How Long Does It Take To Switch Energy Suppliers?

When you’re thinking about switching to a cheaper energy supplier, then you have a few different options – more than 100, to be precise. The good news is that the process is generally pretty seamless with all suppliers, and it won’t be long before you’ve switched over to your new deal. But just how long does it take to switching between different energy companies? Well, that’s what we’re going to be taking a quick look at.

How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?

The good news is that nowadays, you can usually switch over to another energy supplier within just three weeks from start to finish. Customer service and demand has meant that energy companies are under more pressure to provide the best experience, so a quick transfer is best for all parties involved.

This is because most of the big energy companies in the UK have signed up to something called the Energy Switch Guarantee, which is a completely voluntary service that the companies all agreed to. This includes;

  • British Gas
  • Bulb
  • EDF
  • E.ON
  • ESB Energy
  • Green Energy Network
  • Igloo Energy
  • M&S Energy
  • npower
  • Octopus Energy
  • Pure Planet
  • Scottish Power
  • Shell Energy
  • So Energy
  • SSE
  • Yorkshire Energy

These are the main suppliers that have signed up to the agreement as of 2021, which means that if you want to switch to a new energy supplier, you can do that within just a couple of weeks. But that doesn’t explain exactly what this promise entails and how the switching process goes, which I’ll get into a bit more now.

What is the Energy Switch Guarantee?

Whilst the name is pretty self explanatory, there’s a bit more to it than just a quick switch of suppliers. Essentially, all of the top companies have agreed to sign up to this, meaning that it’s super easy to switch over to their service, even if it’s from another large company. The whole point of this is for the benefit of the customer.

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  • Obviously, the most important factor of this guarantee is that you’ll be fully switched over to your new supplier within a 21 day period. This is perfect for those just moving into a new home, as you won’t need to be stuck with the previous energy company for long.
  • Not only is the time a factor here, but the process too. All you need to do is give your supplier some pretty basic details and they’ll do the entire switch for you, making this much easier and leaving you with little to worry about.
  • You won’t have to leave your previous supplier until the minute you switch over to your new one. This means no long days with no electricity or gas, as your old energy contract will run into your new one perfectly.
  • The company you’re switching too has signed up to an agreement to resolve any potential issues you may have as soon as possible. This means that if there is any random hurdles you come across, it should be solved in next to no time.
  • If there’s any remaining credit left on your old bill with your last supplier, then you’ll have the opportunity to get this credited onto your new account. This means that you won’t end up missing out on any cash you’ve already paid up.

Oh, and as well as all of this, if you do change your mind and want to go back to your previous energy supplier, you have two full weeks to go. Pretty simple, and it can only be a good thing for us as residential users, as we no longer need to worry about a long and arduous switching process that we may have had to endure in the past when we want to get a better energy tariff.


In conclusion, it’s much easier for you to switch energy providers now than it was just a decade ago. Thanks to newer companies putting pressure on the big ones (previously named the big six until E.ON acquired Npower), now it’s relatively straightforward and quick for you to switch over to your preferred supplier. In fact, if everything goes as it should, then you’ll likely be fully switched over within just 3 weeks.

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Jack Williams

Jack is the founder of Energy Sanity. He has been analyzing the energy industry for over a decade now. His data-driven analysis have helped thousands save money on electricity bills. Jack holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Energy Economics.