Switching Suppliers & Smart Meters
How to switch energy supplier and shop for a better deal
Energy bills are the number one worry for consumers, but there are considerable savings to be made by changing to a new deal.
Comparing energy tariffs and deals regularly can help you make sure you’re getting the best gas or electricity tariff for your usage and the best service offer. It can also highlight if you could cut your bills by switching supplier.
Shop for cheaper gas and electricity
It pays to shop around. Ofgem research finds comparing and switching supplier or energy tariff can make a big difference to your gas and electricity bills – with annual savings of around £300 available.
If you’ve never compared energy tariffs or switched gas or electricity supplier, it may seem a daunting process. But it’s actually quite simple.
We’ve developed a range of online tips and tools covering the essentials. And as Britain’s energy regulator, you can trust that our guides are independent and unbiased. Get savvy and find savings – be an ‘energy shopper’.
Smart Meters are a way to keep better track of how much energy you're using, and how much it's going to cost you. If you want to find out how to get a Smart Meter follow the link to
Tools to help you compare gas and electricity tariffs
- Citizens Advice guide: How to compare energy tariffs and deals (opens another website): Get to grips with the questions to ask suppliers, using comparison websites and the information you’ll need.
- Citizens Advice energy deal guide (opens another website): Learn more about the benefits of taking on a new energy deal.
- Citizens Advice common energy tariffs explained (opens another website): Explore the tariff types that may best suit you.
- Ofgem-accredited energy price comparison websites: Shop with confidence using an online comparison service we’ve accredited under the Ofgem Confidence Code.
How does my energy supplier compare?
You may want to consider a number of factors when comparing suppliers and tariffs – from cheaper rates and customer satisfaction scores, to green energy tariffs or contracts with no exit fee, or even offers particular to your type of meter. Use the following to help weigh up your options:
- Compare gas and electricity tariffs: Ofgem-accredited energy price comparison sites
- Compare supplier performance on customer service
- Citizens Advice guide: Common energy tariffs explained (opens another website)
Switching gas or electricity supplier
To switch energy supplier you’ll need:
- Your postcode
- The name of current supplier
- The name of the energy offer you're currently on and how much you spend on gas and electricity. You can find this information on a recent bill.
- An up-to-date meter reading
- Your bank details if you will be paying by direct debit
- Your Meter Point Access Number (or ‘MPAN’) and Meter Point Reference Number (or ‘MPRN’). You can find these on a recent bill.
How to switch energy supplier
For the key aspects of the switching process, see:
- Citizens Advice guide: How to switch energy supplier (opens another website)
- Citizens Advice guide: How to switch energy supplier if you’ve moved house (opens another website)
- How to switch energy supplier if you’re a tenant
- How to switch energy supplier if you’re in debt
- Citizens Advice guide: FAQs on switching (opens another website)
How long it takes to switch supplier
Switching supplier can take up to 21 days (plus a 14 day 'cooling-off period'). In most cases, it’s around 17 days. Your new supplier will confirm the date you’ll be switched.
If you change your mind
You’ll have 14 days to cancel a switch from the date you start a contract with a new supplier. This period is also referred to as a ‘cooling-off period’. After this timeframe, there may be a cost to exit the contract depending on your agreement.
You must contact your supplier to cancel any contract.
Sales contact from suppliers and the Ofgem customer database service
- How to deal with energy sales people: For a simple guide to the rules governing supplier sales practices and what to do if you get a visit from a door-step energy salesperson, or a sales phone call.
- Ofgem energy customer database service: From spring 2018, if you've been on a standard (variable) tariff - SVT - for over three years, rival suppliers to your current one will be able to offer you personalised deals that save you money. Learn more about the service and how we'll manage it.
The Citizens Advice consumer helpline can offer help and advice at any time if you’re having problems switching.