It’s assumed by many that switching energy suppliers is too big a hassle to bother with, but this isn’t really the case. This handy guide selecting your supplier simple, so you can ensure you get the best deal for you…
With so much choice on the market, the prospect of picking a new energy supplier can be daunting but there a few ways you can filter the possibilities and honing that choice down to those that suit your needs, while offering the best tariffs and customer service.
Before you start searching, check to see whether your current supplier charges an early cancellation fee. Exit fees are common with fixed rate tariffs but many suppliers will let you leave up to 59 days early without incurring a penalty.
Next, prioritise. It might be that you’re not bothered about the cheapest deal, and want the best customer service. If you’re eco-conscious you might want to consider green energy companies or if you think you might want to switch again or regularly shop around for better deals then you may chooses to prioritise fixed deals with no exit fee.
You might also want to consider when you use your energy most. If you use most of your energy at night a ‘multi-rate’ or ‘economy’ tariff might be best as you’ll pay less for energy you use overnight, and more during the day.
Do your research
Consumer guide Which? – specifically Which?Switch, is a great resource for both gaining an understanding of the various different tariffs available and what they mean, as does Citizens Advice. Which?Switch will also give you a good idea of which energy suppliers are best, as well as those to avoid. For example, it’s definitely worth considering some of the smaller suppliers recommended by Which? as they would have been put through some rigorous testing! The six biggest suppliers came bottom in a recent poll of the best and worst.
Once you’ve educated yourself on the best suppliers and think you have an idea of what tariff might be best use an Ofgem-accredited price comparison site such as Energylinx, Money Supermarket, Simply Switch or USwitch to find the best deals. To do this you will ideally want to have your postcode, the name of your current supplier and the name of your current tariff to hand.
And you don’t have to switch just because you want a better deal. If you’re happy with your current supplier, but find a better offer elsewhere, you can ask to see if they will match it.
Once you’ve found a supplier and tariff you’re happy with its time to make the switch. Simply call up to confirm and choose how you want to pay. You might need to give a metre reading at this stage, so that’s worth having to hand. If you pay by Direct Debit you are likely to save a bit more.
The switching process is likely to take between 17 to 21 days and you’ll have 14 days after the start of your contract to change your mind if you’re not happy.