Switching electricity suppliers

You might be asking yourself: How can I save money on my energy bills ? Well, the first step would be to switch energy suppliers. There are dozens of electricity suppliers in the UK, each targeting customers in different ways. That means, depending on how you use your energy, there may be a tariff more suitable to your needs. The best way to start your research is to look around and find a tariff that you like and offers a better deal or greener energy. Then, you can make the switch (which we will help you with!). It couldn’t be easier and at Papernest we are ready to help you with everything you need to switch electricity suppliers.
Last update: April 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.

Looking to get a better deal on your electricity supply but don’t know where to start? Well, start here! We will tell you everything you need to know.

how to switch electricity suppliers

How to switch electricity supplier

There are dozens of energy companies offering power supplies across the UK companies. What this means for you, the consumer, is a better choice of electricity providers and tariffs.

To make the most of this competitive market place, you need to be able to quickly and easily switch between providers. This means you can take advantage of better deals and get better value for money, this in turn incentivises the suppliers to provide a better service.

Switching between energy suppliers has never been easier. All you need to do is identify which tariff you would like to be on from a range of suppliers, then inform your chosen supplier you would like to switch. Or, rather than scouring the internet looking for the best tariff, you can use a comparison service like ours to do the hard work for you.

Once you have chosen to switch, your supply will usually be switched over within two to three weeks (including a 14-day cooling off period). There will be no interruption to your supply and you don’t need to inform your existing supplier that you are leaving. That will all be taken care of for you by our team.

The only thing you need to bear in mind is that if you are currently locked into a fixed rate contract then you may have to pay an exit fee. However, if you are on a standard variable rate, then there should be no exit fees and you can switch freely at any time.

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How to switch electricity supplier online

If you look at the various electricity tariffs offered by various suppliers, they will usually give you an annual average cost based on kWh consumption. You can compare how much you will be paying per kWh to your current tariff by looking at your bill. This will have a figure which tells you your kWh price. This is a fairly good indicator of whether you can make a saving.

However, remember that your electricity bill is not just made up of the kWh rate. There is also the standing charge, which is the price you pay per day to have power delivered to your house. This can make it more complicated to compare electricity prices online.

That’s why it makes sense to use a comparison service like ours. We can take a few bits of simple information and use this to make a more accurate price comparison from multiple providers. Even if you don’t have your bill handy, we can make an accurate assessment of your usage.

It’s worth comparing electricity suppliers for the following reasons:

  • Save money on your electricity bills by switching to a better value deal
  • Find dual fuel deals which make it less complicated to supply your home with power and have a single point of contact
  • Find more sustainable electricity suppliers
  • Get away from the steep rates of standard variable tariffs

Which electricity supplier is best for 2021?

The current cheapest suppliers in the UK, based on the average electricity use of 3100kWh a year, across all regions of the UK are as follows:

Supplier Tariff Average cost
Scottish Power Greener Future February 2022 B1 £530
EON Fix Online Exclusive v60 £533
EON Fix 1 Year Exclusive January 2021 £538
Pure Planet 100% Green 12m Fixed Feb21 v1 £545
So Energy So Carrot Essential – Green £545
Bulb Vari-Fair £547
Octopus Octopus 12M Fixed £548
Shell Energy March 2022 v6 £548
SSE Online Energy v9 £552
Octopus Octopus Exclusive 12M Fixed £556

However, this is a slightly more complicated question than meets the eye. That’s because as well as suppliers who offer electricity only deals, you can also get dual fuel suppliers who offer great value combined tariffs. The table below shows five of the cheapest dual fuel tariffs on offer in 2021.

Supplier Tariff Cost per month in £ Cost per year in £
Neo Energy NEO 4.1 72.94 875.28
London Power my london fixed yearly plan 12m fixed jan 2021 v3 75.20 902.40
Goto Energy Standard Variable 78.96 947.52
Avro Energy Simple and SuperSwitcher 79.60 955.20
Utility Point Just Join UP 21 12M Fixed Wk04 80.38 964.56

However, although dual fuel options are more convenient, don’t assume they always offer the best deal. It may be that a fixed rate gas plan and variable rate electricity option suits you best. The best way to find the cheapest electricity only deal is to use our comparison and switching service.

How to switch electricity suppliers for cheaper energy

Once you have found the cheapest electricity supplier for your needs, just let us know and we can handle the switch for you. It really couldn’t be easier. Give us a call on 0330 818 6225.

Average electricity prices per kWh in the UK

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy(BEIS) says the average cost for standard electricity in the UK in 2019 was 16.3 p/kWh. However, as always, there is variation depending where you live in the UK, with Northern Ireland paying 17.8 p/kWh and London paying just 15.4 p/kWh.

You can find out how much you are paying and compare this to the national average by looking at your most recent bill.

how to switch electricity suppliers

What information do I need to switch electricity supplier?

If you want to switch electricity providers, then you need to know your existing tariff information as well as information about your usage. You will need to know your current address and a few other details about your home.

With all the correct information it will generally be very quick and easy to make a switch to a tariff that suits your needs.

What happens when you switch electricity supplier?

Find a tariff you like, contact the supplier and inform them you want to switch to their services. They will take care of the switching for you in around three weeks. If this all sounds like too much hassle, you could let a switching service do it for you. It really couldn’t be easier.

Does it cost to switch electricity supplier?

No, it doesn’t cost you anything to switch suppliers, unless you are already in a fixed contract with another supplier. They may have exit fees as part of your contract if you want to leave early. It’s worth checking with your current provider as not all energy companies use these types of fees.

However, if you are on a standard variable rate and not fixed in it will not cost you a penny to make the switch.

Will I hear from my new electricity supplier?

You will hear from your new supplier confirming that you have made the switch. Generally this will be in the form of a welcome pack within a few days. It may be a good idea to give them a meter reading from the start of your billing period to ensure accurate charges. You will also receive a new bill at the end of your first billing period.

What if I change my mind about my electricity switch?

There is a 14-day cooling off period after you have requested your switch. If at any point during these two weeks you wish to cancel the process, then simply get in touch and they will do that for you. After that period is up and the switch is made you will need to formally request a switch and may be subject to exit fees.

How long does it take to switch electricity suppliers?

It can vary depending on the supplier but on average in the UK it takes about 21 days to switch energy suppliers. Most suppliers wait until the end of the 14 day cooling off period before starting the switch, so it will rarely be much faster than around 17 days. However, you will experience no interruption to your supply.

How often can I switch electricity suppliers?

It’s generally best to switch at the end of your fixed rate deal to prevent being transferred to the standard variable rate. You can switch at any time but may be liable for exit fees if you do so. Once you have switched with us once the process will be easier next time as we will have your details on file.

When can I switch electricity supplier without penalty?

If you switch while you’re still in a fixed deal period, there may be an exit fee to pay. This fee is usually waived up to 49 days before the end of your contract. This gives you enough time to shop around before your deal expires and you end up on standard variable rate. Or you can give us a call and we can find the best new tariff options for you.

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

  1. Cancel energy contract
  2. How to switch energy supplier when moving

Call us to switch your energy supplier for free!

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FAQ

Who is my current electricity supplier?

To find out who your current supplier is, simply look at your bill. If you do not have a copy of your bill you can Use the Energy Networks Association postcode search tool to find out the name of your network operator and the telephone number. They will be able to tell you who supplies your electricity.

Will a cheap electricity company mean worse customer service?

No, it won’t. Some of the better value providers, such as Bulb and Octopus score very highly on customer service. In contrast, big name suppliers like Scottish Power and even British Gas perform less well.

How long does it take to switch electricity supplier?

In the UK it takes about 21 days to switch energy suppliers on average, as most suppliers wait until the end of the 14-day cooling off period before starting the switch. It will rarely be much faster than 17 days.

When is the best time of year to switch energy supplier?

This is usually when it is best for you. This is generally when your contract stipulates that you no longer have to pay exit fees. Another good time is when prices go up, usually when the Big Six push up prices. When they do the rest are never far behind. So this could be a good time to lock into a new fixed rate deal.

Updated on 24 Jan, 2022

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Alex

Energy Specialist & Copywriter