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How to Switch Supplier

Most of us have many suppliers to choose from, regardless of where we live in Great Britain. You can choose separate companies to supply your gas and electricity, or you can choose one company to supply both - this is known as a dual fuel contract. It is usually cheaper to have a dual fuel contract.

To compare the prices being offered by different suppliers with the price from your current supplier, you will need to work out how much you are paying for your fuel each year. Our dedicated team of advisors are experts at working this out for you so if you are not sure please contact us on:0871 711 7771. Please make sure you have a recent bill to hand or if you pay by direct debit let us know what your monthly direct debit is. You can do this by looking at your bills for the past year.

Questions to ask

How much will the new supplier charge?

All suppliers have to publish their prices. They will send you details of their prices if you ask them. To make sure you get the best deal, it is worth shopping around and making comparisons between the prices offered by different suppliers in your area. This service is offered by Switch Gas & Electric. Click here to find the cheapest supplier in your area.

How can I pay?

Suppliers usually offer a variety of payment options to customers, such as paying weekly or quarterly, and paying by cash, postal order, cheque, direct debit or in a prepayment meter. The cheapest way to pay is by direct debit. If you have a prepayment meter we can switch you to the cheapest supplier in your area and you can then ask them to install you a standard meter so you are able to pay by direct debit. You may also want to make sure that there are no penalties for cancelling a contract once you have signed it.

Which 'tariff' should I choose?

Be aware that some payment methods may be much more expensive than others. For example, it is usually cheaper to manage your fuel bills online or pay by monthly direct debit, than to pay by cheque or cash on a quarterly basis. Different tariffs (or prices) are offered to different consumers according to their circumstances.

Whatever price you are quoted, you should make sure that it includes VAT, which is charged at 5% on electricity and gas bills. This is why all the prices that we quote you at Switch Gas & Electric include VAT at 5%.

Do they have any extra or hidden charges?

Some suppliers add a daily standing charge to your fuel bill and others do not. Those companies that do not add a standing charge may instead ask for a higher unit price for the gas and electricity you use. This is because there are 2 different ways a tariff is structured. You either pay a standing charge and 1 low kilowatt-hour (kwh) rate for what you use OR a no standing charge (NSC) tariff; where you pay a higher rate for a certain number of units per quarter and a lower rate thereafter.

The way a tariff is structured does NOT mean it is cheaper or more expensive. This is dependent on your usage levels, where you live and ultimately the unit rates offered by the supplier. Click here to find out who the cheapest supplier for you

Do they have a high number of complaints about their service?

If you are interested in the quality of service you are likely to receive from a new supplier, as well as the prices they will charge, it is worth asking about their performance.

Changing your supplier

Once you are happy that you have selected the supplier best suited to meet your needs, changing is a fairly simple process:

  • We will arrange the supplier change for you. The transfer process should take about six weeks to complete. Your new supplier will tell you about the progress of your transfer.
  • Pay any outstanding bills owing to your existing supplier. If you do not, they may prevent you from transferring.
  • Take a meter reading on the day you change supplier. If your old supplier does not use it to work out your final bill, or your new supplier does not use it as the starting point for your first bill, let them know the meter reading you have taken.

Problems switching supplier

If something goes wrong when changing supplier you have rights that should make sure the problem is resolved quickly and easily. At Switch Gas & Electric we have a dedicated customer services team to help you with any questions or queries you may have. Please contact customer services on: 0871 711 7771.

How we make money

Switch Gas & Electric is completely independent, providing impartial and free advice about energy switching and the different energy suppliers. Switch Gas & Electric earn a small amount of commission, from npower, Utilita, Spark Energy and First utility when a switch is completed for a customer using us. The switching service is FREE for you, the customer.


Switch Gas and Electric Ltd trading as Switch Gas & Electric. Company Reg No: 06994113. VAT No. 984 6956 46. Data Protection Reg No: Z1992982. Copyright © 2009 Switch Gas and Electric Ltd. All rights reserved. Calls to 0871 numbers are charged at 10p per minute from a standard BT UK landline. Calls from other landline networks may cost you more. Calls from mobile networks will not be included in your standard inclusive minutes package and will be charged between 15p and 45p per minute.
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