When is the best time to Switch Your Gas And Electricity?

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Energy providers are regularly changing their tariffs and adding new tariffs to the market, so it can be difficult to know when you should switch your gas and electricity to save money. We’d generally recommend comparing prices every 6-9 months to ensure you are on the cheapest deal and at UKPower.co.uk we compare every single energy tariff on the market.

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Below we have listed some other common times when you may want to switch.

When you haven’t switched for a while

When did you last change your gas and electricity tariff or provider? If you’ve never changed your provider before, the best time to switch is now! Once an energy tariff elapses (typically they don’t last more than 12 months) an energy supplier will default you onto their standard tariff. Unsurprisingly, this is often their most expensive tariff available, meaning you can make your biggest saving by switching to a more competitive tariff. If you have never switched your energy provider before, then there's a good chance that you have been paying more than you need to for years.

If you have switched previously, but haven’t done so in the last 12 months, then it is definitely worth comparing prices, as chances are, your tariff has also elapsed and you may have been shifted onto the supplier's standard tariff too. Switching is easy and takes approximately ten minutes.

When prices go up

Another common time to switch energy provider is when prices are set to rise. Typically, when one of the big six energy companies increases their prices, the others will follow suit soon after. When a price increase is announced, it is a good time to ensure that you avoid paying the inflated prices for as long as possible, by switching to a fixed rate energy tariff. But you have to be quick - existing fixed rate tariffs at pre-price-rise rates have a set capacity, limiting the number of customers that can benefit from the fixed prices before the supplier removes the tariff from the market. This means that once the tariff hits capacity, it will be pulled and most likely replaced with a more expensive alternative.

Understandably, there are a high number of customers looking to sign up to the best deal, so these tariffs can fill up quickly when price rises are announced. You can read more about fixed rate tariffs and compare the current leading tariffs on the market on our fixed rate energy page.

Before winter comes

Another common time to switch gas and electricity is before the winter months. Naturally, with the colder temperatures and fewer daylight hours we use significantly more energy in the winter months. Obviously, if we are using a lot more energy and paying for it at an expensive rate, then the costs quickly add up, so it is a good idea to check prices in late summer / early autumn to see if there is a cheaper tariff available to you that will keep your energy bills in check throughout the winter months.

When your current deal expires

It’s now mandatory for all tariffs (except standard/ever-green tariffs) to have an 'end date' and as such, it’s essential that people who have switched in the past take note of their tariff expiry date and proactively seek the next best deal once their current deal expires. As mentioned above, most tariffs run for 12 months so be sure to put a note regarding your tariff expiry date in your diary. You can begin arranging a new energy contract as soon as your switching window opens, which is 49 days before your tariff end date. You will not incur any cancellation fees by agreeing to a new energy contract within your switching window.

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

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