Everyone goes through hard times and there is no reason to blame yourself for it. With that being said, if you’re currently in debt to your energy supplier and are struggling to keep up with payments, switching could be a good option as it could help you save money. So, let’s learn about switching in debt.
Last updated: November 2022
Thanks to the competitively of the UK energy market British energy suppliers must always stay on their toes. In fact, they are constantly updating their offers to propose greener, innovative and cheaper plans. By switching energy suppliers you ensure that you make the most of this dynamism and entrust your energy supply to the supplier that offers the ideal plan based on your specific needs and priorities.
Why switching energy suppliers is important and how it saves you money
Switch to save on your energy bills
Switching energy suppliers is a great way to avoid joining the legions of Brits who are overpaying. According to a study done by the National Audit Office, UK households as a whole are spending over £800 million too much for their energy. Switching energy suppliers can not only fix overspending, but it helps to keep the energy market competitive and prices low. But how much does switching energy suppliers really save you? Let’s take a look.
Many are hesitant to switch energy suppliers because they assume that the difference between suppliers is negligible, and not worth the effort inherent in switching. But, according to the data above, it seems as though, after all, it does make quite a difference. And, not to mention, when you switch with us, our experts at switch plan can save you up to £400 a year. That’s a lot of money!
Switch to a plan that shares your values
At Switch Plan, we believe in catered plans. Out of the dozens of energy suppliers in the UK energy market, there is one that is catered to your energy usage, your lifestyle, and your budget. Even if you believe that you are currently in the perfect plan, it is important to constantly be looking at other suppliers’ tariffs.
Just like your needs change, so do tariffs. And, unfortunately, when it comes to your energy bills, consistency and comfortability cause your energy prices to go up. That’s why it is important to constantly be switching energy suppliers: So your needs are always met and your energy bills are always low.
Of course, Our experts can always provide you with more information on switching and can also help you find a deal that is catered to your needs. All you have to do is give us a call on the number on the top of the screen!
Switch energy plans to power your new home with the best deal
Moving house is the perfect time to switch energy suppliers. After all, when you move into your new home, you will be put under a ‘deemed contract’, or the standard variable tarriff, of the previous tenant/homeowner’s supplier. It is important to get out of this deal as soon as possible because it tends to be more expensive than other tariffs.
So, when you are choosing who will power up your new home, it is important to do your research. At Switch Plan, we don’t believe in the best deal, we believe in finding a deal that is best-suited to your needs.
You might be asking yourself: How can I find the best deal for my needs? Well, thats where we come in! Give our experts a call at the number on the top of the screen
Switching Energy Plans when moving house.
As mentioned in the section above, moving house is the perfect time to switch energy suppliers.
While you can’t switch suppliers until you’re legally responsible for the supply (i.e. after you move in), you can always start doing your research! Our advice: Look at the best energy deals for your postcode, as your location has a lot to do with which supplier offers the best deals.
Also, we have prepared a checklist to assist you in the moving process. Here are the steps that you need to follow when moving in and out of your home.
What is the best energy tariff on the market?
At Switch Plan, we do not believe in the ‘best’ energy tariff because it depends on multiple factors; Such as how much energy you use, where you live, etc. Therefore, the best energy plan is the one that is best suited to your lifestyle.
For that reason, our experts are here. They are specialised in filtering through the UK energy market to find a deal that caters to your needs. All you need to do is give them a call at the number on the top of the screen.
What is the cheapest energy tariff on the market?
At Switch Plan, we are always looking for the cheapest prices for our customers. As prices are always changing, it is difficult for us to give you a constantly updated price. So, in turn, we can provide you with a list of suppliers that seem to always offer the best rates. So, without further ado…
- Octopus Energy
- People’s Energy
- Green Energy
- Outfox The Market
- So Energy
Another important factor to keep in mind is that fixed rate tariffs are usually cheaper than variable rate tariffs. However, the energy supplier Bulb defies this rule of thumb by offering a cheap variable tariff that is actually one of the best deals on the market.
Another tip is to sign up for direct debit when you switch energy suppliers. Customers usually save money when paying by direct debit vs Receipt of Bill (RoB) because it causes no hiccups in the suppliers cash flow.
Who offers the best customer service?
According to our own 2020 customer reviews, the following suppliers are known for having the best customer service:
- Octopus Energy
- Good Energy
- Ovo Energy
If you would like to look at the current rankings for best customer service, we suggest that you take a peek at Citizens Advice. They are a reliable source of information and keep their pages well updated. According to Citizens Advice, their top 5 performing suppliers for customer service are:
- So Energy
- Green Energy
- Igloo Energy
- S Energy
- EDF Energy
Depending on how important customer service is to you, turns our that so energy or octopus energy could be the right supplier for you. However, before you make the switch, don’t forget to check if they have a tariff that is suited to your needs.
Who is the greenest energy supplier?
Green Energy UK is the greenest energy supplier in the UK. Most suppliers nowadays offer tariffs with 100 percent renewable electricity, but what makes Green Energy UK stand out from the crowd is that they also offer 100 percent green gas. Unlike other suppliers offering 100 percent renewable gas and electricity plans, Green Energy UK does not need to invest in any carbon offsetting.
How do I switch energy suppliers?
Switching energy suppliers is easier than you may think. Follow these easy steps to ensure that you get the best possible quotes and find the perfect energy deal for your household:
- Find out what tariff you’re currently on- If it’s been several years since you last switched supplier, you may have lapsed onto a “deemed contract”. This means that you’ll be put on the supplier’s standard variable tariff, which may be its least cost-effective.
- Calculate your annual energy usage – Next, it’s a good idea to calculate how much energy you use per year. If you have an Economy 7, Economy 10 or other multi-rate meter, it’s a good idea to check your usage for both peak and off-peak rates.
- Find our your MPAN and MPRN Numbers- This step is not essential, but it’s a good idea for a timely switch. These are the unique reference numbers used to identify your gas (MPRN) and electricity (MPAN) meters. They are usually displayed on your bill. But if you cannot find them, contact your local Gas Transporter and Distribution Network Operator (DNO). They will be able to provide you with these unique numbers.
- Compare energy prices & offer – When you have the above information, all you need is your address and postcode to compare energy prices. There are a couple of different ways to get a quote. You can either visit each supplier’s website to get a quote directly, or you can use price comparison websites such as us that will compare them all.
- Choose one you like= Once you’ve done your research , it’s simply a case of choosing a tariff that is suited for your needs.
- Take a meter reading- before switching, take a meter reading to give to your new supplier. This way you will be sure that you wont be overcharged or double charged.
- Sign up – After going through all these steps extensively, there is a good chance that you are ready to switch. Now its time to sign up! You can do this by calling our experts at the number on the top of the screen.
How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?
At Switch Plan, we understand that switching energy suppliers feels a bit risky. But don’t let that put you off. If you haven’t switched tariffs in a while, it’s highly likely that you are overspending on your energy bills.
The longer you wait, the more you could be overcharged.
After agreeing to the switch, you have a 14 day cooling-off period that allows you to change your mind. This is a legal requirement when switching energy providers and begins the moment you decide to switch. If you decide you no longer want to commit to the switch, ring us or your new energy supplier to chanfe your contract.
Will my new energy supplier contact me after I switch?
Yes! After the 14 day cooling off period, your new energy provider will get in touch with the next steps. Whether these are instructions to set up a new meter, or general information about your new tariff, you’ll be sure to hear from them.
When’s the best time to switch energy suppliers?
There’s no ‘best’ time to switch energy suppliers, however there are some things to bear in mind if you are considering switching:
- Before winter- It’s worth bearing in mind that your energy usage differs based on the time of the year. Given that it’s more likely that you’ll be consuming more energy in the winter, it’s worth finding a cheaper deal beforehand to save you money.
- Before prices go up- Energy suppliers can change their costs at any time. And if one of the main suppliers increases their prices, you can be sure that the others will follow suit. You don’t want to be paying more because of market fluctuations and competition between providers, so consider switching if you see prices rising. Some suppliers even let you know in advance of increasing their costs.
- When your current plan comes to an end- When your plan is coming to an end, it’s worth looking around at other suppliers to see if you can find a better deal. All plans are legally required to have an end date, so make sure you take note of it.
If you are not happy with your current energy supplier, let us manage your switching for you. All you have to do is give us a call at the number above. It will only take 20 minutes!
Can I switch energy plan before the end of my current contract?
Each tariff has a switching window that opens 49 days before the end of your contract. This means that:
- You can switch plans at any time during this period and not be charged an exit fee.
- You can also switch plans if you still owe money to your current supplier. If you have owed your current supplier money for less than 28 days, this charge will simply be added to your new plan with your new supplier.
- If it’s been more than 28 days, however, you will need to pay this money back to your previous supplier before you can officially switch over. So make sure you are on top of your debts to make the switching process easier!
What happens if my energy company goes bust?
There are many reasons why a supplier might go bust, however, it is normally due to a disruption in cashflow. Since smaller suppliers usually run their business models after undercutting the tariff prices of the market leaders, they do not have much money to lose. For this reason, it can take years for a smaller supplier to become profitable and any operational fine from ofgem can cause them to go bust within a year.
So, what should you do if your supplier goes bust?
When your supplier goes bust, you will be assigned a ‘supplier of last resort’. This might take a few weeks, but don’t panic: your energy supply will not be affected. Part of Ofgem’s role is to make sure that your gas and electricity remains unaffected whilst you are being a transferred to a suitable supplier of last resort. So, during this transition period, we at Switch Plan suggest that you do some research to see which supplier you fancy most. This way, when you are officially transferred to a supplier of last resort, you can switch immediately. And, not to mention, we can manage your switch! When you are ready to change suppliers, call our experts at the number on the top of the screen and we can help you find the best energy deal for you needs.
Also, it is important to note that, one thing will be affected when your supplier goes bust: Energy tariffs. It is highly probable that your energy bill will go up during the weeks of the transition period.
Can I switch energy suppliers if I rent?
Following the UK consumer protection law, if you are responsable for paying the bills then you have the legal right switch energy suppliers. There are few situations in which the tenant cannot choose who suppliers their energy supply. These are:
- When the landlord pays the energy supplier directly
- When the cost of energy is included in the rent
- In between tenancies
Can I switch if I owe money to my current suppliers?
You can switch energy suppliers if you have been in debt for 28 days or less. Any outstanding balances you might have will be added to the final bill that your supplier will send you after you switch.
If you have been in debt for less the 28 days, your supplier cannot stop you from switching, even if they try to.
Will I get a smart meter if I switch suppliers?
In the UK, not every supplier offers smart meter installation. Howveer, when you switch to a supplier that offers smart meter installations, then you can ask them for a smart meter to be installed for a small fee. According to our records, these are the current suppliers that offer smart meter installations:
- British Gas- Both SMETS1 and SMETS2.
- Bristol Energy- Both SMETS1 and SMETS2.
- Bulb- SMETS2 exclusively.
- Co-operative Energy-SMETS2.
- Ecotricity- Both SMETS1 and SMETS2 depending on location.
- EDF Energy- SMETS2.
- E.ON- SMETS2.
- Green Network Energy- SMETS2.
- Green Star- SMETS2.
- Igloo Energy- SMETS2.
- Lumo- SMETS2.
- Nabuh Energy- SMETS1.
- Npower- SMETS2.
- Octopus Energy- SMETS1 with SMETS2 on the way (currently experiencing shortages from manufacturer).
- OVO Energy- SMETS2.
- Pure Planet- SMETS2
- Scottish Power- SMETS2.
- Shell Energy- SMETS2.
- Simplicity- SMETS1.
- Spark Energy-SMETS2.
- SSE- SMETS2.
- Tonik Energy- SMETS2 meters.
- Utilita- SMETS1.
- Utility Warehouse- SMETS2.
One thing to be wary of howeever, is it can be a bit complicated when it comes to switching energy suppliers with a smart meter. Unfortunately, some suppliers will not be able to use your current smart meter and you’ll need to have another meter installed. However, this depends on the type of smart meter that you have. If you have a SMETS1 meter, this type of smart meter will not communicate with your new supplier. On the other hand, SMETS2 meters share the same data network and will be able to easily switch to your new energy supplier’s tariffs.
How do I switch suppliers if I’m moving home?
Moving house can be expensive, so why waste money on a pricey energy bill? There’s no better time to switch suppliers than when you are moving house. When you move, your energy usage might change and your new household might have different requirements, such as:
- When you move house, you must let your current supplier know at least 48 hours before the move and send them a meter reading to make sure you only pay for the energy you use. Give your supplier your new address so they can forward on your bills.
- When you’re all moved in, take a note of the meter reading that is carried over from the previous residents of the property. Contact your supplier and ensure that you aren’t charged for this reading!
- You can only switch energy suppliers from the day you are responsible for your new property.
- If you want to switch when renting a property and you are directly responsible for paying utility bills, then you can switch suppliers. However, if this is your landlord’s responsibility, then they are the decision-maker when it comes to switching! Your renting agreement should lay out for you who is in charge of these bills.
- Don’t let the stress of moving house distract you from a potentially overpriced energy bill. Ring us on 0330 818 6223 and we will sort it all out for you.
Would you like to know more about switching energy suppliers? Great! Check out these related articles?
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Will my energy supply be interrupted if I switch plans?
No! Both your gas and electricity will be provided as normal and there will be no interruption. After all, the energy is coming from the same place, it’s just being supplied by a different company. Therefore, you can carry on using your energy as normal, and there will be no need for a technician to come to your house.
How often can I switch energy suppliers?
You can switch your energy supplier every 28 days if you wish. However it’s important to remember that if you terminate your contract early, you might be subject to an exit fee. If you have any doubts about whether to switch, just give us a ring and we will advise you on the best path for you.
How can I switch from a prepayment meter?
You also need to check with your provider if you are eligible for a credit meter, as not everyone is. They will check your credit score, which is just to make sure that they can trust you to pay your bills on time. If you pass this check, then you can get your credit meter up and running with no problems!
Every energy supplier has different rules surrounding switching from a prepayment meter, so it’s worth getting in touch and finding out if they have any specific requirements.
Can I choose a more renewable energy plan when I’m switching energy suppliers?
Of course! Finding the best plan for your energy needs isn’t just about price, but also making sure that your tariff is green and sustainable. From solar energy to loft insulation, most energy providers on the market have renewable plans to help you consume more efficiently. Check out our list of green energy suppliers, or give us a ring to find your new green energy plan.
Updated on 29 Jan, 2024
UK Content Manager