What are energy cancellation fees?
Cancellation fees, also known as early termination fees, are often applied to fixed rate energy tariffs, which are those that fix the unit rate for a specified amount of time.
These cancellation fees are applied to discourage you from switching away early. Bur not all fixed rate deals come with a cancellation fee, so always check the terms and conditions when comparing energy tariffs.
Cancellation fees are usually charged per fuel, which means that if you're on a dual fuel deal with a £25 early exit fee, this will most likely be a £25 fee for gas and another £25 fee for electricity, meaning you'll have to pay a total of £50 to leave your deal early.
Do you pay cancellation fees when swicthing energy supplier?
If you're currently on a fixed tariff, a cancellation fee may apply if you switch to a different tariff or supplier before the end date specified on your deal. But if you switch with 42-49 days or less left to run on your current deal, you can switch without paying any penalty charge. This is known as your 'switching window'.
Your switching window opens 49 days before the end date of your contract.
It's important to know how long your fixed rate tariff locks your rates in for, so you can work out exactly when you should start to compare energy deals in preparation for switching.
If you are on a fixed rate deal, your contract's end date will usually be 12 months from the date you switched, although some fixed rate deals run for up to 18 months or even two years, so always check the details before you switch.
When can you switch energy supplier?
You are free to switch to any other supplier at any time you want, but you may incur an early cancellation fee if you switch before your switching window opens.
When your fixed rate energy deal ends, you will automatically be rolled onto your supplier’s standard variable rate tariff – this is likely to be your supplier's most expensive rate. This means that you could stand to save a significant amount of money just by switching to a better deal.
But remember to check that your tariff is within its swithcing window, or at least has no cancellation fee attached, before you agree to switch. Or, if you're on an expensive fixed rate, you should work out if you still stand to save enough money from switching even if you need to pay any cancellation fees.
When does my energy tariff expire?
Often, a fixed tariff’s expiration date will be included in the tariff name, but this is not always the case. You can use the table below to find out the end date for your tariff – as well as any cancellation fees you will incur by terminating early – so that you can find out the earliest possible date that you can switch to a better deal.