Should I switch energy suppliers?

Two people shake hands over a desk with files of data and graphs in front of them.

Switching your energy supplier has the potential to be a positive change for you – but that’s not always the case. Whether you’re looking to switch your tariff for domestic or commercial usage, it’s a big decision that deserves a good amount of forethought in order to get the best results for you. 

Below, we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of switching your energy supplier.

Should I change energy suppliers?

In part, the decision of whether or not to change your energy supplier should depend on the experience you’re currently having. You might already have the best possible deal for your needs – but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the tariffs available so that you can decide whether to switch if a better option appears.

Reasons for

There are many ways in which switching your energy supplier can be a good thing. 

  • Access a better rate for your gas or electricity supply

Switching your energy supplier can allow you to access a better rate than what you’re currently paying. For example, if you are currently on a variable tariff, you may find a fixed rate tariff available that saves you money. 

You should always research energy deals carefully, as some deals may appear cheaper but actually be more expensive in practice. For example, a fixed price tariff may be the cheapest option available now, but if the base rate cost of energy goes down, variable rates could cost you less in the long term. Conversely, if the base rates increase, your energy bill might go up considerably on a variable tariff, but stay where they are on a fixed tariff. For this reason, the decision to switch energy suppliers shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

  • Get better customer service – and other company-specific benefits

If you’ve had a less-than-pleasing customer experience with your current supplier, then switching to a different one could help you to get the experience you deserve. There are also other perks that could be unique to a given company – or that company simply does them best. This might include special offers, customer loyalty rewards or support packages to make the transition as smooth as possible. Some suppliers can even be more environmentally responsible than others.

  • It’s quick and simple

Lots of people assume that switching energy suppliers is a hassle that they’d rather avoid, even if it means paying more than they need to for their gas and electricity. In reality, switching energy suppliers is simple, and doesn’t take long. 

First, you compare energy prices to find the best tariff for you. Then you process the change, informing your existing supplier and the new one that you’d like to switch. Finally, the switch goes through – in most cases with no interruptions to your supply – and you begin paying your new rate. Usually, it takes around three weeks from start to finish to switch energy suppliers, so you could be reaping the benefits sooner than you think.

Reasons against

If all we’ve said above is true, why should you even think about not switching? Well, there are some circumstances in which it’s best to stay where you are. This includes situations where…

  • There isn’t a better price available

Depending on how long it’s been since you started your current energy tariff, you might find that there simply isn’t a better option available on the market. Don’t just consider price – remember that other factors such as customer service, support facilities and the types of energy available can all affect whether a tariff is the best choice for your needs.

For example, if you’re environmentally conscious, you might prefer to pay slightly more in order to support an energy supplier that shares your values. 

  • Cheaper deals aren’t physically compatible

Usually, when you switch energy suppliers, you’ll keep the same hardware – pipes, mains connections and meters. However, there are some situations where your current meter might not be compatible with a different supplier, meaning there may be additional complications associated with switching to new hardware. 

In many cases, switching can help you to change your energy bills for the better, but it’s always important to check and double check the changes you’re making to ensure they really are as good as they seem. It’s the best way to save time and money in the long run.

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