Citizens Advice has been asked by the Department for Energy and Climate Change to lead Big Energy Savings Week and support people to:
CHECK – SWITCH – SAVE
to save both money and energy
Energy bills form a big part of everyone’s expenditure and in the winter months most of us use more energy. You can follow these steps to review your own situation or contact Citizens Advice if you need more assistance.
CHECK – what you currently pay for gas and electricity
that you are on the best tariff
that you’re not wasting energy at home
that you’re getting all the support you’re
SWITCH – if you could save money with a different
tariff or supplier
– if you could get a better deal by installing or removing a pre-payment meter
SAVE – take energy saving measures to make sure you’re
not using more energy than you need
Things to consider before you switch:
- If your current supplier will charge you a fee to leave (exit fee) you can find this on your energy bill
- What the customer service rating is like for the potential new supplier (on Which? website)
- Whether your current supplier offers a cheaper tariff – it will save you the effort of switching
You may not be able to switch if you’re in debt to your supplier or you’re a tenant and your landlord is responsible for paying the gas/electricity bills. If you get Warm Home Discount, check whether the new supplier offers it – you’ll lose it if they don’t.
Choosing the right tariff
Do you want:
- A flexible tariff that you can get out of at any time?
- An environmentally friendly tariff?
- The cheapest tariff available?
- A tariff specific to a particular meter?
How to switch supplier
- Compare tariffs from different suppliers (use an Ofgem Confidence Code accredited website)
- Once you’ve decided, call the supplier – they’ll set up the switch and tell your old supplier. Alternatively you can switch on line.
- Take a meter reading on the day of the transfer to give to your new supplier – this means they won’t charge you for energy used before the switch.
- Pay your old supplier’s final bill or get a refund if you’re in credit
Once the switch has started, you’ll also need to give the new supplier your energy reference numbers known as MPRN or MPAN numbers. You can find these numbers on your energy bill. Switching should take around 17 days, but often takes up to 3 weeks. The new supplier should contact you to tell you the day your supply will be switched. Once you have entered into the contract with your new supplier you have 14 days to change your mind and cancel the switch.
If you have problems switching call Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 03454 04 05 06 (9 to 5 Monday to Friday)
- Warm home discount scheme for people on low incomes www.gov.uk or phone Warm Front Home Discount Scheme helpline 0345 603 9439 (mon – Fri 8.30 – 4.30)
- Home Heat helpline provides info on grants, payment schemes and benefits that may be available, plus advice on energy efficiency www.homeheathelpline.org.uk or tel 0800 336699 (freephone)
- Energy Saving Trust home energy checks to find out where you could make savings on your bills www.est.org.uk or tel 0300 123 1234