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Thinking of switching energy suppliers? There are all sorts of reasons why you might be looking for a better deal. Perhaps your current supplier has increased their prices? Maybe you’ve moved to a new region? Or had a negative customer experience? If you haven’t switched energy suppliers in a while, there’s also a chance you could be paying more than you need to.
So how do you go about switching? Firstly, you need to understand how much you’re paying for your current energy tariff. Next, see what other gas and electricity plans are available. If you find a cheaper energy deal, it’s worth making the switch. And don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a quick guide to switching energy suppliers and finding out much you can save.
Have you been with the same energy supplier for years? If so, it’s likely your original contract will have ended.
Unfortunately, when this happens, some energy suppliers will roll you on to their default standard variable energy tariff, which can be rather expensive. While you’ve likely been notified of the change, it’s an easy thing to miss and you may not have realised you’re paying more than you need to.
This is why it’s important to compare energy suppliers and see what cost savings you can make. It’s very quick and something you can do online with just a few personal details to hand.
With over 50 energy suppliers offering a range of fixed and variable tariffs, the thought of comparing them can be quite daunting. But there’s no need to worry. It’s quick and easy to narrow down your choices, keep it simple and find the right energy deal for you.
First, look at your most recent energy bill. Find out the type of tariff you’re on and how much you’re paying per kWh of energy. There should be a tariff information label on your monthly bill but you can also find it on your annual statement or your energy supplier’s website.
Next, get quotes from a few suppliers. You’ll likely need to tell them:
How you pay for energy (direct debit or prepayment)
Whether you have separate gas and electricity suppliers or dual fuel
How many bedrooms you have
They will then supply you quotes for their various fixed and variable energy tariffs. It’s worth reading our Energy Tariffs Guide to help you choose the right one. The quotes will be based on the average energy use of households in your area.
Once you’ve made your decision and signed up with your new energy supplier, they will take care of everything else. You don’t need to contact your current energy supplier - your new supplier will do it for you. Simply take a meter reading and pay your final bill. It’s as easy as that!
Save up to £170
If you’re after a simple switch, look no further than Igloo. We offer a single variable energy tariff, the Igloo Pioneer, which is designed to take the stress out of buying energy. Sign up with Igloo for electricity or gas and electricity and rest easy knowing you’ll always receive our best rate. What’s more, we offer 100% renewable electricity and won’t tie you into a contract or charge exit fees. Our customers save £170 per year on average when they switch to us.1
When it comes to choosing a new energy supplier, people are often quick to choose the biggest name on the list. Unfortunately, a bigger name doesn’t always mean a better deal. Keep in mind these other factors to help you find the best energy supplier to meet your needs and lifestyle…
The price - It’s an obvious one but finding the best price is key. With so many suppliers on the market offering different tariffs, it’s a good idea to shop around and see how much you can save. If you want to stick with your existing supplier but pay less, ask if they’re willing to match a cheaper tariff to keep your custom.
Renewable energy - Although paying less for your energy is appealing, it might not be the only deal-breaker. If you’re keen to find ways to stop climate change and reduce your carbon footprint, it’s worth looking into renewable energy. Several suppliers on the market, including Igloo, offer renewable electricity. Just make sure it’s 100% renewable so you’re really making a difference.
Customer service - Before signing up to any energy supplier we recommend doing a little research and reading their customer reviews. Make sure people are happy with the service they received and that as a customer, you’ll be valued. Watch out for suppliers that offer teaser deals to new customers only and appear to forget about their existing ones. You can also check out the Citizens Advice customer service ratings to see a supplier's performance.
Payment options - When looking to switch, make sure you can pay the way you want to. Monthly direct debit payments are the easiest and cheapest option in most cases.
Exit fees - Signing up a fixed rate contract? Make sure you’ve read the terms and conditions and enquire about exit fees. Many suppliers charge a fee if you want to switch energy plans before the end of your contract. Find out how much you’ll have to pay if you decide to switch suppliers.
Here at Igloo, we don’t like the idea of tying our customers into lengthy contracts. Hence why we offer a single variable rate tariff, with the promise of competitive rates and no exit fees.
How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?
Finding a new energy supplier is quick and easy. All you’ll need is your postcode, the name of your current gas and electricity supplier, your tariff type and how much energy you use in kWh.
You’ll then be able to use this information to compare energy deals and get quotes.
Once you’ve switched energy suppliers, the changeover will take around 21 days. Don’t worry - your energy supply won’t be affected. If you do happen to change your mind, you can always take advantage of the 14-day cooling-off period that all suppliers have to offer.
Will I have to pay an exit fee?
If you are on a variable rate tariff, you can switch energy suppliers at any given time without paying an exit fee. However, if you’re on a fixed rate tariff, you may have to pay an exit fee if you have more than 49 days left on your contract. Exit fees are usually around £30 per fuel.
With this in mind, we’d recommend waiting until your contract is ending to switch suppliers. You should receive a letter from your supplier to remind you that your contract is ending. At this point, you’ll be free to start shopping around for a better energy deal.
Can I switch energy suppliers if I rent?
If you are responsible for paying your energy bills directly then it’s up to you to choose your supplier, and switch, if you wish to.
If you pay your rent and bills to your landlord as part of a package deal, then it’s up to them to switch energy suppliers. If you find a cheaper deal, we imagine they’ll be happy to switch without much persuasion.
Can I switch energy suppliers if I use a smart meter?
Absolutely! The process for switching suppliers is the same, whether you have a traditional or smart meter. Simply choose a new supplier and inform them of your smart meter. They’ll then check it’s compatible. If a few changes are required, your new energy supplier will arrange this on your behalf.
What happens if the new energy supplier goes out of business?
Consumers are sometimes reluctant to go with small energy suppliers as they’re concerned they’ll go bust. But really, there’s nothing to worry about. All energy suppliers are regulated by the government body Ofgem. So even if a supplier (big or small) goes bankrupt, you’ll be protected. Your supply won’t be interrupted, as Ofgem will simply roll you on to another supplier until you shop around for a new deal. In the event of this happening, any credit balance held by the old supplier will also be protected.
How many times can I switch energy suppliers?
You can switch energy suppliers every 28 days. If you’re on a fixed tariff, this is likely to last 12 months and if you leave early, you’ll be charged an exit fee. If you’re on a variable rate tariff, you can switch as often as you like...though every 28 days might be a little excessive!
Can I switch suppliers if I still owe money to my current supplier?
If you’ve been in debt for less than 28 days you can switch to a new supplier. Any money you owe will be added to your final bill. If you’ve been in debt to your supplier for more than 28 days, you’ll usually need to repay the debt first.
If you’re paying off an energy debt through a prepayment meter and owe less than £500 for gas and £500 for electricity you can switch suppliers too. Under the ‘Debt Assignment Protocol’ your new supplier may agree to take on the debt, so you repay them instead of your previous supplier.
Keep in mind that prepayment meters are usually more expensive. Once your debt is cleared, consider switching to a standard meter to save money.
What happens if I’m in credit when I switch energy suppliers?
Good news! If you’ve overpaid your current energy supplier and are in credit at your final meter reading, you’ll be entitled to an automatic refund. Get ready for some extra spending money!
How much money will I save by switching?
The best way to find out how much you could save is to compare energy quotes online. If you have been rolled onto a default energy tariff, you have the potential to make the biggest cost savings by switching suppliers. Customers who join Igloo Energy can save £170 on average.2
You can save money in other ways too:
Going paperless - some companies charge for paper bills so you can save money by switching to online.
Paying by direct debit - It’s usually cheaper to pay monthly by direct debit than to prepay.
Sending regular meter readings - This will mean you’re only paying for the energy you use. It also prevents any nasty surprises a few months down the line!
Ready to switch energy suppliers? Start your search with Igloo and benefit from:
The best rates for new and existing customers
No lengthy contracts or exit fees
100% renewable electricity
Personalised data analysis on your energy usage
Money-saving smart energy product recommendations
A friendly and helpful customer service team
1,2Average savings calculation based on all customers who signed up in the last three months.