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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Quick guide: Switching energy supplier
Electricity meter
Do not forget to give a meter reading when switching supplier

How can I switch my energy supplier?

There are three simple steps you can take to switch energy supplier:

  • Contact your prospective new supplier and tell them you want to move.
  • Give your new supplier an idea of how much energy you use each month or quarter.
  • On the day of the switch call the supplier you are moving from and give them a meter reading so that they can produce a final bill.

How long should it take?

Under an industry protocol it should generally take about a month for your account to be switched.

However, some consumers have reported that it can take longer than a month.

The main delays seem to occur when getting a final accurate bill from the company that is losing the account.

How much can be saved through switching supplier?

Ofgem, the energy regulator, has estimated that customers switching supplier for the first time can save up to 100 on average.

How much is saved through subsequent switching depends on market conditions.

How many people have switched?

Ofgem says that about half of the UK's 20 million gas customers have switched suppliers at least once.

Britons are far more likely to up-sticks than their continental counterparts.

Fewer than one in 10 German and one in seven French consumers have moved supplier since 1998.

The UK has the most open energy market of all the major EU countries.

However, in recent years thousands of consumers have complained after being switched by salespeople without their permission.

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