When it comes to choice, individuals on prepayment meters have it tougher than those on conventional billed meters. So, if at all feasible, use one of them. You may have to pay, but the savings are typically well worth it - at least in normal circumstances.

However, owing to credit or income issues, companies frequently refuse to allow you. See the whole Cheap prepaid gas & elec guide for more information on how to switch from a prepayment meter to a billed meter, or if you can't, how to save on prepay.

Want renewable energy?

There are 'green' tariffs available

There are several 'green' tariffs available if you wish to help the environment. Typically, just power is 'green'. A few suppliers have begun to supply renewable gas, although it is uncommon. See our Cheap green energy guide for more information on renewable energy.

Don't want to switch supplier?

Check your current provider's cheapest tariff

With energy costs at all-time highs, moving suppliers or merely changing tariffs with your present provider is unlikely to save you money right now. However, with costs scheduled to climb dramatically again in October, certain existing-customer-only discounts may be worth considering. Should I repair my energy bill? Guide for tips on how to check and a list of the bargains we know about that are worth considering.

However, carriers do not always disclose these special existing-customer discounts with comparison sites, so if you're unsure, check what you're given, then perform a comprehensive market comparison to ensure you're getting a decent bargain.

How do I switch without changing provider?

You can contact your company, utilize its web chat facility, or check your online account to determine whether you are eligible.

You may also use our Cheap Energy Club's My Current Supplier filter to view all of your supplier's offerings and discover the EXACT lowest one for you - albeit, due to the energy market crisis, suppliers aren't always sharing them with us right now.

Most suppliers will also eliminate exit costs for migrating across tariffs (though some do still charge them, so do check).

On a fix?

You can switch again penalty-free in the last 49 days of your deal

To safeguard individuals on fixed-rate contracts, Ofgem regulations prohibit providers from charging departure costs in the last seven weeks of fixed-term contracts.

So, if you're towards the end of a contract, you won't have to pay a charge to quit it and transfer to a new tariff if you switch inside the last 49 days of your existing plan.

Renters can switch too

If you rent your house, you can save money by switching if you pay your energy provider directly (rather than paying your landlord). You don't have to own the property to do so, so don't use the prior tenant's gas or Electricity Company. Tenants can print our leaflet and deliver it to their landlords. It discusses tenants' rights to transfer energy suppliers. It also demonstrates to landlords that allowing tenants to switch would not cause them any issues.

Even if your lease agreement prohibits switching, Ofgem's guidelines notes that if you pay your energy bill directly, you have the right to change suppliers at any time.

If you don't have the previous occupant's bills, you may still compare on Cheap Energy Club by selecting "don't know" when entering your consumption. Some tariffs mandate the installation of smart meters. If this is the case, you should first consult with your landlord and obtain formal authorization. If you pay your landlord for energy, only they can switch, but it's still worth talking to them to see if they'll move to a cheaper supplier - after all, they'll save money on their energy bills as well.

You may be able to switch from a prepay to a normal meter

If you have a prepaid meter and are renting, you can still change your energy supplier as long as you pay the business directly. However, if you wish to switch from a prepay to a regular credit meter, you need seek written permission from your landlord first, as this may be interpreted as modifying the property from its original state. More information may be found in our Cheap Prepaid Gas & Electricity guide.

Check if you're owed a refund

If you move energy companies and are in credit, you are entitled to the cash back. Your prior supplier should have paid this automatically after your final payment, but for years many energy companies kept the money.

In 2014, energy regulator Ofgem reported that a former provider owed about three million clients a refund. Ofgem challenged suppliers, saying it "expects suppliers to do more" to restore payments when customers migrate to competitors. While things have improved since then, it's worth checking to see whether you're due anything from previous vendors.

Furthermore, for changes made after May 1, 2019, your credit must be reimbursed within 10 days of receiving your final statement, or you may be due further compensation.

How do I get my credit refunded?

This is simple. Basically, if you believe you're due money, contact your previous provider and request a refund. The provider will either walk you through the procedure over the phone or instruct you to write in. Every major provider claims that previous clients may complete the process over the phone. There may be times when you must write, such as when you have provided your name, address, and other information but the provider is unable to locate your previous account. Proof of identification, such as a copy of a passport or driving license, may be required here.

You should receive the whole overcharged amount after going through the procedure of writing or contacting. The time required varies depending on the source. It should arrive in eight weeks, but some people have had to wait months. Refunds will be sent by check or deposited directly into your bank account.

What will I get automatic compensation for?

For any switches initiated on or after May 1, 2019, all energy providers must give automatic compensation in the form of a late credit return.

If your prior provider does not repay your outstanding credit within 10 working days of receiving your final bill, you will get £30 in automatic compensation. Furthermore, from 1 May 2020, providers must now send you your final charge within six weeks of your departure.

If it fails to do so, it will be required to pay an additional £30 within 10 working days.

How will I get the compensation?

The mode of payment is up to the supplier, according to Ofgem. If it has your information, it may be a bank transfer or a credit card refund, or it could mail you a cheque.

It can also add credit to your prepayment meter, which you can use with that supplier and any others you may switch to.

How do I contact my energy supplier?

Check your account for contact information, but for your convenience, we've gathered a list of phone numbers for all energy suppliers.

Many people are irritated when they are placed on wait for an extended period of time, so avoid phoning during peak hours. Mondays, lunchtimes, month ends and beginnings, 8.30am-9am weekdays, and when people arrive home from work are typical.

What if they still don't play ball?

If your supplier fails to address your refund request within eight weeks of your first request, you can file a complaint with the free, independent Energy Ombudsman.

If the ombudsman accepts to consider your complaint, you will receive a response within six to eight weeks. If it finds in your favor, it will give you (and your provider) a letter outlining what the provider must do. If the supplier is required to issue a refund, it has 28 days to do so.

I can't remember who my old supplier was, how do I check?

By searching the UK database, your current supplier might be able to tell you who your previous provider was.

If not, you may need to do some digging - try if you can uncover any old bank statements or check your credit record. If you were renting, inquire if any former flat mates or maybe an old landlord recall the provider.

What happens if my energy company goes bust?

Over the previous year, more than 20 energy companies have gone bankrupt, affecting millions of homes. First and foremost, don't worry; you'll never lose your energy supply, and whatever credit you owe will be reimbursed. The main danger is that if your supplier goes bankrupt, you'll lose your existing bargain and wind up paying extra.

When a provider fails, a new one is assigned to take over under Ofgem's safety net regulations, and once it does, you'll normally be switched to its standard tariff, which follows Ofgem's energy price cap. However, after your new account is set up, you may move away without incurring any costs, so make sure you perform a comparison to see if there is anything cheaper once this is done. If your account is in credit when your provider fails, the new supplier will either pay you or credit it to your new account to pay for future energy usage once it takes over your supply.

Use less energy to save on your bills

Most people cannot save money by switching right now, but consuming less may truly pay off and is simple to do. Switch down the temperature and wear sweaters, turn off lights when you leave a room, defrost the fridge and make sure it's not set too high, use energy-saving light bulbs, and don't leave electrical appliances on standby. For additional information, check out our top Energy Saving Tips or the MSE Forum's Energy Saving Hunt.

Some suppliers run credit checks

Some companies run a credit check when you request to switch since invoices are projected when you pay by direct debit, and if they under-assess you, you might owe them money, so they want to verify you're good for it. There are two kinds of credit checks.

A gentle quest.

This is the greatest form since you can see it on your file but lenders cannot, thus it has no effect on your capacity to get future credit products (like mortgages). A difficult search. This DOES leave a note on credit files that lenders can access, and it may have a modest negative influence on future loan applications. This isn't normally a major concern, but if you're expecting to apply for a mortgage in the next few months, you might want to avoid it.

If you fail the credit check, suppliers may want a security deposit or recommend a prepayment meter in order to take on your supply. However, you may disable the switch if this occurs.

If you're concerned about your credit score, our Credit Scores guide can help.

Which suppliers run credit checks?

Most people cannot save money by switching right now, but consuming less may truly pay off and is simple to do. Switch down the temperature and wear sweaters, turn off lights when you leave a room, defrost the fridge and make sure it's not set too high, use energy-saving light bulbs, and don't leave electrical appliances on standby. For additional information, check out our top Energy Saving Tips or the MSE Forum's Energy Saving Hunt.

Energy supplier credit checks

British Gas Hard check
Bulb Hard check
EDF No check
E.on Hard check
Scottish Power Hard check
SSE Hard check
Shell Energy Hard check
Octopus Energy Hard check
Ovo Energy Hard check
Last updated: January 2021.

Do a meter reading every time you get a bill

Don't depend on your energy provider's estimate; these are frequently inaccurate. If they are under billing, you will be charged a large sum when your provider receives your real meter reading. If they're overbilling, they've taken advantage of you.

If your direct debit is out of whack, contact and request an adjustment. You have several options to confirm that it is correct. Template letters may be found in the entire Energy direct debits guide.

Smart meters can assist to prevent this by automatically sending meter readings to your supplier, so you only pay for what you use. More information may be found in the Smart Meters handbook.

How to complain about your energy provider

The energy sector isn't recognized for its excellent customer service, and although one supplier may be ideal for some, it may be hell for others. Common concerns include inaccurate invoices, switching troubles, excessive direct debits, refund delays, and more.

It's usually good contacting your provider first, but if that fails, you may use the free complaints service Resolver. The tool assists you in managing your complaint, and if the firm refuses to cooperate, it also assists you in escalating your complaint to the free Energy Ombudsman.

Contact Us


It is worthwhile to conduct an audit of your company's energy use to determine where and how much energy is being wasted. You may put measures in place to increase your company's energy efficiency and save costs once you've determined where energy is being wasted. Check your company energy tariff one last time. You might not be on the best rate if you've been using the same supplier for a time. It can be wise to compare commercial energy providers right away and switch to a more affordable offer.