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When Can't You Switch Energy Suppliers?

The following guide will tell you everything you need to know about switching your energy supplier with Business Energy Comparison. We’ll cover when you can and can’t switch from one energy supplier to another, and everything else you need to know.

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Switching energy suppliers

A global pandemic, high inflation, and other unprecedented times have left bill payers in the UK clutching their chests (and pearls) in horror as they view unprecedented increases to their energy bills.

Moving to a new energy supplier is an excellent way to find nifty energy deals that help you save on your energy bill. Some situations, however, can cause you to lose money when switching providers.

There are also certain energy supplier agreements that require aspects of your current contract to be met before you can switch your energy supply.

When is the Best Time to Switch Energy Suppliers?

Ideally, you should switch your energy supplier every 12-18 months or, if you’re on a fixed tariff, whenever your current energy deal ends. Timing is everything!

Unless you’re a business, you run the risk of being automatically rolled onto your supplier’s standard (and more expensive) energy tariffs. This is the case if you come off a fixed tariff without signing up for a new deal.

A careful watch on your calendar can help you avoid acquiring these higher gas and electricity tariffs.

The Best Time of Year to Make an Energy Switch

The increased use of heating and lighting in winter affects how much of energy you use. That is why October, a little before winter, is an ideal time to switch energy supplier.

The Best Time in Your Deal to Change Your Existing Supplier

Switching energy deals is most beneficial when you no longer have to pay early exit fees to your current supplier. This is around 49 days before the end of a fixed tariff contract.

The timeframe for switching suppliers can vary, even with the Energy Switch Guarantee. This specifies that switches should take place within five days, the entire process could take up to a month to complete.

Using a reliable business energy comparison website to help you switch energy suppliers comes with the added convenience of being notified in writing whenever important dates in your contract come up.

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In most cases, you will be charged a termination fee or exit fee if you leave a supplier before your contract ends.

If you’re on a variable or fixed-rate plan, it’s worth checking whether you’re due to move from your current tariff soon. If it falls within the 49-day period mentioned above, then switching energy suppliers makes sense.

Business Energy Contracts

The fixed-term nature of most business energy contracts in the UK can make switching slightly more challenging than domestic contracts. Keeping track of your business’s energy contract and following notice period guidelines will help you avoid being locked into another fixed-term deal, typically with higher energy prices.

You can switch to a new energy provider for free if you confirm your contract’s official end date and send your termination letter within the duration specified in your contract.

You can increase your chances of getting the best deal and compare business gas prices and business electricity deals based on a data-driven analysis of the latest commercial rates.

Can I Switch Energy Suppliers if I Owe my Current Provider Money?

Two factors determine your ability to switch: the actual amount that you owe your current supplier and how long you have owed.

If you are a month behind on your payments or have owed your energy provider money for longer than 28 days, then switching utility suppliers won’t be possible until that debt has been settled.

In cases like having a prepayment meter, where your gas and electricity are paid for in advance, you won’t be able to switch energy suppliers if you owe more than £500 on your energy tariffs.

Debt Assignment Protocol

If you’re a domestic energy user owing less than £500 on your prepayment meter, then your new supplier might be open to transferring your debt along with your supply when you switch energy providers.

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Can I Switch to the Same Energy Supplier?

Say you’re satisfied with your existing supplier and are simply looking to improve your energy tariff. Then it’s possible for you to save money by switching to a new, lower-cost fixed-term tariff.

There are factors that should be taken into account when changing your current tariff, as you would when choosing to switch suppliers.

Variable-Term Domestic Contracts

Standard variable tariff domestic users have the freedom to switch tariffs at any time. Your switch to a fixed-term tariff could, in fact, benefit both you and your utility provider.

Fixed-Term Business and Domestic Contracts

Switching tariffs outside your notice period window might require domestic or business energy customers on fixed-term contracts to pay exit fees.

When you commit yourself to a fixed-term contract, your supplier buys your energy in advance on the wholesale market. Switching tariffs means you won’t use energy at the fixed rate your utility company initially paid.

When all is said and done, it’s really up to you to determine whether the long-term savings of switching will justify the exit fee. Getting a reliable, tailored quote for your business can help you make such decisions, and it only takes a few minutes online to obtain.

Will I Need to Get a Smart Meter When I Switch Suppliers?

Energy suppliers will be required to install smart meters in most UK homes by 2025 under a government-led initiative. The timing of this will depend on your chosen energy supplier’s progress with its smart meter rollout.

Having a smart meter means that you no longer have to submit your gas and electricity meter readings to your supplier. Instead, they use a mobile signal to send data to your supplier.

In addition to sending the energy usage information to the meter, the in-home display will show you how much energy you’re using. The purpose of this live reading is to assist you in saving energy and money.

By doing so, you are also contributing to upgrading UK energy systems and reducing energy waste. Thus helping pave the way to a greener energy economy.

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Can I Switch to a Renewable Energy Supplier for My Electricity?

Indeed. It’s entirely up to you to decide which provider you want to make the switch to.

Renewable energy is booming in the UK. At the end of June 2022, renewable electricity generation represented 38.6% of total electricity generation. Wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources are used by some energy companies to produce the entirety of their energy.

It always helps to check the terms and conditions of your provider for a more detailed breakdown of where the energy comes from. Some companies offer a combination of green energy and energy from fossil fuels.

Choosing renewable energy is now about as affordable as using regular energy. It’s important to note that some of the ‘gold standard’ energy tariffs can be more costly than others, so it’s not always an option if you’re on a tight budget.

Can I Change My Energy Suppliers if I Have Solar Panels?

Yes. Having a renewable energy supplier or solar panels isn’t a barrier to those customers looking to move from one utility provider to another.

Wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources are used by some energy companies to produce the entirety of their energy.

Under the old Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) scheme, you could earn money by generating your own energy through solar panels. New applicants are no longer accepted for this program. It has been replaced by the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

Under the SEG, anyone generating their own low-carbon energy can earn money for the energy they put back into the National Grid if they meet certain criteria. This includes energy generated by solar panels and wind turbines.

SEG tariffs are mandatory for all energy suppliers with more than 150,000 customers, and smaller businesses can opt-in as well.

It’s unnecessary for the supplier who makes your SEG payments to be the same one that provides your energy. You can change it anytime. Additionally, you can switch your SEG licensee if you have a new one that is ready to take you on.

FIT members who managed to join the scheme before 31 March 2019 will continue to receive payments for the agreed period (usually 20 years).

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Is Switching Energy Suppliers Worth It?

Staying with your current energy provider may be tempting since moving seems like too much work, but significant savings could be had. If your supplier’s standard variable tariff is among the worst on the market, switching is almost certainly worthwhile.

If you’re on a fixed term that’s about to come to an end or are within the stipulated window of time to exit your deal without paying exit fees, then it’s best to consider switching energy supplier.

Additionally, switching is a lot simpler than ever. With a credible business electricity comparison service like Business Energy Comparison, you can quickly compare utility providers, and your new supplier will handle the entire transition for you.

What Happens After Switching Energy Suppliers?

Your new supplier will handle everything for you when you switch, including setting up the transition and taking over your account.

They will activate the switch and inform your current supplier. They also take a meter reading to give to your new supplier on the day of the transition.

This illustrates that they won’t bill you for energy consumed prior to the transition. You will have a 14-day cooling-off period to switch providers without incurring any fees.

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Energy Price Comparison Made Easy for Your Business!

Compare business energy prices using the Business Energy Comparison website to assist your company in locating cheaper commercial energy rates and saving money.

The Business Energy Comparison website is a free resource that aids in your search for local natural gas and electricity suppliers. It serves as a one-stop shop for evaluating costs from many providers and locating the best offer for your company.

By consulting the website’s reliability ratings, you can be confident you’re picking one of the more trustworthy energy companies.

This is the perfect website for your business to compare gas prices. It also has the perfect tool to compare electricity rates, as well.


In the end, you need to be sure that the benefits of switching outweigh the costs. There currently seems to be very little stopping people and businesses from changing to a cheaper electricity supplier.

However, if you’re on a fixed-rate tariff and you loathe losing out on any savings, it might not be worth switching.

If you’re on a standard variable tariff with no protection from energy price rises, then it could be worth considering switching suppliers as soon as possible.

Getting a quote from Business Energy Comparison might be the best way to streamline this process for your business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I switch energy providers if I owe money?

Yes. However, take this with a grain of salt. You can change energy providers if you are in debt, but you can’t have been in debt for longer than 28 days.


Can I change energy suppliers if I have solar panels?

Yes. You can change energy providers if you are on a solar grid. Just remember that your previous provider is still required to pay your feed-in tariff.

What if I change my mind about switching?

A 14-day cooling-off period is permitted if you choose to change your mind. This is a legal requirement, and it begins after you enter into a contract, whether it’s done over the phone, online, or in person.

How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?

Your new supplier should take approximately 5 business days to make the switch once you sign up for their services.