You may not think too often about your energy usage, but did you know that switching energy suppliers is one of the easiest ways to bring down your household bills?
On average, households in the UK overpay by almost £315 per year on gas and electricity. This is mostly because people are either not aware that there are better options out there, or that they can’t be bothered to go through the troublesome process of switching energy suppliers.
The truth is that since Ofgem introduced new pro-competitive market regulations, it has become increasingly easier to switch energy suppliers. In fact, if you know what to expect, you’ll find that switching can result in you making significant savings in no time. Let’s dig deeper.
Is it worth it to switch energy suppliers?
Do you care about saving? Then the short answer is yes – it is worth it to switch energy suppliers.
In spite of the average household overpaying for their energy bills, research by Energy Switch Guarantee reveals that only half of them have switched energy providers in the past four years.
In case the saving alone isn’t enough to convince you, perhaps a better product or service will. Newer suppliers offer a wider range of products, including green energy plans, which are better for the environment. They also have better customer service, provide digital account management, and a range of special offers and perks that make it well worth it to consider switching.
How can you switch energy suppliers?
Contrary to what many might think, it is quite easy to switch energy suppliers. Several websites and third-party switching services make it easy for you to find the best deals in your vicinity and even take care of the switching for you. Here’s how you can kickstart the process:
- Find out about your current plan as well as your average energy usage. You can do this by calling your energy supplier or reviewing previous energy bills.
- Get together your basic information like your postal code and address.
- Visit Energy Switching or another price comparison website and enter your information to source energy quotes from various suppliers in your area.
- Compare not just the prices, but also the exit fees as well as any incidentals to make sure you are getting the best deal on your energy.
- Select the plan of your choice and we will do the rest.
How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?
Thanks to a new government initiative called the Energy Switch Guarantee, the majority of suppliers commit to switching over your energy supply within 21 days. In most cases, your new energy supplier will provide you with a fixed date on which your energy supply will switch over to them.
While the transition between suppliers is in process, your household energy supply should not be affected. Soon after that you will receive bills and documentation from your new energy supplier.
When should you switch energy suppliers?
While it is always good to look for a better deal, there are certain considerations with timing that can ensure you don’t end up paying hefty exit fees. Some of the aspects to think about are:
- When does your current contract end?
Make sure you’re not switching before your current contract is close to ending, because you might be charged heavy exit fees. Certain suppliers give you a window of time towards the end of your contract (usually 6-7 weeks), during which you can switch without paying exit fees.
Additionally, if you wait too long and your fixed-tariff contract ends, you will be switching to a standard variable tariff in the meanwhile, during which you will end up paying more for your energy usage.
- What are your circumstances?
Do you anticipate any changes in your energy usage in the months to come? For example, if you are on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff, you might want to change your plan if you retire. You might also consider switching plans if your kids move out of the house.
- What is the market price of energy?
If you hear that the wholesale price of energy is about to rise, it may be time to get on a fixed-rate tariff to ensure that you won’t end up paying higher prices for your household energy. Variable tariff prices reflect the wholesale price of energy, so it may be good to switch to a fixed-rate tariff to protect yourself from fluctuations in the market.
Energy auto-switching services
Not everyone has the time to actively track the energy market to see whether they’re getting the best possible deals on their household energy. In this case, energy auto switching services can be a great solution to ensure that you remain on a competitive tariff.
By regularly searching the market to compare various suppliers and automatically alerting you in case there’s a better tariff, energy auto switching services do the groundwork of finding the best energy deals for you. For a fee, many of them also handle the process of switching your tariff over to the new supplier, making bill payments, and settling with your old supplier, thereby reducing the effort required on your part to switch suppliers. You will always be alerted before you are switched over to a new supplier, so you can be aware of any changes beforehand.
What’s more, the process of finding you a good deal doesn’t end as soon as you’re on a new tariff – energy auto switching services are constantly on the hunt for new deals, ensuring that you’re always getting the best possible value for money.
Some things to know when switching energy suppliers
How to switch suppliers with a smart meter:
If you live in a home with a smart meter, you may want to check whether your new supplier offers plans that are compatible with smart meters. Depending on the supplier and their technology, you may need a technician to visit your home and install a new meter.
Switching suppliers in rental apartments:
As a tenant, you have the right to switch to the energy provider of your choice, unless explicitly stated in your rental agreement. Your landlord may have an existing energy supplier but it should not impact your ability to switch. However, in case any installation required, such as a smart meter, you should definitely check with your landlord first.
Switching to a green energy provider:
Several energy suppliers offer green energy plans, which provide energy generated entirely from renewable sources. This is a great way to be more environmentally conscious. However, it can often be more expensive than traditional energy sources, so make sure it is within your budget before you switch.
We hope that with this guide, you’re convinced that switching suppliers is not as difficult as it sounds. At Energy Switching, we make it even easier for you to switch by sourcing the best deals for your household energy and making it easier for you to compare between them. In a few simple steps, you could be well on your way to making significant savings. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started now!