If you are on a variable energy tariff, you don’t need to worry about this issue, but fixed rate plans necessitate a proactive approach to sourcing your next deal, or you could find yourself being placed onto a far more expensive plan.
When do I need to switch?
Ofgem regulations state that your current energy supplier is responsible for sending you notice of the impending termination of your plan between 42 and 49 days before the cut-off date. This is to give you plenty of time to look into new and cost-effective plans before you default onto a pricier standard tariff. One thing to know is that you are free to switch to a new supplier, without incurring a fee, as soon as you have received your contract-end notification. This is true, even if your plan carries an early exit fee.
49 days might sound like a long time, but bear in mind that it can take up to three weeks to fully switch to a new supplier, so don’t leave it until the last minute, as you could be on a standard rate for a few days, which will quickly rack up extra costs. Also, don’t be blindsided by your current supplier notifying of their best rates, as it will only be THEIR offerings and a new supplier could still save you significant amounts of money. Always be sure to compare every supplier on the market.
What if there is nothing cheaper than my current rate?
Fixed rate tariffs are appealing as they are such good value for money, so even if nothing is quite as cheap as the plan you are currently on, you should still switch at the end of your term, as you will end up paying more anyway, when you revert to a standard variable rate. Even a reasonable standard rate will always be more expensive than the cheapest fixed rate offering open to you, so take the plunge!
Points to remember:
- Look into switching as soon as you get your tariff-ending notification.
- You are free to switch without exit fees once your termination notice has been received.
- It can take three weeks to switch to your new supplier.
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