Most people are afraid of switching their energy supplier because they think the process is a lot more complicated and strenuous. But that is not true. In fact, the entire process is highly-streamlined and more efficient. Never has the process been as easy as it is today. All you have to do is to compare and choose the tariff then visit or call your preferred retailer or supplier. Alternatively, you can also make your request through their website and they will take care of the rest.
One thing that you need to note however is that it takes a bit of time for the process to be processed and that you will not be transferred to a new supplier immediately. It takes several days or even weeks for the entire process to go through. Therefore, you need to plan well in advance for a smooth transition.
So, how long does it take?
Well, the truth is that the process takes a considerable number of days, but it should be completed in 10 to 17 days. Sometimes it can take longer than that (up to 3 weeks). Nonetheless, the supplier should contact and inform you of when exactly the switching will be complete. If you intend to conduct a dual energy switch, you should note that the duration for gas and electricity switches can be accomplished on different dates.
Can you change the energy supplier as soon as you move in?
Well, you can change the energy supplier the moment you become the owner of the property. The only impediment is the fact that you will have to wait for at most 21 days, for the changeover process to go through. This means that you will have to settle the first month’s bill with the current supplier.
When moving house, there are several things that you will have to do to switch energy from your old supplier to the new/current supplier and here is how you can go about it:
Before you move, you first need to contact your energy supplier giving them at least 48 hours’ notice. Ensure that you take the meter readings before you move out and send the readings to your energy provider. Keep a record or note of the meter readings in addition to the date you took it, just in case there are some discrepancies with your final bill. Lastly, provide the energy provider a forwarding address they’ll use to forward the final bill.
After you’ve moved
Now that you have moved into your new house the first thing you should do is to take the meter readings. This should be done immediately before you settle down, to ensure you get an accurate first-month bill. Once you have the readings, contact your new supplier and let them know of your move and to give them the readings. You don’t want to pay a bill that is not yours.
Note that you are only responsible for the energy usage and the bills once you have taken over and assumed full responsibility or ownership of the house.
Lastly, once you have settled in and you’ve received the bill from your previous energy supplier, the next thing is to pay for the old bill and start a new chapter in your new property.
You are most likely to be placed on the “deemed contract” by your new supplier. This is one of the expensive tariffs, and therefore, you will probably need to look for an alternative deal that best suits your needs and budget. This could be with the current supplier, or a new one – it is your choice to make.
What happens when you change the energy supplier?
There are several benefits of changing your energy supplier and moving home is the best opportunity to do that, as it gives you the chance to assess your current energy provider and explore the other options that might be better than your current one.
So, what exactly happens when you switch energy suppliers?
Once you have identified your preferred provider and you have selected the plan that you want, there is nothing much you need to do, but to sit and wait for the process to be approved.
Do I need to contact the old supplier?
Well, you don’t have to notify your old supplier of your intentions of switching energy providers, all that you need to do is to confirm the switch with the new supplier and you are good to go. Gas and electric providers usually wouldn’t want you to spearhead the whole process and so, in most cases, the new energy provider will inform your previous provider about the switch.
One of the frequently asked questions concerning the energy switching process is whether or not one will be charged twice. The answer is no, you won’t be charged twice. You see, your previous supplier and your current supplier will have settled on a changeover date, therefore, assuming that you’ve revoked your direct debit, the payment period will not overlap and therefore, you’ll not be charged twice.
Does it involve any physical changes to the property?
Contrary to what some people may think, changing suppliers does not in any way, shape or form involves physical changes to a property. It does not require a new meter or gas pipe and neither does it require a home visit to verify that everything is in order.
If for instance, you are doing a gas switch, you don’t require some additional gas pipes and meters. The new gas supplier will still use the old gas meters and pipes.
However, if you are worried about the integrity and safety of your gas supply system or appliances, you should contact your local gas technician for a routine maintenance check and repairs.
What happens if you change your mind mid-way?
If for one reason or another you decide you no longer want to switch energy suppliers, you have exactly two weeks to notify them and have it canceled. However, any cancellation after 2 weeks will be charged.
When can I change my energy supplier without penalty?
Changing energy providers could save you a substantial amount of money. However, there is no need of switching energy providers if the penalty you have to pay supersedes the savings. For instance, you can be charged an early exit fee if you terminate the contract early. This can be a substantial amount of money particularly if you had a dual fuel contract (supply of gas and electricity from the same supplier). It could be as much as $75 just for leaving early.
But this should not be the case, as there are ways in which you can change providers without incurring penalties. Note that, if you are on a variable plan, you don’t need to worry about penalties as this does not apply to you. However, if yours is a fixed term plan, you are most certainly going to be charged for an early exit. When your fixed term plan expires, you are automatically moved to a standard variable tariff which is most expensive but you have the freedom to switch to another option.