When can I switch energy supplier

There are many instances when you can and should switch energy supplier; but, here are the best times you can and should look to change supplier:

1. You are on a standard tariff with your energy supplier

If you are on a standard tariff with your energy supplier, you are on a more expensive tariff and not getting good value. Energy suppliers will transfer customers to their standard tariff, when their fixed term contract has ended.

If you have been with an energy supplier for a long time without being on a specific tariff, then most likely they have transferred you to their standard tariff. This is when you can change your energy supplier to get cheaper energy tariffs, without any penalties or being charged for ending your contract.

2. you have moved into a new home

When you move into a new home, you can look to compare energy prices and switch supplier. You will not be penalised by the existing supplier, you are making a new contract in a different name to the previous contract holder.

You should not just continue with the supplier which is already there, as you might not be on a good tariff. Compare energy tariffs from different suppliers and if you find a better tariff, you should switch supplier.

3. You have come to the end of your fixed-term contract

If you have come to the end of your fixed-term contract, you can switch energy supplier. Compare energy prices with different suppliers and switch to a better tariff. If you do not switch, most likely you will be automatically transferred to a standard tariff. Standard tariffs are more expensive per unit of energy.

4. Energy prices have gone up

If you are not on a specific contract or your contract is about to end, then you can check for cheaper tariffs and switch energy supplier. If your contract is about to end, ask your energy supplier about its rules on how many days prior to the ending of your contract, you can request a switch without charges.

5. If you are on a pre-paid meter

A pre-paid meter has the worst energy tariff, so if you are on a prepaid meter you can make some savings by coming off it. If you are paying some of your debt owed for previous bills via your pre-paid meter, then you might not be able to come off it. But if you do not have any debt with your energy supplier, then you can switch supplier and pay directly for your energy via bills and statements.

6. Energy suppliers are giving special deals for new customers

If you are not on a fixed contract, and energy suppliers are giving introductory deals for energy. You can switch energy supplier. But, don’t forget to switch again when your contract ends or you will be transferred to a standard tariff, which is not good value.

7. If energy prices are anticipated to go up and become more expensive

If prices are being anticipated to go up and you are not bound by any particular fixed-term contract, you should find cheaper deals and switch supplier if you can.

Additional information

If you are having difficulties paying for your energy bills go to Ofgem.

For free debt and money financial advice go to Citizens Advice.

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