When can you switch energy suppliers without paying a penalty?

exit fees

If you try to switch energy suppliers before your contract is up, you could end up paying a penalty for leaving early – also known as an exit fee. Some energy suppliers can charge up to a whopping £75 per fuel! Read on to find out how to avoid getting stung.

Don’t let the fear of paying a fee stop you from getting a better deal!

Find out which type of tariff you are on

Exit fees usually only apply to fixed-term tariffs. These tariffs have a fixed price and a set end date.

Standard variable tariffs do not have exit fees, which means you are free to switch whenever you like without having to pay a penalty.

If you’re not sure which type of tariff you are on:

  • Look at a recent bill or email from your supplier
  • Log in to your online account
  • Call your energy supplier and ask

Check when your tariff is due to end

Your energy supplier cannot charge you an exit fee during the last 49 days of your contract. If you have less than 49 days left, you can go ahead and switch without being penalised.

Your supplier should write to you within the final 42-49 days to let you know your tariff is coming to an end.

Do the maths

Even if you do have to pay an exit fee, it might be worth it in the long run if the money you save by switching out-weighs the penalty.

You will need to check with your current supplier to find out what you will be charged. The table below shows the exit fees for some of the bigger energy companies:

Supplier Exit Fee
British Gas £30–£40 per fuel
Npower £20–£50 per fuel
E.ON £30–£75 per fuel
EDF £10–£40 per fuel
SSE £25 per fuel
Scottish Power £30 per fuel
Eversmart Energy No exit fees!

What if I stay with the same supplier?

If you let your tariff end without switching, your supplier should automatically move you onto their cheapest standard tariff. Ofgem rules state that they can’t put you on a fixed-term tariff with a termination fee.

It is very unlikely that you would have to pay an exit fee if you change tariffs but stay with the same supplier.

In summary:

  • You do not have to pay exit fees if you are on a standard variable tariff
  • You do not have to pay exit fees if your tariff ends in the next 49 days

Ready to switch?

If you are currently with one of the ‘big 6’ suppliers, you could save up to £400 per year by switching to Eversmart. Get started here.

 

The information in this article was correct at the time of publishing.

Sources

There have never been more suppliers to choose from, says Ofgem

switching energy supplier

There are now 72 active energy suppliers in the UK market, according to a new set of facts & figures released by the energy regulator Ofgem – with small & medium companies making up around one fifth of the market.

  • Ofgem estimates a saving of £375 by switching away from one of the ‘big 6’ suppliers
  • Gas prices are lower in the UK compared to the average European country
  • UK electricity prices are around average
  • 2.1 million electricity customers switched suppliers during the first half of 2018

In 2014, new regulations made it easier for smaller ‘independent’ energy companies to enter the market, providing some much-needed competition for the so-called ‘big 6’ who up until then had dominated the industry. Eversmart Energy launched in 2016 with an aim to educate energy customers who were paying too much, and moving them onto cheaper tariffs.

Since then, record numbers of people have switched suppliers, thanks largely to the internet and greater choice for consumers.

You can see the full set of findings below. Click or tap on the image to view the full-size version.

Ofgem infographic

Infographic by Ofgem

How long does it take to switch gas and electricity supplier?

How long does it take to switch gas and electricity supplier?

In this article we’ll tackle some of the most common questions & concerns about switching to a new energy supplier – starting with one of the questions we hear the most: how long does it take to switch?

Some other questions covered in this article:

 

How long does it take to switch gas and electricity supplier?

Generally speaking, switching to Eversmart takes 21 days. We’ve outlined each step in the switching process and the typical timescales below:

Day 1: Signup

As soon as you sign up with Eversmart, either online or over the phone, we will contact your old supplier and get things moving. You don’t have to do anything at this point – just sit back and let us take care of everything for you.

Day 1–14: Smart Meter Installation

Before the switch officially goes live, we will book an appointment to come and fit your free smart meter. You can find more information about smart meters in this article.

Day 14: End of cooling off period

As with most services you sign up for in the UK, you are legally entitled to a 14 day ‘cooling off’ period where you can change your mind and cancel for any reason. If you decide Eversmart isn’t for you, just tell us before day 14.

At this point, you will also receive a reminder about your first payment.

Day 21: The switch goes live

Your account goes live and you are officially part of the Eversmart family!

 

Can my energy supplier stop me from switching?

If you pay by direct debit:

Your old supplier may be able to stop you from switching if you owe them money. If you have been in debt for over 28 days, you won’t be able to switch until you have paid them back.

If you have been in debt for less than 28 days, the debt will simply be included in your final bill.

If you have a prepayment meter:

Eversmart will take on your debt if it is less than £500. If you owe more than £500, you will have to settle the debt with your current supplier before you can make the move.

 

Can you change suppliers if you have a smart meter?

Yes. If your current supplier fitted your smart meter, you are under no obligation to stay with them. You are free to shop around and change suppliers.

Just one note – be aware that if you have a first-generation smart meter, it may not be compatible with your new supplier. If you have a second-gen smart meter, then you can switch seamlessly without any problems. If you’re unsure, ask your current energy company what type of meter you have and inform your new provider.

 

When can I switch energy supplier without a penalty?

Some gas & electricity suppliers charge an exit fee for leaving their tariff early. The fee can vary from around £5 to £30 per fuel. However, they cannot charge an exit fee during the last 42-49 days of a fixed energy tariff – so this would be the best time to switch. Your supplier should also write to you to tell you when your tariff is about to end.

At Eversmart Energy there are no exit fees on most of our tariffs. We’re confident that you’ll want to stick with us, but you have the freedom to leave whenever you like.

 

When will I receive my final bill from my old supplier?

During the switching process, we will ask you for a set of opening meter readings. These are checked & verified by a series of third parties to make sure they are accurate and that your old supplier agrees with them. Your old supplier will then send you a final bill (or credit your bank account if you have overpaid them). We can’t guarantee how long this will take, but it’s usually within 2–6 weeks.

 

Did we miss anything out? Do you have more questions about switching energy suppliers? Let us know in the comments!

Record numbers of people are switching to smaller suppliers

switching energy suppliers

Almost half a million people switched electricity suppliers last month, with record numbers making the move away from a large supplier to a smaller independent company.

According to new figures released by Energy UK last week, 222,036 customers switched to a ‘mid-tier’ energy provider during the month of June – the highest number ever.

Breaking records

The number of switchers is up 19% compared to the same month in 2017. So far this year 2.7 million people have switched suppliers, compared to 2.6 million by the same point last year.

A record-breaking 5.5 million electricity customers have made the switch so far in 2018.

Confidence to switch

Research suggests that consumers are feeling more confident than ever when it comes to switching energy suppliers, with 9 out of 10 saying that they are happy with the process according to research from the Energy Switch Guarantee.

price comparison
Greater choice and the rise of price comparison websites have helped boost the number of people switching.

Eversmart have been encouraging consumers for years to walk away from the ‘Big 6’ suppliers and explore the cheaper alternatives out there.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, seems to agree. He said:

“The record numbers switching to small and mid-tier suppliers show that more and more customers are taking advantage of the ever-growing competition and choice out there.”

“It only takes a few minutes to either check with your own supplier or to look at what’s on offer from nearly 70 competing suppliers in the market. With the Energy Switch Guarantee in place consumers should feel even more confident that switching will be simple, speedy and safe.”

Save up to £400 per year

Eversmart Energy entered the market in 2016 after new Ofgem regulations made it easier for smaller companies to compete with the Big 6.

A typical dual-fuel household can save up to £400 when they switch to us. You can get a quick energy quote here.

Should I switch to a small energy supplier?

Should I switch to a small energy supplier

For a long time the gas & electricity market has been dominated by the so-called ‘Big 6’ energy firms, leaving consumers with a limited number of options when it came to choosing a supplier. Today, there are over 40 energy providers including many smaller – or ‘independent’ – companies who can offer very competitive prices.

But despite the fact they are considerably cheaper, many people are nervous about switching to a lesser-known supplier – but should you be?

What is an independent energy supplier?

Basically, any company that isn’t one of the Big 6 – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power or SSE– is considered as a ‘small’ or ‘independent’ energy company.

Back in 2014, the energy regulator Ofgem announced plans to open up the electricity market and encourage healthier competition between suppliers. These plans included several proposals that would “level the playing field” and make it easier for independent firms to compete with the big boys – such as greater transparency when it comes to wholesale energy prices.

As a result, dozens of new suppliers entered the market, offering lower prices thanks to smaller overheads and freedom from some of the government obligations placed on the Big 6. Eversmart Energy was one of these companies – offering competitive pricing and refreshingly modern customer service through text and social media. We started supplying in 2016, and two years later we’re still going strong and still proudly independent!

Is it safe to switch to a small supplier?

A recent survey from Citizens Advice revealed that 1 in 3 people don’t feel confident switching energy suppliers. Another study from Money Saving Expert asked people what puts them off from switching – the number one answer was being unsure about using an unfamiliar firm.

Money Saving Expert noted on their blog: “While our poll shows many are wary of smaller suppliers, and feedback on new small suppliers is often limited, previous MSE polls suggest some smaller firms can actually offer a better customer experience than their big-name counterparts.”

Ofgem have also attempted to ease concerns about the stability of some smaller suppliers. If an energy company ceases trading, regulations are in place to make sure you are transferred smoothly over to a new supplier.

Whenever you switch energy suppliers, there’s very little hassle and no interruption to your supply. If you do decide to switch to an independent, you could save up to £300 a year!

How do independent companies keep their prices so low?

Eversmart Energy offer a free Smart Meter to every customer – this allows us to reduce operational costs and pass the savings on to you. Like many independents, we’re smaller and more flexible than some of our bigger competitors, with fewer overheads and lower operational costs.

We also understand that people’s lifestyles are changing, along with the way they like to communicate. If you don’t have the time to speak to us over the phone, we’re happy to communicate via text, social media or Facebook messenger – whatever works for you! We like to think we do things the smart way.

How do I make the switch?

Switching energy suppliers is quick, simple and hassle-free. You can get a quote and find out how much you could save here.

A record number of people switched their electricity supplier in February

switching electricity

Over 660,000 people switched electricity suppliers last month, according to industry figures from Energy UK.

This is the highest ever number of people switching in a single month, and represents a 60% increase compared to the same period last year.

2017 also saw the highest number of people switching gas suppliers since 2008, according to the latest figures released by Ofgem.

The unusually cold weather, better informed customers and aggressive advertising by certain energy firms have all been suggested by experts as reasons for the high figures. Around 20% of switches were people moving away from the ‘Big 6’ and opting for a cheaper, independent supplier.

See also: Should I switch to a smaller energy supplier?

“The energy market has never been so competitive, and it’s great to see record numbers of consumers engaging in the market to get a better deal” said chief executive of Energy UK Lawrence Slade.

Customers can save up to £300 per year by switching their gas and electricity to a smaller, more competitive supplier such as Eversmart.