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

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

Smart Energy UK

Tools to help you compare gas and electricity tariffs
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:

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:

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.
Get help

The Citizens Advice consumer helpline can offer help and advice at any time if you’re having problems switching.