Frequently Asked Questions
How is it possible to save money on my energy bills?
The domestic energy supply market is full of competition amongst suppliers of gas and electricity to households in England, Scotland and Wales – namely, between the ‘Big Six’ suppliers and smaller, independent companies. While the actual supply of electricity and gas you receive is always the same, you can change your supplier or tariff to get yourself a better deal and pay less for the energy you use. The easiest way to find out if you could save is to run a market comparison.
Do I need to change any pipes or wires if I change suppliers?
The actual electricity and gas you use is the same with whichever supplier you use, and it all travels down the same pipes and wires - so you can switch your supplier without any extra installations.
There are some households using local supply networks that cannot switch, but these are very rare and usually only in remote areas.
What is the process for switching?
Once a supplier has been chosen, they will need to give your current supplier 28 days’ notice to hand over the reigns - so the process should take 5 to 8 weeks.
During this time, you will be contacted and asked for a meter reading. If unable to do this yourself, they will arrange for the meter to be read.
The meter reading will determine the final amount paid to your current supplier, so make a note of it and the date it was taken.
The next bill will be from your new supplier(s).
Do you recommend everybody should switch?
If price is your only criterion and the savings are very small, we recommend staying with your current supplier. It is possible they may become more or less competitive, so it’s a good idea to still check with us every now and then. People currently with the Big Six who have never switched will usually have the most to gain by switching.
I have special needs. Will this affect my choice of companies?
All suppliers are required to comply with a code of practice setting out services for elderly, disabled and chronically sick customers. Also, they must provide facilities to assist blind, partially sighted, deaf and hearing impaired customers – so this should not affect your choice of supplier.
What type of contract will I be asked to sign?
The most common type of contract is rolling contract, where the price can fluctuate and has a 28 day cancellation period. There are also fixed term contracts for one or two years, where the price is set for this duration.
I owe money to my current supplier. Do I have to settle this?
Once you decide to change supplier, you will have to settle any outstanding balance with your old supplier.
What about my boiler / central heating contract?
This is not affected if you switch.
Is anybody acting in consumers’ interest?
Ofgem is the Government’s appointed regulator of the gas and electricity market. They can fine or even remove a supplier’s licence if a company acts improperly.
Consumer Direct is the Government helpline providing advice and information for consumers by telephone, and online. You can contact them on 08454 040506 if you have any problems.
Is my data secure?
We are registered under the Data Protection Act 1998. If you follow a link from our site to a supplier’s online application, they are also registered under the Data Protection Act. Any requests for your personal financial information, e.g. bank details for Direct Debits, are made within a secure server environment.
What about safety and loss of supply?
To report a gas escape or gas safety issues, call the National Gas Service Emergency Line on 0800 111 999. Your new electricity supplier will give you contact numbers for faults or power cuts.
I have been billed twice for the same energy. What now?
Only one supplier can bill you for gas or electricity used, so one billing is in error. Verify your correct supplier by contacting:
Gas - Xoserver Helpline: 0870 608 1524
Electricity - Phone your original local electricity company and ask for their Meter Point Administration Service (MPAS). You can then contact the supplier billing in error to cancel the bill.
What happens if my supplier goes out of business?
Ofgem will find you a new one until you choose another, without any disruption to your supplier.
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