Switching energy supplier
Everyone has a choice of which gas and electricity supplier to use – and sometimes switching supplier can save you money on your bills.
Here are some hints and tips to help you if you’re thinking about switching energy supplier:
Shop around for the best deal: Some companies offer specific packages tailored to meet particular needs. These could include discounted charges and fixed-rate tariffs.
- Use officially accredited price comparison sites to identify potential savings on fuel bills. Find some websites that might be helpful here.
Switching sites may not contain information about discounted tariffs that might be available so it’s always worth contacting the supplier directly. Here are the contact numbers of the ‘big six’.
British Gas 0800 072 8625
EDF Energy 0800 096 9000
Npower 0800 980 5525
E.ON 0800 051 1480
Scottish Power 0800 027 2700
SSE 0800 300 111
If you’re unhappy with the way you’re treated during the process of switching supplier, or if you have a disagreement with an energy company, the Energy Ombudsman are here to help:
PO Box 966
Telephone Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm on 0330 440 1624
When contacting suppliers ask about both gas and electricity rates – the savings you make on one, could be outweighed by the cost of the other.
Once you’ve decided that switching is the best option for you, there is a certain process that you should follow:
Agree a contract
Before arrangements to supply gas or electricity can be made and contract with the new supplier must be agreed. The contract can be agreed over the telephone, at home or over the internet depending on supplier.
By law, there is a 14 day cooling-off period when any contract is signed to switch supplier. You should receive a letter or phone call from the supplier to ensure that you understand that you haave entered into a new contract and that you’re happy with this. If you change your mind about switching you can cancel your new contract anytime within the 14 days.
Tell you existing supplier
If they’re not informed, they may stop you from switching. This can be done over the telephone or you may have to send a letter, depending on the supplier.
Pay any bills that you owe
If you owe money, you may not be able to switch supplier. Energy companies will usually insist that any debt owing is paid before they allow you to switch. This might not be the case if you’re a pre-payment meter customer. You may be allowed to switch supplier even if you have debts of up to £500 for gas and £500 for electricity under a process called debt assignment protocol.
Take a meter reading
If your new supplier doesn’t read your meter, you need to. Your old supplier will use this reading to work out your final bill, and your new supplier will need it to set up your new account. It’s important that the reading is accurate so your bills are calculated properly and it’s always worth making aa note of the reading in case of any future disputes.
How long does it take to switch?
The transfer between suppliers should take no longer than three weeks after the end of the 14 day cooling-off period.
Bromford offers a range of services including money and career advice so if you’re a Bromford customer and you could do with some help please contact us on 0330 1234 034 to see what kind of help may be available to you.
Use the links below to find out more about some of the things that you can do avoid fuel poverty
You can get involved in the conversation on Twitter by following @Bromford and searching #FuelPoverty
If Facebook is more your thing, like our page to get updates, hints, tips and advice