Home Energy Advice

Should I switch Suppliers?

Points to Consider Prior to Switching

  1. Existing supplier – first check with the existing supplier to see if they can offer a better deal.
  2. Price – to most consumers, the price of their supply of gas and electricity is the most important factor in deciding which supplier to use.
  3. Standing charges – the lower the standing charge the higher the unit cost may be. If the consumer is a low user then the low or no cost standing charge with a higher unit price might be more suitable. Check the amount of any prepayment meter standing charge.
  4. Payment methods – some of the advertised savings are calculated not only on the basis of switching suppliers but also the payment method. It may be worth exploring a cheaper payment option with the existing supplier. It is important that the payment method is appropriate for the individual’s circumstances and meets their needs.
  5. Tariff types – there are a number of tariffs available and it is best to select one that suits the needs of the consumer.
  6. Contract – find out if the existing contract or the new contract contains any penalty fees for exiting early.
  7. Exit fees – check with the current supplier to see if there is a penalty for cancelling the current contract. This is more likely to be the case with a fixed term contract. Following the implementation of Ofgem’s Retail Market Review exit fees can only apply to fixed term contracts.
  8. Performance and complaints – it is worth considering the supplier’s record with regard to these areas. League tables of suppliers’ performance can be found on the Citizens Advice consumer service website.
  9. Propositions – be aware that suppliers use ‘propositions’ as sales tools. This is an offer used to induce a new customer into a contract. Some suppliers offer vouchers and other incentives for remaining with the company for a fixed period of time.
  10. Supplier flexibility – the consumer may want to change their payment method or some other aspect of their supply. For example, changing a prepayment meter for a credit meter, some suppliers may be more willing to help with this than others. It is worth asking about this.
  11. Tenancy arrangements – check with landlord (private rented or social housing) to find out if tenancy arrangements affect switching. See the Ofgem factsheet, ‘Tenants’ Energy Rights Explained’, available at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/83161/tenancyrightsfactsheetenglishweb.pdf
  12. Warm Home Discount Scheme – check if the consumer is entitled to an electricity discount under the supplier’s Broader Group qualifying criteria.

Find us

Southwark Carers
3rd Floor, Walworth Methodist Church,
54 Camberwell Road, London, SE5 0EN
View map and directions

Contact us

020 7708 4497

Find us

Nearest tube – Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).

Nearest Railway Station – Elephant & Castle

Buses from Elephant and Castle – ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45