Last year, Ofgem reported that the number of households switching energy increased by nearly 30% in 2016 compared to the previous year. Many choose not to switch as they assume it’s a complicated process where something is likely to go wrong. Whereas, in reality, an energy switch is one of the simplest things you can do and financially can be of great benefit to many households.
As someone who worked for a UK energy provider for nearly five years, I’ve witnessed plenty of energy switches that have gone well and some that have gone wrong. I’ve seen when the supplier has made mistakes, thus causing an issue for the customer and times when a customer has, in most cases, unknowingly made a mistake.
The below details five easy steps to assist in a smooth and effortless transfer of suppliers:
Step 1 – Research and choose your new supplier
The easiest way to choose a new supplier is to do a comparison on a price comparison site. Simply fill in your details and it will show you a list of suppliers and tariffs in order of cheapest to the most expensive. There will likely be a number of smaller suppliers that you’ve never heard of, but don’t be afraid to select one of these providers if they’re offering a good deal. A good suggestion is to spend a few minutes doing some research on your chosen company and read their reviews, so you can ensure you’re completely happy with your choice.
Step 2 – Sign up to your new supplier
When you’ve selected the supplier and tariff you want to switch to, you can either sign up via the comparison site or sign up directly with your chosen supplier either via their website or by phone. However, be aware that some tariffs have strict conditions, such as only being available to a limited number of customers and can only be signed up via the comparison site’s website. You may also find that other tariffs are visible on the comparison site, but you’re not able to sign up to them. This usually means that you need to head direct to the supplier in order to benefit from the tariff.
Step 3 – Check your details
Your new supplier should send you paperwork and/or a Welcome pack confirming the details of your switch. Be sure to check that all the details are correct to ensure a hassle-free transfer.
Step 4 – Provide meter readings to your new supplier
This needs to be done on or as close to the day you officially switch suppliers and, in most cases, your new supplier will request these from you when they require them. You do not need to provide these readings to your old supplier as part of the energy switching process includes your new supplier sending these to them. If you have a Smart meter, you may not need to provide your meter readings to your new supplier, but be sure to check that your new supplier is capable of taking over the smart functionality that your meter has.
Step 5 – Await your final bill from your old supplier
When this arrives be sure to check that the final readings used match the ones you provided to your new supplier. Some suppliers have a habit of estimating your reads to get a final bill out to you quickly, only to re-do it a few weeks later when they receive your meter readings from your new supplier. This can be annoying if during this time they’ve issued you with a refund, only for them to re-issue your bill and you find out that you actually owe them money!