How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?
Many people worry that switching energy supplier will be a hassle and that it will take ages.
Neither is true.
The whole process is far more streamlined than ever.
The whole process is simple enough and should start with a comparison of tariffs.
Once you’ve found one, you need to sign up with the new supplier and this can be done either on the phone or online.
They will then handle the actual switch.
For fuller advice, check out our complete guide to switching energy supplier.
So, how long?
The truth is the actual switching time can vary a fair bit, but it usually takes around 17 days.
It can be longer, though, and can be up to three weeks.
Whatever the length, your new supplier will contact you and let you know when exactly your supply will be switched.
If you’re doing a duel energy switch, it’s perfectly normal for the electricity and gas to switch on different dates.
What if it’s dragging on a bit?
The new supplier will normally make sure everything moves as quickly as possible because they’ll be eager to pick up a new customer. But, if it drags on beyond 17 days or so, it’s best to contact the new supplier and ask them why.
If they can’t give you a reasonable explanation, you can, of course, lodge a complaint. Follow their complaints procedure, which you’ll find on their website.
You can usually complain by phone, email or in writing. Your new supplier must respond and explain what they intend to do about the matter.
Most of the time this won’t be necessary, however, as the vast majority of switches do go smoothly.
What if you change your mind?
The clock starts ticking on changing your mind as soon as you sign up with a new supplier, and keep in mind that this might have been on the phone and will be provable (that’s what all those calls being recorded “for training and quality purposes” are really for).
From this time, you have 14 days to cancel the switch without giving a reason and without a fee.
After that period, you may be charged a cancellation fee.
Problems most commonly fall into the following:
Someone else’s supply if mistakenly switched instead of yours.
Your old supplier continues to try and charge you.
The switch drags on for some admin reason.
There’s a discrepancy between final readings between the new and old supplier. This can mean you aren’t charged correctly by your old supplier to finalise your account. You may find there is a delay in any credit you have with the old supplier being paid over to the account with your new one.
Take this up directly with the old supplier, and, most important of all, take a photo of your meter’s final reading. Most problems are easily solved by contacting your old or new supplier.
And if you find you’re owed money by your energy supplier, then check out our guide on getting your money.
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