There will be no interruption to your energy supply when you switch provider, unless you are receiving a new meter for example a smart meter or a prepayment meter. If this is necessary, your new energy provider will contact you to arrange a suitable date for the installer to visit and explain the interruption ensuring it is managed safely.
Your new energy provider will not charge you for the switching service. However your current energy provider may charge you an exit, or termination, fee if you have a fixed term tariff and you wish to end the contract before the term ends. Contact your current energy provider, if you do not know whether your contract has termination fee clause.
The switch starts on the first day of the 14 day cooling off period (see commitment 6 below) and will take no more than 7 days after the end of the cooling off period.
If you are switching both gas and electricity accounts, providers will try to switch both on the same date, but the date the switches occur may not be the same.
If you are switching your gas account during May 2017 it may take longer than 21 days for the switch to complete due to changes being made to the industry registration system that will affect all suppliers.
Energy providers do not need to visit your home to complete the switch. If you are receiving a new meter as part of your switch, for example a smart meter or a prepayment meter, your new energy provider will contact you to arrange a suitable date for them to visit.
You should not need to contact your existing energy provider about the switch itself, but you may need to contact them if you have any questions about your final bill and any final payment or refund.
The 14 day period during which you can change your mind is known as the cooling off period and starts the day after you enter into a contract with your new provider. You can enter into a contract in a number of ways, including over the phone, on a provider’s own website or on a price comparison website. If you do change your mind, it is important to act fast and tell your new provider.
You do not need to give your new provider a reason for your cancellation and it will be able to cancel the switch for you without interrupting your supply. You will not incur any charges if your new provider receives your cancellation within the cooling off period.
If you cancel the switch to an intended new provider during the cooling off period, you will remain with your current provider.
Giving an accurate meter reading to your new provider will allow your current provider to send you an accurate final bill and your new energy provider to send an accurate first bill.
The meter reading given by you will be used by both providers to ensure they do not both charge you for the same energy.
For help on how to read your meter go to the Citizen Advice page.
Issues or delays
Your new energy provider is responsible for investigating and solving the issue but they may need your help.
The Citizens Advice consumer service can provide you with help and support, at any point, in relation to any switching query or issue. If you make a complaint to your energy provider which is not resolved to your satisfaction after eight weeks, you can ask the Ombudsman Services: Energy to investigate.
Billing - your current provider's responsibility
If a meter reading is not provided by you, or obtained by your new provider, an estimated reading will be agreed between your current and new energy providers. Your current and new providers use the same reading, to ensure you are not charged twice for the same energy.
Your current energy provider must have either your bank account details or your name and address.