Is utility switching right for you?
People save money every year by shopping around for the best energy prices but there are a few things you should think about before you switch.
Are you on a fixed term contract?
Most suppliers charge an exit fee if you leave a fixed term contract early. If you have to pay an exit fee make sure it’s less than the amount you’re going to save when you switch. An Ofgem confidence code accredited price comparison site can tell you if you're better off leaving your current supplier and paying the exit fee. You can find information on accredited price comparison sites on the Ofgem website.
Are you living in a rented property?
Some tenancy agreements state that you can’t change utility supplier. However this is an unfair contract term and a landlord can’t stop you from changing supplier.
Your landlord also can't take money from your deposit if you change suppliers, except for small administrative costs to change the supplier back. These costs must be agreed beforehand and shown in the tenancy agreement.
These rules only apply when switching providers, but your deposit could be affected if you've changed from a normal meter to a pre-payment meter without permission.
Do you have a prepaid meter?
If you've got a pre-payment meter you can still switch energy suppliers and transfer debts of up to £500. You’ll have to carry on using the prepayment meter with your new supplier at least until any arrears are paid off.
Can you get a better deal from your current supplier?
If you stay with your current provider, there are other ways you could save money. Most companies offer a discount for paying by direct debit. Or if you have gas and electricity from the same supplier, you could get a dual-fuel discount. Contact your supplier to see if that’s available to you.