Energy Switch Guarantee
- April 5, 2017
- by Chris
What is the Energy Switch Guarantee & what does it mean for you?
If you’re thinking of changing your energy supplier, you’ve probably come across the term ‘Energy Switch Guarantee’. If you’re not quite sure what it is or how it affects you, read on. We will answer all the questions we’re most frequently asked so you’re fully up to speed.
What is the Energy Switch Guarantee?
The Energy Switch Guarantee is an energy industry initiative to make it quick and easy for you to switch from one energy supplier to another.
The key things to know are that:
Switching from one supplier to another is free.
The process of switching will take no longer than 21 days from the date your new provider receives your completed application, so it won’t drag on for months.
Your new provider and your current provider will work together to make sure you are not charged twice for the same energy, so you won’t pay double at any point.
Your new energy supplier is responsible for sorting out any issues with the switch, so if anything does go wrong, you won’t be the one having to make all the phone calls to get it sorted out.
The new system replaces an old system that took up to six weeks and was sometimes difficult more difficult than it needed to be.
The initiative consists of ten commitments. They are:
1. All energy providers use the same wires and pipes, therefore your energy supply will not be interrupted.
2. The switching service is free.
3. The switch will take no more than 21 days from the date your new provider receives your completed application.
4. Your new energy provider will not need to visit your home to complete the switch unless you agree otherwise.
5. Your new energy provider will arrange the switch, including contacting your current provider to let them know you are leaving.
6. Your new energy provider will send you details of your new energy supply agreement for you to check and you will have 14 days to change your mind. If you cancel in this time, you will stay with your current provider.
7. Your new and current providers will work together to make sure you are not charged twice for the same energy.
Issues or delays
8. If there are any problems making the switch, your new provider will contact you as soon as possible and will be responsible for putting the matter right.
Billing – your current provider’s responsibility
9. Following the switch your current provider will send you a final bill no later than six weeks after the switch.
10. If your current provider owes you any money, they will refund this to you no later than 14 days after sending you the final bill.
OK, I want to switch energy supplier using the Energy Switch Guarantee. How does it work?
Great! We recommend everyone shops around for energy suppliers regularly to make sure they’re getting the best deal they can.
Here’s how to take advantage of the Energy Switch Guarantee.
You need to know how much energy you use at the moment so you can get accurate price comparisons.
You will find details of your energy consumption on your latest bill or your annual statement from your current energy company (or companies). If you don’t have either of these, contact your energy supplier(s) and they will give you the information you need.
You will also need the name of the tariff(s) you are on with your current provider. Again, this information will be on your latest bill or annual statement or by contacting your energy supplier(s).
The next step is to get details of all the energy deals you are eligible for so you can choose the one that is right for you.
The best way to do this is to use our comparison tool. Simply enter your details and we’ll give you details of all the packages you could switch to. We are 100% impartial and unbiased so you see every single package that is available to you, not just the ones we want you to see.
Once you have chosen the best deal for you, the next step is to start the switch.
With some suppliers, you can start the switch via our website.
With other suppliers you will need to contact them to let them know you would like to switch to them. Once you have done this, your new supplier will do the rest.
This all sounds too good to be true.
The Energy Switch Guarantee is a very good thing because it makes it much easier to switch suppliers and get a better deal.
However, there are two things to be aware of.
The first is that not all energy suppliers are signed up yet. Here are the ones who are:
If your energy supplier isn’t signed up, this doesn’t mean you can’t switch. It just means the Energy Switch Guarantee doesn’t apply.
We expect that more suppliers will join the scheme over time. Any energy company can join but all applications need to be approved by the independent chair of the Governance Board of the scheme to make sure they comply with all of the commitments. All suppliers are regularly checked once they’re signed up to check they are still complying.
The second thing to be aware of is that while it’s called the Energy Switch Guarantee, things could still go wrong. Having said that, Ofgem says that only 1% of switches went wrong in 2014, so the chances of it happening to you are low.
Are there any plans to change the process in the future?
Yes. The Energy Switch Guarantee is a huge leap forward for the industry, but there are plans to go even further. There is now legislation in place to let Ofgem make the changes needed for next day switching. The intention is that next day switching will be in place by the end of 2018. Watch this space!