How To Switch Energy Supplier When Moving

Moving house usually is accompanied by the feeling of infinite possibility. However, the excitement, intrigue, and sense of optimism can be tempered with stress and a lot of expense. With so many costs to manage, the last thing you need is months of inflated energy bills. But that’s exactly what you could get if you don’t know how to switch energy suppliers when moving. When you move into a new home, you could be on a needlessly expensive contract with the property’s supplier. And your current tariff will not automatically follow you into your new home.

Last update: November 2021

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.

The experts at Papernest can help you start saving on your energy bills as soon as possible in your new home. If you’re not sure how to switch energy suppliers when moving, don’t worry. It’s simply a case of informing your current supplier of your move and choosing the perfect energy plan for your new home as soon as possible.

Can you switch energy suppliers as soon as you move in?

Yes, you can. And yes, you almost certainly should! Although you can’t switch energy plans for your new home before you move in, you are able to switch to a new supplier or tariff as soon as you become legally responsible for the property’s energy supply. Which is, in most cases, the day you get handed the keys.

How To Switch Energy Supplier When Moving

That said, there’s no reason why you can’t start looking into a potential energy plan for your new home in advance of moving day.

What happens if I don’t switch energy plans when moving home?

We totally understand that you’re likely to have your hands full in the run up to moving day. While you’ll likely be knee-deep in boxes, answering lots of questions from your curious kids, dealing with movers and notifying everyone from your GP to your broadband provider of your move, you should spare a thought for your energy supply.

When you move into your new home you’ll be placed on what is known as a “deemed contract” with the incumbent energy supplier in your new home. This is the supplier that the previous occupant used. Under a deemed contract you will be placed on the supplier’s standard variable rate.

And this is almost never the cheapest energy tariff.

There are some exceptions to this. For instance, Bulb’s Vari-fair tariff is its only energy plan. However, in most cases, these are more expensive than fixed-rate tariffs. Especially if the cost of wholesale energy rises, as predicted. The good news about deemed contracts, however, is that they are completely open-ended, and you can exit one at any time without incurring any fees.

Do you need to cancel energy suppliers when moving?

Yes, you will need to notify your current energy supplier of your move prior to your moving day. You must do this 48 hours before your moving day at the very latest. As fortune favours the well-prepared, it’s a good idea to notify your supplier as soon as you know what your moving date will be. This prevents you from having to pay for any energy used by the new occupant in your current home after you move.

After you have moved home, you will be sent a final energy bill from your supplier. You can either choose to start a new contract in your new home with your old supplier, or opt for a new supplier or plan.

Can I move my energy plan to my new home?

You may or may not be able to resume your old tariff after moving home. It depends whether the tariff is still available or applicable to your new property. You may not be able to resume your old tariff in your new home if:

  • The tariff is no longer available
  • The tariff is not offered in your new location
  • Your new home has a different kind of meter

How long does it take to swap energy suppliers?

Switching suppliers is now faster than ever. Once you’ve chosen and signed up for a new energy tariff, your new supplier should take over your electricity and / or gas within 15 days. If your switch takes longer than this, Ofgem states that you may be entitled to compensation. Many energy suppliers of all sizes have signed up to the energy switch guarantee, meaning that they make it as easy, fast and safe as possible to switch suppliers. However, even if you choose a supplier that isn’t signed up to this guarantee, the Papernest team are here to make your switch as quick, easy and hassle-free as possible!

What to do before you move home

By now you’ve hopefully realised that it’s best to be prepared when moving home. A few phone calls and a little online research today can result in huge savings when you move your energy supply to a new home. The longer you wait to take action, the more money you could waste on a deemed contract with the incumbent supplier. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of everything you need to do, before, during and after moving house, and who you need to notify to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Here are some essentials that you’ll need to take care of before moving day arrives.

  • Start comparing energy prices for your new property. You may want to remain loyal to your current supplier. But they may not necessarily give you the best deal in your new home.
  • If you wish to stay on your current tariff in your new home, you need to find out if there are any barriers that might prevent this. Such as a different meter or different fuels.
  • Make sure there is an active connection to the national grid. Setting up a new one is costly and time-consuming.
  • Ensure that your existing supplier is aware of your move 48 hours before your moving day (at the very latest).
  • Find out who supplies energy to your new home as soon as you can. The following steps will be easier if you do.
  • Take a look at the incumbent supplier’s energy tariffs. They may have one that offers you a much better deal than your deemed contract and can make for faster savings. However, don’t commit to anything until you’ve thoroughly checked the energy market.

Who to notify

To ensure this goes smoothly you’ll need to notify the following before moving into your new home:

  • Your current energy supplier (within 48 hours or more of your moving day) to let them know of your move and see if you can still use them in your new home (if you choose to).
  • Your estate agent / letting agent for your new property to find out who supplies the gas and electricity. Keep in mind that each fuel may have a separate supplier.
  • If there is no gas or electricity supply to the property, you may need to contact your DNO or gas transporter to establish a new connection. More on this later.
  • Notify your new home’s energy supplier to find out what their variable rates and standing charges will be on your deemed contract. This way, you’ll know exactly how much you’re paying, and whether they can make you a better offer on a new tariff.
  • Notify us so we can start looking for the perfect energy deal for your new home!

What to do on moving day

We know how stressful your moving day can be. And with so much to manage, we’ll understand if you don’t find the time to switch energy suppliers in your new home straight away. But the sooner you can make the switch, the sooner you can start to enjoy energy savings in your new home. Here are some steps to take to ensure that the transition is as easy as possible and that your bills are completely accurate.

  • Take a meter reading from your old home on or just before moving day and report it to your current supplier. It’s also a good idea to take a photo of the meter read just in case they ask for evidence.
  • It’s polite to leave a note for your home’s new occupant. Let them know who currently supplies gas and electricity to your home so they can make an informed decision.
  • Some movers choose to switch off their gas and electricity at the main, and / or turn off all appliances. This keeps the property as safe as possible while also preventing the new occupant from paying for energy they haven’t used.
  • Leave your address / contact details with the new occupant, landlord, or estate agent in case they require any further information.
  • Take a meter reading at your new home, and report it to the incumbent supplier as soon as possible. So that your first (and possibly final) bill from the supplier is accurate.

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Who to notify

  • Notify both your current supplier and the incumbent supplier in your new home of the meter readings in both properties on your moving day.
  • Contact the estate agent, landlord or letting agency looking after your old home to pass on your contact details. Or leave a note for the new occupant.

What to do after you move home

Now that you’ve established the groundwork on and before moving day, you’ll be free to enjoy your time in your new home without worrying about expensive energy bills. You just need to carry out a few simple steps.

  • If you haven’t already, find out your current energy rates from the property’s incumbent supplier. When you know both the daily standing charge and unit costs, compare this to your previous supplier’s energy costs for the same usage in kWh.
  • You’ll probably also want to carry out one last price comparison before committing to an energy supplier.
  • Find out your unique meter numbers. Your MPAN for electricity and your MPRN for gas. This will make it quicker and easier to switch suppliers.
  • Once you’ve chosen a plan, sign up to your new supplier and they’ll get the ball rolling. You’ll be free of your costly deemed contract within 15-17 days. After which you’ll receive a final bill from the incumbent supplier.

Who to notify

  • Notify your incumbent energy supplier to find out how much you’ll be paying for your energy under your deemed contract after you’ve moved house.
  • Contact your DNO and gas transporter to find out your MPAN and MPRN numbers respectively.
  • Get in touch with us as soon as possible, even if you’ve carried your own price comparisons. We can scour the market for the very best energy deals for your new home, including some that may not be listed on price comparison sites.

How To Switch Energy Supplier When Moving

What if your new property has a prepayment meter?

You should check your energy meter when moving house. If the property has a prepayment meter you will need to adjust your strategy slightly. A prepayment meter differs from a standard credit meter. A credit meter records your usage for you to forward to your energy supplier. Doing this regularly will ensure that you are billed accurately. However, a prepayment meter allows energy consumers to pay for the gas or electricity they use on a Pay As You Go basis.

There are some that find it easier to manage their energy spending with a prepayment meter, and there are several energy suppliers that are prepayment specialists and can get you the best possible rates. However, prepayment rates are invariably more expensive than the rates you’ll get with a credit meter. Plus you have to go to the effort of topping up your credit and ensuring that you don’t run out (or you’ll be quite literally left in the dark).

I’m buying – what do I need to do?

If you’re buying your home, you have complete autonomy over whether or not you keep your existing prepayment meter. However, before you do anything, you should get in touch with the incumbent supplier. Avoid using any card or key left for you, as this may result in your paying extra for debts owed by the property’s previous occupants.

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If you find that you need to add credit to the meter before you contact the supplier, make them aware of this as soon as you get in touch. As long as you can prove when you moved in, they will be able to reimburse you for any extra charges paid.

Ask the incumbent supplier to:

  • Remove any debt from the meter so you don’t wind up paying extra.
  • Supply you with a new prepayment key or card.
  • Arrange replacement with a credit meter if you would prefer one. Most suppliers (especially large suppliers) will not charge you for this, but it’s a good idea to check.

I’m renting – what do I need to do?

If you’re renting a home that has a prepayment meter, the landlord may have installed it because of an energy debt generated by the previous occupant. But this needn’t prevent you from switching to a credit meter. Your landlord technically can’t prevent you from switching to a credit meter. However, it’s a good idea to contact them and ask for their permission beforehand.

What if my new property isn’t connected to gas or electricity mains?

If there seems to be no energy supply in your new home, don’t panic. The previous occupant may have just switched these off at the mains. However, if you have checked this and there is still no gas or electricity supply, your home may have been disconnected from the national grid.

You can set up a new connection by contacting your gas transporter and District Network Operator (DNO). However, new connections take several weeks to arrange and can cost up to £1,800 per fuel. For this reason, it’s a good idea to ensure that there is an active connection in advance of your moving day.

If there is no active electricity connection, you can find the contact details for your DNO in the table below:

Region Where You Live Distribution Network Operator Contact Number
North Scotland Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks 0800 048 3515
Central and Southern Scotland SP Energy Networks 0330 1010 300
North East England and Yorkshire Northern Powergrid 0800 011 3332
North West England Electricity North West 0800 195 4141
Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales & North Shropshire SP Energy Networks 0330 1010 300
East Midlands & West Midlands Western Power Distribution 0800 096 3080
South Wales & South West England Western Power Distribution 0800 096 3080
London, South East England & Eastern England UK Power Networks 0800 029 4285
Southern England Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks 0800 048 3516
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Electricity Networks 03457 643 643

Likewise, if you need to set up a new gas connection, you’ll need to speak to the gas transporter responsible for your area. You can find their details in the table below:

Distributor Area Contact Number
Cadent Gas North West of England, West Midlands, East of England and North London 0800 389 8000
Northern Gas Networks North East of England, Northern Cumbria, and much of Yorkshire 0800 040 7766
SGN Scotland and Southern England 0800 912 1700
Wales & West Utilities Wales and the South West of England 0800 912 2999

Need a helping hand switching energy supplier when moving? We’re here to help!

At Papernest, we understand how challenging it may be to find the time to compare energy suppliers for your new home. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

We’ll search the market for the best possible energy deals in your new home, and manage your switch from end-to-end to make it completely stress-free.

Call us today on 0330 818 6225 to find out more.

We’re available from 8am to 6pm.

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

  1. How to cancel your energy contracts

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Updated on 7 Oct, 2021

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