Switch energy supplier

Includes changing your energy supplier if you pay the household bills, run a business from home, have a prepayment meter, moving home, or in debt.


Switching to a different energy supplier and moving to a new tariff could save you money.

If you pay the energy bill in your household, you can choose which supplier you want to supply energy to your home and which tariff. You will be put on a contract called a ‘domestic contract’.

If you run a small business such as a pub or restaurant, you can also switch suppliers. You must have a business energy contract. An energy consultant can help you switch, but they will charge a fee for this service. Read how to set up a business energy contract.

It should take up to 5 working days to switch your energy supplier. You can also ask to be switched over on a later date.

Small businesses run from home

If you run your business from home, you could have a domestic or business energy contract. You should check with your supplier which one you have.

A business that has fewer than 10 employees and turns over less than 2 million euros (approximately £1.8 million) is called a microbusiness. If you run your microbusiness from home, you will need a business energy contract. Read how to get energy for your business.

Find and compare energy tariffs

Some price comparison websites that list domestic energy tariffs have signed up to our voluntary code. This means that theses websites have to:

  • be clear about what the energy tariff listed on their website includes, for example if you need a smart meter to get the tariff
  • be clear that the energy tariff can be arranged directly through their website and those that cannot
  • list tariffs in price order

Use an accredited price comparison website to find and compare energy tariffs:

How to switch energy suppliers

When you have chosen a supplier and tariff you want to move to, you will need to give the supplier information that is on your energy bill. They will need:

  • postcode
  • name of current energy supplier or contract
  • name of current tariff
  • amount you pay for your energy per unit, this is shown in kilowatt hours (kWh) on your bill 
  • amount of energy you use each year

Your new energy supplier will contact you and tell you when they will switch your energy supply over to them. It can take up to five working days for households.

If your supplier does not complete the work within this time, you can Get compensation for problems switching energy suppliers. Businesses cannot get compensation.

New domestic contracts can be cancelled within 14 days if you change your mind, but most business energy contracts cannot.

If you want to move your electricity or gas supply to a fixed rate tariff

Energy prices can go up and down. A fixed rate tariff means that if energy prices go up, you will still pay the same price for each unit of energy you use. But if energy prices go down, the price you pay will be the same.

You should choose your energy tariff based on how much energy you use and your own circumstances. You may have to pay a fee, called an ‘exit fee’,  if you switch tariffs or suppliers before your fixed rate tariff ends.

Moving home or property

You can choose a new energy supplier and tariff after you have moved into a new property. If the property you are moving in to has a prepayment meter, you need to contact the supplier as soon as possible. Read what to do if you have a prepayment meter in your home or premises in our prepayment meters consumer guidance.

If you do not know who your supplier is, contact your network operator. Search for your network operator on the Energy networks association website.

Renting your home or property

Check your rental agreement to find out who pays the energy bills for the property.

If your landlord pays, they will:

  • pay the energy supplier directly, and you will pay them
  • include the cost of the energy you use in your rent
  • pay for the energy supply to the property between tenancies

If you have to pay your energy bills, you can choose to switch your supplier and tariff for the property at any time. Your landlord must allow you to choose your energy supplier.

Check the Citizen’s Advice guidance about what your landlord can charge for your energy.

Before switching your supplier, you should check if:

  • your rental agreement has a list of suppliers you can choose from, called a ‘default supplier clause’
  • the list of suppliers in your rental agreement can be changed
  • you need to tell your letting agent or landlord that you want to switch supplier
  • your rental agreement has a notice and return clause — if it does you need to switch the energy supply back when your tenancy ends

Repaying a debt

You can switch  to a new supplier even if you owe money to your old supplier and have been in debt to them for less than 28 days. Your old supplier will add any money owed to your final bill.

You cannot switch if you have been in debt to your supplier for more than 28 days. You need to repay the debt first before moving to a new supplier or tariff.

Your supplier has to pay back any money they have charged for energy you have not used. Read about how to get help if you cannot afford your energy bills.

Repaying a debt with a prepayment meter

You can still switch suppliers if you have a prepayment meter, and you owe your supplier up to £500 for gas and £500 for electricity.

Support if things go wrong

If you get a welcome letter or final energy bill that you were not expecting, you may have been switched to another supplier without permission. This can happen when:

  • a supplier has made a mistake, for example mixed up your address with someone else’s, called an ‘erroneous transfer’
  • you were misled by a salesperson

You can also get £30 from either your old or new supplier if you did not agree to switch.  Small businesses cannot get compensation, but you can complain about your energy supplier.