How to Switch Energy Supplier
Thinking of changing your energy supplier but don’t know where to start? We get it. Comparing energy suppliers can be overwhelming. There is good news though, using an Ofgem accredited energy comparison website (like Energylinx) will take the confusion out of comparing and switching energy suppliers.
Why switch energy suppliers?
There is different reasons for each household. You might want an energy company that supplies renewable energy, has excellent customer service ratings or one that can save you a lot of money.
It pays to shop around for your energy supplier…
Switching energy supplier or tariff can have a huge financial impact on your gas and electricity bills. Research by Ofgem has shown there is annual savings of around £300 to be made by switching energy supplier.
Can I switch my energy supplier?
The majority of households are able to switch energy suppliers without any issues. However, if you are in debt of more than £500 to your current energy supplier then you might not be able to.
To find out what you currently owe, find a copy of your most recent energy bill. On this you will be able to see what your current balance with your energy supplier is.
If it is less than £500 then you will be able to switch. If it is more then you will have to pay down your outstanding balance before arranging a new energy contract.
Will switching energy supplier cost me money?
No, absolutely not! Your new energy supplier will pay us a fee when your switch is completed but this fee is already included in the marketing budgets of the energy supplier, so you don’t pay a penny extra.
It is important to note that exit fees are common with Fixed Rate Tariffs if you switch early. If you are on a Fixed Rate Tariff then you should check whether you'll incur a fee for cancelling your current energy deal before arranging a transfer to a new energy supplier.
The good news is that all energy suppliers should now allow you to leave up to 49 days ahead of your energy tariff's end date without incurring a penalty.
What information do I need to switch energy supplier?
You will need:
- Your postcode
- The name of your existing energy supplier
- The name of your existing energy deal
- An idea of how much gas or electricity you use, which should be shown on your bill
- Your bank details if you opt to pay by direct debit
How long will the switch take?
If an energy supplier is part of The Energy Switch Guarantee then the full switch should happen within 21 days. The switch starts on the first day of the 14 day cooling off period and will take no more than 7 days after the end of the cooling off period. If an energy supplier is part of The Energy Switch Guarantee then you will see the Energy Switch Guarantee logo next to the supplier on our results page.
If an energy supplier is not part of the Energy Switch Guarantee then the time it takes to switch is supplier dependent and should be highlighted in the term and conditions when arranging your energy switch.
Will I be left without power if I switch energy suppliers?
No. It is the exact same energy going through the same pipes. The only difference is who and how much you pay for it.
You can relax in the knowledge that your energy supply will not be impacted by switching energy supplier. No-one will have to come into your house or change anything. Everything remains the same – you just pay a different energy supplier.
Can I change my mind about switching?
Of course, you’ll get a 14-day cooling off period. During this period you can change your mind.
This is a legal requirement and it begins the day after you agree a contract. This is the same whether you arrange your new energy contract face-to-face, online or over the phone.
Can I switch energy suppliers if I rent?
If you pay your energy supplier directly for your energy use, then yes you should be able to switch energy suppliers.
It might be that your landlord has a named ‘preferred supplier’ in your rental agreement. If this is the case, make them aware that you will be switching energy suppliers but it won’t affect your right to switch.
If your landlord pays you energy bills and then you pay your landlord the amount owed then you don’t have the right to switch energy suppliers. You can always ask your landlord to switch to a cheaper energy tariff, though.
What if my energy supplier stops trading?
Obviously this is a worrying situation to find yourself in, but the important thing is not to panic! The energy regulator, Ofgem, will step in and appoint you a new energy supplier. Your energy supply will never be cut-off and Ofgem and the newly appointed energy supplier will protect any credit balances that you have.
Where do I find my MPAN number?
Sometimes you might be asked to provide us with more information after arranging an energy switch. If this is case, you will receive an automated email asking you to provide your MPAN or MPRN number.
If you are asked to confirm your MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) this is a unique identifier for the electricity meter in your home.
You will find the 21-digit MPAN number on your electricity bill. If you don’t have a recent electricity bill then you can get it from the local DNO (Distribution Network Operator) for your area.
Where do I find MPRN number?
MPRN stands for meter point reference number and relates to your gas supply. You’ll also find your MPRN on your gas bill, or you can get it by calling the National Grid on 0870 608 1524.
Any other questions
If you are still unsure how to compare energy suppliers, our lovely energy advisors will be able to help. They will ask you some questions to get an accurate quote. Before phoning in you will need to make a note of the following;
- Your postcode
- Your current supplier
- Your current energy tariff
- Your energy usage (if you don’t have this then we can estimate but it won’t be as accurate!)
Our call centre is open:
Monday to Friday 09:00 to 18:00
Saturday 09:00 to 15:00