The Best Time to Switch?
So when is the best time to switch?
Many electricity and gas tariffs have a contractual end-date. And when that date arrives, unless you've taken action, you could find yourself being automatically transfered onto a much less competitive tariff. Hopefully you will know when your contract end date is. If not, we strongly advise that you should find out when it is before doing anything else.
So assuming you do know when your energy contract ends, the next question is what to next and when? Here are some points to consider as your current gas or electricity contract comes to an end.
Can I change supplier early?
If you are a domestic customer and you want to be absolutely safe, you should make your application to change supplier on the day after the contractual end-date. However, our experience suggest you may be able to move quicker without incurring an early-exit penalty.
Instead, consider applying to change supplier when there is 14 days or less to go before your contract end-date. At the time of publishing this information, the time take to process an application is usually longer than 14 days, so you should not receive an early-exit penalty.
Even so, the time that it will take you to switch supplier - currently four to six weeks - means you will almost certainly be a put onto a higher rate for a short period following the end-date. The trick is to keep this period as short as possible.
If however you are a business customer, then different rules apply and we recommend you check out the information relating to the rollover trap, to avoid paying more than you have to.
Look at offers from your current supplier
You may also wish to consider any offers from your current supplier to continue supplying gas or electricity.
This may mean a seamless transfer, and could help to avoid moving temporarily onto a standard tariff. However, we would suggest checking what alternatives are around first, to make sure you're getting the best deal.
Were you happy with the service?
And of course, were you really happy with the overall service you received from your supplier? And if they were in your eyes providing a rubbish service, why choose to be inflicted with more of the same?
Sometimes, suffering poor customer service can result in stress and wasted time that makes no amount of savings worthwhile.
Unusually large direct debits
If you change energy supplier, make sure you're aware of this little trick with the final direct debit. In the meantime we hope you have found this information useful when deciding the best time to switch.