How to switch energy suppliers
Whether you’re moving to a new home or just feel it’s time to shop around for a better plan, switching to a new energy supplier couldn’t be easier.
Choosing the right plan
Whatever your reason for switching, make sure you do your research first. And don’t just jump at the cheapest deal.
Good questions to ask are:
- Is this energy provider reliable?
- Are they quick to sort out problems?
- How much of their energy is renewable?
Take a look at our guide to help you compare energy providers. And check out the frequently asked questions below.
Over 5.8 million people switched last year 1
Your supply won’t interrupted, and there’s no need for an engineer to visit your home. Simply reach out to your chosen energy company and they’ll do the rest.
Four steps for switching suppliers
All UK energy suppliers use the same process, so your switch should be quick and easy.
And once you’ve chosen your new supplier, here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Contact your new provider to switch energy supplier
Tell your new supplier:
- The tariff you want
- Your address
- How you’d like to pay for it
You can switch by phone or online. Your new energy supplier will kick off the process. And keep you updated along the way.
2. Your energy switch is confirmed
Your new supplier will be in touch to confirm your new tariff – don’t forget to double-check the details. You have two weeks to change your mind, and a 14-day cooling-off period. If you do want to cancel, just let your new supplier know.
3. Your switch over date is confirmed
After confirming with your current provider, your new energy supplier will then let you know what your switch date will be.
4. Submit your final meter reading
Before your switch date don’t forget to give your old supplier a meter reading so you don’t overpay on your final bill. It’s also a good idea to tell your new provider.
And that’s it!
Your chosen energy provider will let you know once you’ve successfully switched over.
Other ways to cut your energy costs
Switching isn’t the only way to keep down costs. That’s why we’ve put together some energy-saving hints and tips to help you cut down your energy bill.
Energy bills explained
We’ve also created a guide to help you understand your gas and electricity bill so you know what to look out for with a new provider.
British Gas energy. How much could you save?
From flats to family houses, our gas and electricity tariffs have you covered. Get a quote to see if you could cut your bills by switching. And remember, our Rewards scheme offers you regular treats just for being with us. Tempted?
Switching energy supplier when you’re moving home
It’s simple to switch energy suppliers when you move home. Here’s what to do:
1. Tell your energy supplier you’re moving
To get your final energy bill for your old home, you’ll need to give your energy supplier the date you’re moving as well as your new address. Do this at least 48 hours before you move.
2. Send a final meter reading
Make sure your final energy bill is accurate by sending a last set of gas and electricity meter readings to your energy provider on the day you move out. Tell your landlord too, if you’re renting.
3. Send a first meter reading
Call your new energy supplier on the day you move to give them your ‘day one’ gas and electricity meter readings. And check your tariff as soon as you can to get the best deal.
Start comparing energy providers
If you’re renting, check your tenancy agreement to see if you're allowed to change energy suppliers. Normally you can, so why not get a quote?
Even if you can’t change supplier, it’s worth checking you’re on the best tariff and payment method for you – it could help cut your bill.
Switching energy supplier with a smart meter
Having a smart meter doesn’t stop you switching energy supplier. But if you’re getting one fitted as part of the changeover, a technician will need to visit.
Your new provider will arrange a date with you. But don’t worry, your energy supply won’t be affected.
Want to know more?
Energy saving tips
Reduce your bill and your carbon footprint – try our energy saving tips.
By investing in wind farms, solar and green gas, we’re helping customers reduce their home’s CO2 emissions.
Sources of energy
Discover where your gas comes from, and how your electricity is produced.
Frequently asked questions about switching energy supplier
How long does it take to switch energy provider?
The whole process normally takes about three to four weeks from start to finish.
When can I switch energy supplier without paying an exit fee?
If you’re on a fixed rate deal, there’s often an exit fee if you switch before your tariff ends.
But if you leave in the last 49 days (i.e. seven weeks) of your contract, there’s no penalty to pay.
And that’s usually the same if you move home.
Can you switch energy suppliers if you owe money?
Credit meter customers
If you have a non-prepayment meter and you've owed money to your supplier for 28 days or less, you can still switch. The debt will just be added to your final bill.
Prepayment meter customers
You can switch to a new gas or electricity supplier if you owe less than £500 per fuel.
You’ll still have to repay the debt, and your new supplier must agree to transfer it through a Debt Assignment Protocol (DAP).
What happens to your credit when you switch energy suppliers?
All you need to do is take a final meter reading and send it to your old supplier. If you’re in credit they’ll send you a refund.
And if you still owe money, they’ll send you a final bill which you’ll need to pay.
Does it cost to switch energy providers?
If you’re on a fixed-rate tariff, there might be an exit fee to pay if you leave before your fixed rate ends. So check before you switch.
No exit fees in the last seven weeks
Remember, exit penalties don’t apply for the last 49 days of a fixed rate tariff.
Otherwise switching should be free – but check with your old supplier if you’re not sure.
How often can I change energy providers?
You can change energy supplier every 28 days if you like. But watch out for exit fees and check before you switch.
Many people review their options every 12 months before deciding whether to switch.