Is switching energy provider right for me?
People save money every year by shopping around for the best energy prices but there are a few things you should think about before you switch.
Due to the high cost of energy, it may not be practical for you to switch suppliers – you may be on the best deal available.
Are you on a fixed term contract?
Most suppliers charge an exit fee if you leave a fixed term contract early. If you have to pay an exit fee, make sure it’s less than the amount you’re going to save when you switch.
An Ofgem Confidence Code accredited price comparison site can tell you if you're better off leaving your current supplier even if you have to pay the exit fee.
Are you living in a rented property?
Some tenancy agreements state that you can’t change utility supplier. However, this is an unfair contract term that can’t be enforced. Your landlord or letting agent can’t stop you from changing supplier.
Your landlord also can't take money from your deposit if you change suppliers, except for small administrative costs to change the supplier back. These costs must be agreed beforehand and shown in the tenancy agreement.
These rules only apply when switching energy providers, but your deposit could be affected if you've changed from a normal meter to a prepayment meter without permission.
Do you have a prepayment meter?
If you've got a prepayment meter you can still switch energy suppliers and transfer debts of up to £500. You’ll have to carry on using the prepayment meter with your new supplier until any arrears are paid off.
Can you get a better deal from your current gas or electricity supplier?
Most companies offer a discount for paying by direct debit, if that can work for you.
Or, if you get your gas and electricity from different suppliers, if one of them offers a dual-fuel discount you could think about switching to them. Contact your supplier to see if that’s available to you.