How to cancel your energy contracts

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In most cases, cancelling an energy contract is fairly straightforward. You’ll simply need to notify your supplier that you want to terminate your agreement. However, if you’ve taken out a fixed-term deal that’s yet to expire, or signed another time dependent contract, things may not be quite so easy.


Last update: June 2022

As you may have heard on the news, the UK energy market is currently under an immense amount of stress as a result of a global gas shortage driving up costs and putting several energy suppliers out of business. To learn more about this and stay updated on a daily basis you can read our page on the UK energy crisis.

There are a number of reasons that you might need switch energy suppliers or cancel your energy contract. From moving house to finding a better deal, changes in your circumstances can make an existing energy contract impractical.

Can I cancel my energy contract?

When switching to a new energy company, you’ll have to sign a contract to allow them to supply your gas and electricity. This contract will outline the services the company is set to provide and the amount that you have agreed to pay for these services. You’ll need to cancel this contract before switching away from your supplier and over to a new energy company.

Cancelling a standard variable rate energy contract

If you opted for a standard variable rate tariff when switching to your current provider, or if your fixed term has expired and you’ve automatically been moved onto a standard variable rate, you won’t have a fixed-term contract. This means that you’re free to cancel your deal whenever you want to.
If you have a standard variable deal, you’ll simply need to write to your energy supplier to let them know you want to terminate their services. You shouldn’t be charged any exit fees when cancelling your deal.

Cancelling a fixed-rate energy contract

If you chose a fixed-rate deal when switching to your current supplier, this contract will tie you to the energy company for a stated period of time. This will generally be 12, 24 or 36 months. The majority of energy companies charge customers an exit fee if they want to leave a fixed rate deal early. This is normally around £30 per fuel.

Cancelling an energy contract if you’re in debt

The only instance in which you may not be able to cancel an energy contract is when you’re in debt to your supplier. If you’ve been in debt to your energy company for more than 28 days, they can stop you cancelling your contract and switching to another supplier until your debt has been repaid.

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How to cancel energy contract?

Before cancelling your energy contract, check your deal to find out when your contract expires. If this date is in the future, you can write to notify your supplier of your intention to cancel at any point. Remember that if you want to leave your contract early, you may have to pay a cancellation fee.
If you want to cancel your energy contract, you’ll need to write to your supplier to let them know. Different suppliers have different notice periods, with some asking to be notified up to 60 days before you want to cancel your deal.
You should find information about this notice period in your terms and conditions. If you can’t, get in touch with your supplier to find out about their requirements. Your contract should also detail information about any exit fees that are applicable if you leave your contract early.
When getting in touch with your energy supplier to cancel your contract, you’ll need to provide them with a few important pieces of information. These include:

  • Your address
  • Your account number
  • Your name
  • The date from which you want to cancel your services

In most cases, you’ll be able to cancel your contract by phone or email. Some energy suppliers ask for written notification as well. If this is the case with your supplier, it’s important to ensure you leave enough time for your letter to arrive before the cancellation date.
Make sure you take a meter reading on the day the contract is cancelled. You’ll need to send this to your supplier so that they can generate an accurate final bill for your property.
cancel energy contracts

Do I have to notify my old supplier when I switch?

When you switch to a new energy supplier, you don’t need to notify your own supplier. This is because your new supplier will

Can I cancel my business electricity contract?

Unlike domestic customers, business energy users are tied to their supplier for a set period of time. This is normally 12 months. Cancelling your contract before this period of time has expired is difficult and many incur significant fines and charges.
If you want to change your business electricity supplier, you’ll first need to check when your current fixed-rate period expires. You should then send your supplier written notice that you want to cancel your contract at the end of the period.
If you don’t let your current supplier know that you want to leave, they’ll put you on a new fixed-rate deal by default. This means you’ll have to wait another 12 months before you can cancel your energy contract.
When signing up to a new energy supplier, make a note of when your contract will end and then set a reminder in your calendar. If you’re unhappy with the service you receive from your energy provider, you can then cancel your deal when your contract is up.

Ofgem regulations for business energy contracts

If your business is classed as a ‘Micro Business’ new Ofgem regulations can help you deal with energy suppliers and manage your energy contracts more easily.
Your company would be considered a Micro Business if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • Employs fewer than 10 people (or their full time equivalent) and has an annual turnover or balance sheet no greater than €2 million
  • Consumes no more than 100,000 kWh of electricity per year
  • Consumes no more than 293,000 kWh of gas per year

If your business uses this much energy it should equate to an annual spend of around £10,000 per fuel (excl. VAT and Climate Change Levy).
If your business is classed as a micro business, you’ll have more flexibility on when you tell your supplier you want to cancel. Your supplier also has to notify you when your existing deal is coming to an end so that you have time to cancel your contract if you want to.

Contract termination checklist

Whatever the reason behind your cancellation, there are certain things you’ll need to take care of when terminating your energy supplier. Take a look at our checklist to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

  • Check when your fixed period expires
  • Find out if you’re liable for exit fees
  • Write to your energy supplier to formally cancel your contract

If you’re a business customer, you’ll need to:

  • Look out for your renewal letter
  • Check when your fixed period expires
  • Give your energy supplier the required cancellation notice

Would you like to know more about switching energy suppliers? Great! Check out these related articles.

  1. How to switch energy supplier when moving
  2. Switch energy supplier if in debt
  3. Cancel energy contract
  4. Switch gas provider
  5. Switch electricity supplier
  6. Switching from prepayment meter to direct debit
  7. Find my supplier

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Notice

FAQ

What happens if I want to cancel my contract during the contract period?

If you need to cancel your energy contract during the contract period, you may have to pay your energy supplier cancellation and exit fees. These fees should be clearly listed in your contract and will apply if you want to leave your current supplier before the fixed term that you initially agreed to expires.

The best way to get out of a business electricity contract?

If you’re a business energy customer, you’ll have to wait until your current fixed period expires before cancelling your contract. Most business energy customers sign up to their energy supplier for 12 months. You’ll need to wait until the end of this period before you can cancel your deal and switch to another supplier.

When do I have exit fees?

Exit fees apply when a customer wants to leave a fixed-rate contract before the fixed period has expired. Exit fees are normally charged per fuel. So if you get both your gas and electricity from your current supplier, you’ll have to pay an exit fee for each. Exit fees are generally £20-£30 per fuel.

Cooling off period business energy contracts

Unlike domestic energy contracts, business users don’t enjoy a cooling off period when switching to a new energy supplier. This means that, once your contract is signed, you cannot cancel it. This is true even if the contract is yet to start.

Updated on 21 Jun, 2022

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