It’s still possible to switch energy suppliers quickly and easily. But if you’re on a prepayment or economy meter, and want to switch to a standard meter, it might take longer to get your service up and running. That’s because if you’re self-isolating your new energy supplier won’t be able to install your meter, and they might be short on service staff. The same goes for smart meter installations.
Energy suppliers are also supporting vulnerable customers. For example, if you’re unable to top up your pre-payment meter because you’re isolating or struggling with your bills.
UK homes pay around £1,137 a year if they’re on their provider’s standard variable tariff for gas and electricity.
If that’s you, you could be saving yourself a fortune by switching your energy supplier.
When you switch, your new energy provider will sort everything out for you, so you won’t even need to contact your old supplier yourself.
It’ll be sorted within a few weeks and don’t worry, your power won’t be cut off at any point.
There are plenty of great deals on the market, so comparing energy prices is a great way to save money, but it can also be confusing. Find out about different types of energy deals below:
An SVT is your provider's default tariff and you'll automatically move to this when your deal ends. It's usually quite expensive, so if you're on an SVT now, chances are you could save money by comparing energy prices and switching to a new deal.
A fixed rate tariff will set your price for a certain length of time. The amount you pay per unit of energy stays the same while you're on a fixed rate, so your bills will only go up or down if you use more or less gas and electricity. It protects you from price increases, but you won't benefit if prices fall.
Prepayment energy tariffs use a prepaid meter in your home, which you'll have to top up. You usually do this using a card or key that you can load with credit online, over the phone, or in local shops.
Dual fuel tariffs cover your gas and electricity. You'll only have to deal with one supplier for both and it could work out cheaper than separate deals. That's not always the case though, so you might want to compare gas and electricity separately to get the cheapest energy you can.
Green tariffs use renewable sources, so your energy is environmentally friendly. They won't always be the cheapest deals on offer though, so if price is your main concern they might not be the right product for you.
You'll pay two prices for your electricity on an Economy 7 tariff - one for night time and one for day. You'll need an Economy 7 meter that separately measures seven off-peak hours at night when energy is cheaper. The other 17 hours will be classed as peak time and more expensive.
Tell us your postcode, current supplier, your estimated usage - either by kWh or monthly cost - and the type of energy comparison you're looking for, either gas, electricity or dual fuel.
We use your information to compare energy prices across our suppliers. In under a minute, we share savings compared with your current tariff, energy price information and other key facts such as exit fees and tariff length, all in an easy-to-read comparison table.
It's up to you which tariff best suits your needs. Until you select your tariff and go through the sign-up process, there's no obligation to switch your energy deal.
In December 2018, the average switching time was 16 days for electricity and 18 days for gas, according to Ofgem. Within this timeframe you have a 14 day cooling-off period, during which you can change your mind about your energy switch should you want to.
It should take no more than 21 days for you to be fully switched. If you haven’t heard anything from your provider after this time, give them a call.
When you switch suppliers, there will be no interruption to your gas or electricity supply.
In January 2019, the cheapest available dual fuel tariff was around £930 a year, according to Ofgem. But how much your energy bills cost will depend on the amount you use and the price your provider charges. Cut costs with our top tips.
Turn lights off and unplug appliances and chargers when they're not needed
Use draught excluders and thicker curtains to keep your home warm and cosy
Don't leave the radiators on while no one's home. Drop the temperature by 1°C to save as much as £60 per year
Wash your clothes at lower temperatures.Your washing machine uses around 90% of its energy just heating water
Newer appliances generally have better energy ratings
Use energy efficient lightbulbs around the home - replace Halogen bulbs with LEDs they use 85% less electricity and last longer
Use a smart meter to keep and eye on how much energy you're using
If you spot an issue, let your provider know asap
Double glazing insulates your home and helps reduce your heating bills
Always see if you can get a better price by comparing energy deals and suppliers
If you apply to switch suppliers, there'll be a cooling-off period of up to 14 days to allow you to change your mind.
Your meters can generally be found on the outside of your property in a meter box, or in the kitchen or hall. Read more if you still can't find your meter.
Yep - tenants have as much right to switch energy supplier as homeowners if they are paying the bills directly. It doesn't matter if it's a prepaid meter or standard. But it's worth having a chat with your landlord or checking your contract first.
Usually around three weeks but your new supplier should keep you updated.
You can but you might have to pay an exit fee if it doesn't fall within the cooling-off period or if you're on a fixed tariff.
Switching energy suppliers is quite straightforward process, it could save you a lot of money in the long term and it helps to encourage competition and fair play in the energy market.
If you decide to switch to a tariff with us and our partner Energylinx, we receive a small fee from the energy supplier once your cooling off period has ended.
This fee helps us to maintain our website, improve our services and invest in our people, but don't worry, it isn't lumped onto your bill.
Many suppliers impose a standing charge - a fixed charge per day - with the price varying between tariffs and suppliers. Units of gas and electricity are measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) and you bill will show the unit rate, in pence, for each kWh of gas or electricity used.
If you have an electricity meter that records the units used at night and day separately, your tariff is likely to be a 'time of use' tariff, typically known as Economy7 or Economy10 tariffs. On these tariffs, the rate for the electricity you use at night tends to differ from the day rate.
If you want accurate bills, read your energy meters regularly and provide your energy supplier(s) with the reading.
Paying for your actual energy usage will help you to stop paying too much or too little, something that could result in a large bill later on. A smart meter can come in handy to help you keep an eye on what you're spending.
You can find more information in our energy guides.
Page last reviewed: 14 July 2020
Next review due: 14 September 2020
GoCompare has partnered with Energylinx, part of the GoCompare Group, to help you switch energy. Energylinx Limited is registered in Scotland, registration number: SC244794, registered office: the e Centre, Cooperage Way, Business Village, Alloa, FK10 3LP