period, all the leg work will be completed by your new supplier. They will contact your old provider and agree on a switch over date. Don't worry – your energy supply will not be interrupted and you will be notified on the switch over date decided.
Always check if you will be charged a cancellation fee. Bigger is better but not when concerning bills! More and more energy providers, now allow you to switch up to 49 days ahead of you current plan's end without charging exit fees. They are most commonly administered when you decide to leave your fixed rate tariff early. Make sure you cancel your direct debit with your old provider to prevent being billed twice.