You’ve probably seen lots of adverts by now saying you could save money by switching energy providers or tariffs, they claim it’s simple to do and could save you a lot of money. But is this the case?
What should you know?
Firstly, it’s important to know what it means to switch. You could switch provider or the tariff you’re on. Your tariff is how your energy supplier calculates what to charge you for your electricity and gas use. The two main types of tariff are fixed and variable, but there are a number of others. What type of tariff is best for you will depend on factors such as how much energy you use.
Secondly it is important to know that switching is actively encouraged by Ofgem, the industry regulator. A browse through Ofgem’s website shows a number of articles regarding the benefits of switching and they have been trying to make switching as easy as possible for consumers.
Is it hard to switch to a different energy provider?
The answer to this is - it shouldn’t be. Once you’ve chosen your new provider and tariff, which you can find by using a comparison site, the process should be fairly smooth.
Many providers, including the ‘Big Six’, are signed up to the voluntary Energy Switch Guarantee. This means that when you choose a new supplier all the work will be done for you. Your new provider will notify your old provider that you intend to switch, and you should be switched to your new provider within 21 days. The guarantee ensures you won’t be without gas or electricity at any point, and if any issue does occur your new supplier will try to resolve this as quickly as possible.
As previously mentioned Ofgem have put in place several initiatives to make the switching process as hassle free for consumers as possible. This includes allowance for a 14-day cooling off period when you change providers and compensation if things go wrong. From 1st May this year consumers will automatically receive £30 compensation if their switch takes longer than 15 days or if their final bill from their previous supplier doesn’t arrive within 6 weeks.
Is it worth it?
The research says yes!
According to data from Compare the Market, in February 2020 half of their users could achieve a saving of up to £345 on their dual fuel energy costs. And a switching trial by Ofgem in 2018 found that those who switched on average made savings of around £300.
Should you switch to a different provider?
You may find you’re already getting the best deal for you, but it is certainly worth making a habit of checking this. Thanks to comparison sights it’s pretty simple to do this!
If you’re interested in switching or want to make sure you’re never paying too much, then you might be interested in Migrate. They do all the work for you, checking if you could be saving money elsewhere and then switching you automatically if you could. Click here to find out more.