Can I Switch Energy Provider?
- September 10, 2017
- by Chris
Can I Switch Energy Provider?
Under normal circumstances anyone can switch their energy supplier and usually it is quick and easy to do. However, in some cases you might not be able to switch.
Read on to learn more about the circumstances when you may not be able to switch provider.
Are you in debt with your current energy provider?
Often your existing energy supplier will stop you from switching supplier if you have an outstanding debt owed to them. In addition, a new supply may not want to take you on as a customer if you have had difficulty paying a previous energy supplier.
You are considered to be in utility debt when the amount outstanding has remained unpaid for a period of 28 days or more and, amounts to £500 or more. However, if you owe less than £500 are you are on a pre-payment meter is it often possible to switch to a new energy company.
If, however, it is proven that the reason you are in debt with your current energy supplier because they have failed to do something, for instance, amend your monthly direct debit to cover increased energy usage, then you will be able to switch provider.
Are you in a fixed term contract?
Many people chose a fixed term energy contract so that they know exactly how much they need to pay each month. However, if you wish to switch to a new provider before your contract expiry date has passed you may have to pay early termination fees. The fees you have to pay will vary but in our experience the maximum is around £100.
You do however have what’s called a ‘Switching Window’ which opens 49 days before the end of your current contract. If you decide to switch suppliers within the 49-day window – to start once your current contract ends, you will not be liable for an early exit fees.
Is your meter supported?
Another blocking factor can be if currently have a meter that isn’t supported by the energy tariff you are looking to switch to, an example of this would be a prepayment meter, then you may be unable to switch provider. To continue with the switch, you will need to consider changing your meter type or looking for another tariff that can be supplied to your current meter type.
Our comparison service will show you which suppliers are compatible with your tariff and meter preferences so you can make an informed choice when you switch.
Do you live in rented accommodation?
If you live in rented accommodation and would like to change gas and/or electricity supplier then you may need the permission of the property owner, Landlord or their appointed agent.
If you are the party who is responsible for paying the gas and electricity bills, and the bills are in your name then you are entitled to choose which provider you use. However, if the bills are in the property owner or Landlords name, then switching energy provider is a decision for them to make. It is still possible to switch in these circumstances but we would recommend that you discuss it with your Landlord first.
In general, if your request to switch supplier is rejected, due to contract issues or an outstanding debt, they are obligated to let you know this as soon as possible. They must provide you with a clear explanation of why they object to you switching and ways for you to resolve the issues if applicable.
If you would like to switch energy supplier to save money today, you can do so online by using our energy comparison service or by calling us on 01242 32 31 31.