When can you switch energy suppliers without paying a penalty?

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

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