How Long Does It Take To Switch Supplier?

10 May 2019

Throughout 2017 nearly six million households throughout the UK switched their energy supplier. It can be a great way to make significant savings on your gas and electricity bills with some consumers enjoying cuts of up-to £500 in a year. Gone are the days of the State-owned gas and electricity boards, we now have the luxury of choice. Yet millions of people have still never switched suppliers. With more than 30 suppliers active in the market, it is definitely worth shopping around to see what is on offer.

The good news is that the process of transferring your energy supply to a new company is pretty straightforward. A decade ago, you would-be hard pressed to find someone agreeing with this statement, but nowadays new legislation introduced by the government and backed by the industry regulator Ofgem ensure that the transfer journey is far shorter and simpler than it once was. Most people suffer little- to-none inconvenience and providing you have found yourself the right supplier you will begin to start making savings from the day of transfer. Here is our guide to everything that happens during the process, with a few tips and hints thrown in for good measure.

Go shopping!

It doesn’t quite have the allure of a black Friday or the January sales but find yourself a good deal and you can spend your extra cash on something far more fun. The best idea is to check an Ofgem accredited website and compare the whole energy market. Customer-friendly, these websites will just need your postcode and your household’s consumption details. Have an old bill or statement handy and you will find everything you need there. If you can’t find any bills, you can answer a few lifestyle questions to get a decent estimate of your energy use.

Most comparison sites will show a range of choices with any savings made based on the figures you have given clearly highlighted. Other details including the length of contract and any exit fee’s a tariff may incur if you leave early will also be shown.

Once you have made your decision it is simple as clicking on the right plan for you and you will be taken directly to that supplier’s website to fill in all the details to get the process started.

The Process

Once you have made your choice things will go quiet for a couple of weeks. This is because you have entered into your 14-day cooling-off period which allows you the option to change your mind. After the fortnight is up, your new supplier will be in contact to confirm additional details about the switchover date of your energy.

Is that it?

Almost! The entire process takes just 21 days including the cooling-off period and the majority of the work is done between the gaining and losing suppliers without you having to get involved. You will be asked to provide final meter readings and it is important you do to ensure an accurate final bill from your previous supplier.

If you’re switching both gas and electricity, transfer dates are sometimes different for both. But don’t worry, you will always have a constant supply of energy with no disruption to your supply.

Things to know!

Occasionally your transfer may be disrupted by an objection from your existing supplier. This can only be done under specific and reasonable circumstances. These usually include being tied into a fixed-term contract or having an outstanding debt. They must offer you the option to get the objection resolved if you decide you still want to transfer your energy supply.

If you switch to a plan with fixed prices jot down the end date of the fixed term so you know when to start energy shopping again. Most suppliers will switch you back to their standard tariff once a term is up and you could end up paying a lot more.

So as you can see, switching energy supplier is generally a simple process designed to make life as easy as possible for the consumer. Yet, a lot of people are still under the illusion that it takes an inconvenient amount of time with lots of hassle and stress. The unfortunate result of this is that, a lot of people are still paying too much for their energy. Give it a go and see just how much of a saving you can make.