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.
How to change energy supplier to get the best deal
Whatever your reason for changing energy supplier, make sure you do your research first. And don’t just jump at the cheapest deal.
Good questions to keep in mind are:
- Is this energy provider/gas supplier reliable?
- Are they quick to sort out problems?
- How much of their energy is renewable?
If your current tariff is fixed, you may want to check there are no exit fees to pay. There may also be special circumstances if you are in debt with your current provider. For more detail, see the frequently asked questions below.
Switching energy to British Gas can be easy
When you switch energy, your supply won’t be interrupted, and there’s no need for an engineer to visit your home.
If you’re already an energy customer with us, we make it quick and easy to change your tariff in a few clicks.
Why switch to British Gas?
British Gas is the UK’s leading energy provider, having looked after the homes of Britain for over 200 years.
- We supply gas and electricity to more than 8 million homes and businesses, so you’re in safe hands.
- Because we’ve been around for over 200 years, you can be sure we’re here to stay
- We give long term value - if you join us and we launch a cheaper tariff, then you can change to it for free
Get half-price electricity every Sunday
Join hundreds of thousands of British Gas customers using their smart meters to save money on their bills with PeakSave Sunday. You’ll need to be a British Gas energy customer to sign up for PeakSave. Registration required.
Four steps for switching energy suppliers
All UK energy suppliers use the same process, so your energy switch should be quick and easy.
And once you’ve chosen your new electric and gas supplier, here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Find a new electric and gas supplier to switch energy
Tell your new supplier:
- The tariff you want
- Your address
- How you’d like to pay for it
It’s useful to have a recent bill handy. That way you can get an energy quote based on how much energy you actually use. If you don’t give your new energy provider your energy use, they’ll estimate, based on national averages for your type of household.
You can usually switch energy provider by phone or online. You’ll need to tell your new supplier when you want to switch. When you switch energy providers, you’ll get a 14-day cooling off period. You can change your mind during this time. You can choose your switch date:
- Before your 14-day cooling off period. Which means your energy switch will usually happen within 5 working days.
- After your 14-day cooling off period. Your switch should take place within five working days after your 14-day cooling off period ends.
If you choose to switch within your 14-day cooling off period, you'll start paying your new supplier for energy as soon as your switch is complete.
2. Your energy switch is confirmed
Your new electricity and gas supplier will be in touch to confirm your new tariff. Don’t forget to double-check the details.
When you switch your electricity and/or gas provider, you’ll get a 14-day cooling-off period. So if you change your mind, you can cancel your energy switch without paying any exit fees. If you want to cancel during this period, just let your new supplier know.
3. Your energy switch over date is confirmed
Your new energy supplier will get in touch with your current provider and start your switch.
Remember, you’ll need to pay your old provider for the energy you use (including standing charges) up until the point when your supply is switched.
Your new supplier will let you know when your energy switch date will be.
4. Give your new supplier opening meter readings
Your new energy supplier will ask you for opening meter readings to start your supply. They will give them to your old provider so you can be billed correctly.
And that’s it!
Your chosen energy provider will let you know once you’ve successfully changed energy supplier.
Other ways to save money when switching supplier
Changing energy supplier isn’t the only thing that may cut costs. 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 when switching gas or electricity providers..
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 energy providers.
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 energy switch deal.
Setting up energy for the first time?
Find out how to set up gas and electricity in a new home with our handy guide.
Start comparing energy providers for better deals
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 energy supplier 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.
Compare energy suppliers
Follow our simple guide and find the right supplier for you.
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.
Do I have to pay exit fees if my energy tariff has seven weeks to left?
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.
Fixed vs variable energy tariffs - which is better?
Our guide explains the differences between fixed rate and variable rate energy tariffs to help you make an informed choice.