More than 660,000 people in the UK switched energy suppliers in April, the highest number ever recorded.
The number of people switching last month was up 34% compared to March, according to Energy UK, the trade association for the energy industry, with eight in 10 people claiming that they were happy with the switching process.
Over 2m electricity switches have been made so far in 2019, up 18% on the same point last year, with many people choosing to switch following an increase in the energy price cap in April. The energy price cap was introduced in January this year with the aim of preventing customers on poor value tariffs from paying too much for their energy.
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“It is very positive to see that record numbers of customers continue to move to a new supplier in search of a better deal, and we must remember Ofgem’s figures also show many more each month move to a better deal with their current supplier,” said Lawrence Slade, Energy UK’s chief executive.
“I would encourage everyone to get in touch with their supplier, or have a look online, to see if there is a better deal for them, whether that is on price or the type of tariff you are looking for.”
Before you switch
If you’re considering moving energy suppliers, first check whether there are any penalties imposed by your existing supplier to leave your current deal. If there are, you may be better off staying put until these penalties no longer apply.
When looking for a new energy deal, make sure you compare plenty of different tariffs so you can be certain you’ve found the best one possible. There are plenty of comparison sites which can help you do this, but make sure you choose one which is Ofgem-accredited.
This means the site complies with a code of practice, called the Confidence Code, and the options shown to consumers have been calculated fairly in an unbiased way.
Online dual fuel deals, where you get both your gas and electricity from the same supplier, tend to be the cheapest deals, and you may also be able to make significant savings by opting for a collective switch. This involves clubbing together with other energy users to negotiate a group deal.
Check for the Energy Switch Guarantee
Always check whether any provider you’re thinking of switching to has signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee. This can provide valuable peace of mind that your switch must be made within 21 days, and that you won’t be without electricity or gas at any point. If there is a problem, the energy provider must agree to sort things out quickly an efficiently.
Earlier this month, Ofgem, the energy regulator, introduced new rules that require suppliers to pay a minimum £30 in compensation if a customer’s credit balance is not paid to them within 10 working days of a final bill being issued. They must pay another £30 if the compensation isn’t paid within 10 days from the date the money is owed.