Regularly comparing energy deals to help keep household costs to a minimum is a great habit to get into. Last year, over 6 million households switched energy suppliers to help save money, and this figure is only set to rise year on year. However, many customers are still reluctant to switch energy supplier in fear that they will be stung by early exit fees.
There is ongoing confusion surrounding penalties for switching suppliers before the contract end date is up. So, we decided to pull together a guide featuring everything you need to know about unwanted exit fees, as well as picking the best time to switch.
What happens when my energy contract ends?
If you know that your energy contract is about to come to an end, this is the perfect time to compare energy suppliers and make the switch. You can find out whether your contract is due to end by checking your gas and electricity bills.
Alternatively, reach out to your supplier directly. Once you have this information, you are ready to explore the energy market to find a new energy tariff. Sourcing a new energy deal and finding a new supplier is easy. Simply use a comparison tool to find out exactly what the market has to offer.
Can I switch energy suppliers without incurring a penalty fee?
Whether or not you can switch supplier without being charged with an early exit fee all depends on your provider and the details of your contract. Most energy suppliers charge £30 per fuel, so £60 for both gas and electricity.
The quickest way to find out the terms of your contract is to check your most recent energy bill. Here you should be able to find out your contract end date, together with any specific obligations relating to your supplier and contract.
Switching from a fixed rate deal without penalties
If your current energy contract is a fixed rate deal, these usually last for 12 months. When your contract reaches its end date, your energy supplier will automatically sign you up to their standard variable rate, which could be considerably more expensive.
The good news is that you won’t be tied into this deal and your energy provider is obligated to inform you that your contract is ending 49 days in advance. During this period, you will not be subjected to any early exit fees.
Switching from a standard variable rate to a cheaper deal
Standard variable tariffs tend to be the priciest energy tariffs on offer from energy providers, so, if you are on one, it’s well worth comparing energy deals to help reduce your energy bills.
Standard variable tariffs work by following the base rate put in place by the Bank of England. This means that when the base rate is low, the prices follow suit. Then again, when the base rate rises, prices for households increase, too.
This is the reason why fixed-rate energy tariffs are frequently lower than standard variable contracts for households. Fixed rate tariffs offer a fixed unit rate that doesn’t move, which in turn provides a greater level of certainty regarding the price you will be paying. With so many home energy contracts available to choose from, selecting the right contract can be tricky. To make things a little bit easier, we have a price comparison tool as well as expert energy advisors on hand to provide impartial advice.
No exit fee energy tariffs
Some smaller energy companies such as Octopus and Bulb offer fixed term tariffs without the burden of exit fees, allowing you to switch energy supplier without penalty.
These tariffs are offer-competitive with guaranteed prices and they do not impose exit fees on their customers – great news for savvy spenders that like to switch up their energy supplier regularly.
If you’re looking for the best value for money tariff, you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s super easy to compare domestic energy prices with Power Compare. We have access to all of the UK energy provider’s energy contracts, enabling you to snap up a great deal quickly and without any hassle!