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Switch energy supplier

This advice applies to England

You’ll probably save money on your gas and electricity bills by switching to a new supplier.

You’ll need to follow a different process for switching if you’re in debt to your supplier, or if you’re a tenant.

Before you decide to switch

You should start by:

  • checking which type of meter you have
  • finding out if your contract has an ‘exit fee’ for leaving early - it’s usually on your bill
  • looking at your current suppliers tariffs

If you have a smart meter

Before you decide to switch, it’s a good idea to contact your new supplier to check if your smart meter will still work the same. For example, with some suppliers you might need to send meter readings yourself.

If you use your smart meter in ‘prepayment mode’, you’ll usually need to top up with your new supplier once you’ve switched. Your old supplier will refund you any remaining credit.

Contact your new supplier if you have questions about switching with a smart meter.

Choosing the right tariff

It’s worth thinking about the type of tariff you need before you switch - for example, you might want:

  • a flexible tariff that you can get out of at any time
  • an environmentally-friendly tariff
  • the cheapest tariff available

You should also check whether you need a specific tariff for the type of electricity meter you have - for example, if you have a prepayment meter or an ‘Economy 7’ meter.

If you’ve applied for the Warm Home Discount but not yet got it, you'll have to apply again if you switch supplier - check if your new supplier has different rules about who gets it.

Find out more about the different types of tariffs available.

How to switch supplier or tariff

Follow these steps to switch:

  1. Compare tariffs from different suppliers
  2. Once you’ve found one, call the supplier - they’ll set up the switch and tell your old supplier. Alternatively, you can switch online.
  3. Take a meter reading on the day of the transfer to give to your new supplier - this means they won’t charge you for energy used before the switch.
  4. Pay your old supplier’s final bill or get a refund if you’re in credit.

Once the switch has started, you’ll also need to give the new supplier your energy meter reference numbers. This will make sure they switch your energy supply and not someone else's. You can find these numbers on your energy bill - they’re called:

  • meter point reference number or MPRN
  • meter point administration number or MPAN

The switch should be done within 15 working days of the new supplier receiving the information they need. If it takes longer than 15 working days, your new supplier should automatically pay you £30 in compensation. They should pay this within 10 workings days. They'll either send you a cheque or pay directly into your bank account if they have your bank details.

If there’s been a mistake

You’ll automatically get £30 in compensation if you’ve been switched by mistake, for example if the supplier mixed you up with another customer. Find out what to do if you didn’t agree to switch energy supplier.

If your old supplier owes you money

You should get your final bill from your old supplier within 6 weeks. If it takes longer than 6 weeks, you’ll automatically get £30 in compensation from them.

They have to pay back any credit they owe you within 10 working days of sending your final bill. If they don’t, they’ll owe you an extra £30 in compensation. 

You should complain to your energy supplier if they haven’t paid you what they owe.

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