Energy Switch Guarantee
By Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Thursday, April 29th 2021
The Energy Switch Guarantee was created to help make switching between energy suppliers as easy and smooth as possible. To keep things simple, it puts the responsibility for switching in the hands of the supplier you are moving to and promises that the whole process will take no longer than three weeks.
The guarantee also provides reassurances should anything go wrong, giving you the option of sticking with your old provider if you change your mind and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you won’t be left without power at any point of the process.
What is the Energy Switch Guarantee?
The Energy Switch Guarantee was introduced in 2016 by Energy UK, the trade association for the energy industry, to make switching gas or electricity suppliers easier for consumers. It’s a voluntary guarantee that energy suppliers can choose to sign up to and currently covers about 80% of the UK energy market including the Big Six (British Gas, Npower, E.ON, EDF Energy, Scottish Power and SSE).
Suppliers can display the Energy Switch Guarantee logo when they’ve signed up to the 10 following commitments:
- Your service will not be interrupted – All energy suppliers use the same pipes and wires to deliver your gas and electricity so there’s no need to lay new infrastructure or to cut off your service at any point of the process
- Switching is free – You won’t be charged anything to compare energy suppliers or to switch to a new deal
- It’ll take no more than 21 days – You’ll be switched within 21 days of your new provider’s receiving your application to join them. As there’s a 14-day cooling off period, most switches take place between days 14 and 21
- No home visit – Unless you need to have a new meter installed, the switching process will take place without an engineer visiting your home
- Your new supplier handles the switch – The Energy Switch Guarantee is a gaining provider-led service, meaning the company you’re switching to is responsible for arranging everything, including letting your old supplier know that you’re leaving
- You’ll be sent your new details straight away – Your new supplier must send you the details of your new contract straight away. You have a 14-day cooling off period, during which you can walk away (and remain with your current supplier) if you change your mind
- You won’t be charged twice for the same energy – Your new supplier will work with your old one to ensure you won’t be billed twice for the same period
- Any issues will be sorted by your new supplier – If any issues arise during the switching process, it’s up to your new supplier to fix them
- Final bill within six weeks – Your old supplier has to send your final bill within six weeks of the switch. Make sure you submit a meter reading to get as accurate a bill as possible
- Credit refund within 14 days – If there’s any credit remaining on your account with your old provider, you’ll be refunded this within 14 days of being sent your final bill
How do I use the Energy Switch Guarantee?
The beauty of the Energy Switch Guarantee is that you don’t have to do anything special in order to benefit from it. Simply compare gas, electricity or dual fuel energy tariffs and choose the best deal for you. As long as the provider you’re joining has signed up to the guarantee then you’ll benefit from all the commitments we’ve outlined above.
As we’ve already said, the companies that have signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee account for about 80% of the UK residential market so there’s a good chance you’ll be covered. According to Energy UK, about six million consumers switched with the Energy Switch Guarantee last year.
Which suppliers have signed up for the Energy Switch Guarantee?
The Big Six energy providers in the UK have all signed up to the scheme, as have a number of well-known and trusted smaller suppliers. Here’s a complete list, correct at the time of writing as there are new suppliers joining the scheme all the time.
- British Gas
- Scottish Power
- EDF Energy
- Igloo Energy
- Pure Planet
- Octopus Energy
- So Energy
- Shell Energy
- ESB Energy
- Outfox the Market
Frequently asked questions
Can I get compensation if the switch goes wrong?
You are eligible for compensation in certain circumstances, such as if you are switched within requesting it, if a supplier is late refunding any credit you have on your account or if your switch does not complete within 15 working days.
Do I have to tell my old energy supplier I’m leaving?
No, under the Energy Switch Guarantee, your new provider is responsible for contacting your old supplier.
Can I switch dual fuel tariffs under the Energy Switch Guarantee?
Yes, it doesn’t matter what type of tariff you choose as long as the supplier is signed up to the scheme.
Is Ofgem the energy ombudsman?
No, Ofgem is the regulatory body for the energy industry. Ombudsman Services is the energy ombudsman. It mediates disputes between consumers and energy suppliers.
Can I switch if I owe my old energy supplier money?
If you’ve been in debt for less than 28 days then there shouldn’t be a problem, you’ll just need to pay off everything you owe when you receive your final bill. If you’ve been in debt for longer than 28 days then your supplier can stop you switching until you’ve paid off your debt. If you have a prepayment meter, you can still switch as long as you owe less than £500 for gas and £500 for electricity – your new supplier will take on the debt and you’ll continue to pay it off as you had been doing.