When Should I Switch My Energy Deal?
Timing and Tariffs
Generally speaking, you should make a habit of looking into switching energy supplier every year-18 months or so. Basically, you should look into switching whenever you come to the end of whichever fixed rate tariff you are on. (If you are on a fixed tariff.) The timing for your switch should coincide with the end of your current deal. This is because if you come off the fixed deal without signing up to a new one, you will probably be rolled straight onto the supplier’s standard variable tariff. This is usually more expensive – often the most expensive rate that the supplier offers.
Taking some time to know when your current plan ends, and keeping your eye on the calender, is the best way to ensure that you do not pay more for your energy than you have to pay. Make sure you know when the deal you are on ends, and get ready for timing your switch perfectly so you don’t pay even a penny more than you have to.
Best Time in a Contract To Switch Energy Supplier
If you are currently in a contract, the best time to switch to a new supplier is when you don’t have to pay any early exit fees. It can take more time to switch between some suppliers than it does between others. The process can take up to a month to complete (though, with the Energy Switch Guarantee, should take no longer than 21 days). If you are not careful, you could accidentally find yourself paying for a few days or weeks worth of energy on standard variable tariff fees.
You are entitled to switch to a new deal or a new supplier for your energy from 49 days before the end of your tariff. You should not have to pay exit fees for switches within that window of time.
The Best Time of Year to Switch Energy Supplier
While the most important thing is the timing with regard to tariff, if you are on a fixed deal, you may also like to consider which time of year is best to switch. When it comes to the time of year, the best time to switch (for optimal savings) is in around October, before the coldest weather of the year arrives.
During the winter months, you will almost certainly be using more electricity (and gas) that you do in the warmer seasons, as the lights come on earlier, and your home’s heating requirements rise. If you have gas central heating, this will generally come on some time during the autumn, as the cold weather arrives and things get much chillier. So whether you are on a single or dual fuel deal, switching before the winter should help you spend less on your energy at a time when you will likely be using more.
Switching Energy Supplier Before Prices Go Up
Another way to decide when to switch is to keep an eye on the Ofgem price cap, and other market forces. It used to be more difficult to predict when prices would be hiked. But there is now a lot more warning because of the Ofgem price cap. When the price cap goes up, suppliers will put their prices up and this can hit customers on standard variable tariffs hard.
Since a rise to the price cap will be announced a couple of months before it comes into effect, you should have time to act – and switch accordingly. If you really want to stay in charge and on the ball, keep an eye on what industry experts are predicting about energy prices before deciding when to switch.
Switching Due to Life Events
Timing a switch may also involve big events that have happened in your life. A house move, family members moving out, or other big life changes might dictate the best time to switch. For example, if you move to a new area, your current supplier may no longer offer the best deal. If your children have left for university, perhaps your energy needs will be much lower, and it could be the perfect time to switch and save. Money Pug aims to make it easier to get the best deals, no matter what your life circumstances may be.
When Not To Switch
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