Switching Energy Supplier

Switching your energy supplier is a quick and simple process. You just need to provide a few details and compare deals.

It should only take a couple of minutes to find a new deal for your gas and electricity. Once you fill in a short form and decide to switch, your new energy supplier should take care of everything and you’ll be on their plan within a few weeks.

How to switch energy supplier

To switch energy suppliers, you’ll need:

  • Your postcode: gas and electricity prices are set regionally, and some suppliers only serve certain areas. This will narrow down which plans and suppliers are available to you
  • The name of your existing supplier and the name of your existing energy deal, so your existing tariff can be used to calculate savings
  • An idea of how much gas or electricity you use, which should be shown on your bill

Are you allowed to switch?

Most people should be able to switch to a new supplier with no problem whatsoever.

However, if you’re in debt to a supplier, you might not be able to leave until you repay them.

If you have a prepayment meter and you owe more than £500 for gas or electricity, you might not be able to switch.

Should you choose a fixed or variable plan?

You can choose to pay your energy with either:

  • Fixed energy plan: a set contract which will keep your monthly costs the same for at least a year
  • Variable energy plan: a flexible deal you can exit at any time, but your monthly costs may vary

Often fixed deals are the cheapest, but the gap between variable energy tariffs and fixed rates has closed in recent years. You can find out more about fixed and variable tariffs here.

Comparing your results and picking a new plan

Many people opt to choose the cheapest deal, but it’s worth thinking about what you want from your energy supplier.

With Runpath, who provide our switching service, you can filter by:

  • Deals you can be switched to by Runpath, or deals you need to directly liaise with a supplier to get
  • Fixed rate or variable energy plans
  • Whether a plan has cancellation fees
  • If you’d like online or paper bills
  • How frequently you’d like to pay your bills (monthly, quarterly or manually on receipt)
  • Deals that reward customers with incentives, gifts, discounts or loyalty points
  • Suppliers that are certified green energy suppliers, or deals that have a partly or fully renewable fuel mix

Confirming the switch

Once you've picked your new energy supplier and plan, you need to confirm your switch by providing your full address and bank details.

You’ll also need your MPAN electricity number and MPRN gas numbers to hand (your meter registration numbers), you should be able to find these listed on your bills, or written on your meter.

Your new supplier will be alerted you’ve switched to them, and will be in contact after a two week ‘cooling off’ period to provide information on your switchover date.

Your old supplier will contact you with a final bill and confirm that you’ve left.

How long should it take to switch?

The whole process shouldn’t take longer than 17 working days, including the two week cooling-off period, and your energy supply should not be interrupted.

It’s worth noting that if you’re on a fixed-rate that charges exit fees, you can switch from 49 days of the end of the deal, and not be charged any fees for leaving your existing supplier.

Smart meters are electricity and gas meters connected to a national network. They offer insight into how much energy you use and should put a stop to inaccurate estimated bills.

Switching energy suppliers when moving home

You should be able to keep your energy supplier when you move home. You just need to contact your supplier at least 48 hours before your move. They should be able to sort out moving over your tariff.

You can also just cancel your existing energy deal and settle up the final bills for your old home.

When you move into your new home you will need to find out who your energy supplier is. You can ask the previous occupants, or wait to be contacted by the energy supplier (usually in the form of a paper bill).

Once you know who the existing supplier is, it’s worth running an energy comparison to see if you could get a cheaper deal.