When is the best time to switch gas and electricity?

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*Between 1 Jan 2019 and 30 June 2019, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with uSwitch saved £477 or more.

Energy providers are regularly changing their tariffs and adding new plans to the market, so it can be tricky working out the best time to switch your gas and electricity provider and save money on your annual bills.

We think it is best to compare prices every six-to-nine months, to make you are on the cheapest deal for what you want - all you need to do is enter your postcode in the box above to get started.

Even if you’re only halfway through your current deal, the money you save might amount to more than any early exit fees you have to pay, so always do your sums when comparing prices.

You might also want to consider switching if any of the following apply to your situation:

When you haven’t switched for a while

When was the last time you changed your gas and electricity tariff or provider? If you’ve never switched, the best time to switch suppliers is right now – you’ll quickly realise you’ve been overpaying for way too long.

Once an energy tariff elapses – they usually last no longer than 12 months - your supplier will automatically place you onto its standard plan. Unsurprisingly, this is often its most expensive. But this also means you can make significant savings by switching to a deal with a more competitive rate.

Even if you’ve switched gas and electricity suppliers in the past, but haven’t done so in the last 12 months, it’s definitely worth comparing energy quotes to see how much you could save – you could be well on your way to a better deal in the time it take to boil a kettle.

When prices go up

Another perfect time to switch suppliers for gas and electricity is when prices are about to rise - when one of the Big Six energy companies pushes its prices up, the rest are never far behind.

To avoid paying the newer, inflated prices, try and switch to a fixed rate plan before the price hikes kick in, or as soon as possible after the increases are announced.

And be aware that existing fixed rate tariffs at pre-price-rise rates usually have a set capacity, which limits the number of customers that can benefit before the supplier removes the tariff from the market. Once the tariff hits the capacity, it will be replaced with a more expensive, alternative plan.

As you can imagine, there is a high number of customers looking to sign up to the best deal, so these tariffs will be hot property once the new prices are announced. You can read more about fixed rate tariffs and compare the current leading tariffs in our guide to everything you need to know about fixed rate energy tariffs.

Before winter arrives

It’s also a good idea to try and switch to a cheaper deal before the winter months set in. The colder temperatures, combined with fewer daylight hours, means we use significantly more energy during winter than during summer.

And the more energy you use on the higher tariff, the higher your bills will be. It’s a good idea to compare energy prices during summer or early autumn, so you’re up to speed with the best rate before the longer, colder nights draw in.

When your current deal expires

It’s now mandatory for all tariffs (except standard/evergreen tariffs) to have a confirmed end date, which means it’s important to know when your current energy deal is due to end, so you can switch to a better rate before you’re rolled onto a standard variable tariff.

As mentioned above, most tariffs run for 12 months, so be sure to keep a note in your diary of your start and end date. You can begin arranging a new energy contract when your switching window opens, which is 49 days before your current tariff’s end date. The great thing about this period is that you won’t incur any cancellation fees by agreeing a new contract.

Switching to another deal is the best way to play the market, ensuring you avoid the dreaded standard tariff and continue to benefit from the lowest prices for your gas and electricity. In doing this, you're also helping to ensure that the market remains competitive, as suppliers compete to win custom, so everyone’s a winner.

To find out more, check out What happens when your energy tariff ends?

How long to change energy supplier?

Although it only takes a few minutes to compare gas and electricity switch offers online, the actual switch could take a couple of weeks as your old needs to arrange the details of the switch with your new one.

Switching gas and electricity suppliers should take no longer than 17 days from the date you compared prices and agreed to the switch, which includes a 14-day cooling off period during which time you can change your mind about the switch without incurring any penalty fees.

To start switching utility suppliers, simply enter your postcode in the box at the top of the page. This will take you to our switching too where you just need to enter a few details about your property type and energy supply so we can show you the best dual energy deals available. Or, if you prefer, you can compare gas and electricity deals separately.

Once you’ve found an energy deal that suits you, we’ll take care of the rest. And switching with us won’t cost you a penny. Enter your postcode in the box at the top of the page to get started, or give our energy switching experts a call on 0800 320 2000.

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