Frequently asked questions
Is it easy to change gas, electricity or dual-fuel with Swap Your Energy?
Swap You Energy can help you find the best energy prices in your area — just follow these simple steps to compare gas and electricity:
What is Swap Your Energy?
Exactly what it says! It is a free, independent price comparison service that helps consumers compare domestic and business gas and compare electricity prices and switch energy supplier to save money.
Will my gas or electricity supply get cut-off during switching?
No. You’ll still be receiving your energy through the same pipes and cables so there won’t be any an interruption to your electricity or gas supply, or any need to dig up the road. Only the company that provides your gas bills or electricity bills will change. Or, if you compare gas and electricity, your dual fuel bills will change.
How do I compare gas and compare electricity prices?
Start by entering your postcode on our site and follow the instructions on-screen to compare energy prices, or just gas or electricity. We’ll provide you with a list of suppliers and how much you could save.
But I just want to compare cheap electricity prices or cheap gas prices.
There’s no one cheap provider for everyone. We will help you find the best energy deals in your area, but we need your basic information to provide an accurate energy comparison.
What happens once I’ve switched energy?
Swap Your Energy is a free service that handles the switching process for you. Once you’ve completed your energy switch, your new energy supplier will contact your old supplier and agree a switching date. You will then receive a welcome pack and letter from your new gas & electricity supplier. This will outline what you’ve agreed to, and tell you what happens next. There won’t be any interruption in your gas and electricity supply.
What do I need to get started?
Your postcode and your latest gas and electricity bill. Having your latest energy bill will help you give us accurate information about your gas and electricity usage.
Don’t worry if you don’t have one handy though – we can work out your gas and electricity usage by asking a few extra questions.
How does Swap Your Energy make money?
Swap Your Energy has commercial arrangements in place with some suppliers across all our services, including energy. We charge suppliers a fee when we switch customers to them, which means we can provide consumers with a free service.
Will electricity prices rise in 2018?
It is very likely that some of the energy providers will raise their prices in 2018. Electricity prices did rise in 2017 and there is little to suggest that this trend won’t continue into 2018. Comparing gas and electricity prices is always a good idea to make sure you’re on the best possible deal.
Energy regulator Ofgem says they are working to help create conditions that make the market more competitive, and therefore encourage suppliers to lower their prices, but often loyalty doesn’t pay with most energy suppliers, so it’s a good idea to switch energy.
Where are my electricity meters?
Depending on the design of your home, your electricity meter could be in a few different places. For some houses, the electricity meter might be found in a cupboard under the stairs or in a compartment in a laundry room, for example. In some cases it will be found on the side or back of the house, outside.
If you live in an apartment building, then the electricity meter might be found down the hallway inside your building, in its own locked cupboard. The location of an electricity meter varies from home to home, but if you do a little searching around, you will find it.
If you are trying to get a reading of your electricity meter, then use our guide to help you understand the different kinds of meters and how to read them.
How do I take an electricity meter reading?
Taking an electricity meter reading will vary depending on what kind of meter you have at home, as each one displays the information differently. There are five main types of electric meters:
- Economy 7
For a standard electricity meter (the most common), simply take a reading of the five black numbers from left to right – and if, present, ignore reading any of the red numbers. A basic electric meter reading can be displayed on a standard, digital or dial.
Special tariffs such as Economy 7, and prepayment electricity meters are a little more complicated to read. Read our guide to taking electricity readings for information on all the other types of meters.
Why is my electricity expensive?
Your electricity could be expensive for a number of reasons. First of all, it would be a good idea to look at what appliances you are using and seeing if they can be switched off when not in use or if they can be used more efficiently.
Simple things like switching your light bulbs to energy saving bulbs can save you money in the long term. Getting a smart meter can also help you more accurately read how much electricity you are using in your home. It’s also a good idea to compare energy prices to see if you can switch to a cheaper deal.
Why is my electricity bill so high?
Your electricity bill could be high for a number of reasons:
- It’s based on an estimated reading of your meter
Check that your bill is based on actual readings of your electricity meter rather than estimated ones. It’s important to take your own readings so that you get charged accurately. If you don’t know how take your own meter readings, read our guide.
- Your fixed price plan ended
A fixed price plan protects against price rises. These plans do end though, and when they do you get automatically rolled on to a new plan with different rates, which is usually much more expensive. Sometimes this new plan is another fixed rate deal, but that doesn’t mean you’re locked into it and you are free to switch to a new cheaper deal.
- You’re using more energy
It could be that you’re simply using more energy at home. Consider getting a smart meter to monitor your energy usage better. You can see how your daily behaviour influences your energy costs, and figure out a way to reduce your energy usage through lifestyle changes.
If you’re concerned about the cost of your electricity, continue reading more in our guide to reducing your household energy bills.
Will gas prices go up in 2018?
Price rises are often blamed on rising wholesale costs, so the first place to look when predicting a gas price rise in 2018 will be the wholesale gas market. If wholesale gas prices are tracking up, it is likely that suppliers will need to raise their own prices to account for this change.
However, gas price rises will only impact you if you are on a variable rate tariff. You can protect yourself now by switching to a fixed rate energy plan.
Are electricity prices regulated?
The market for gas and electricity in the UK is regulated by Ofgem, but the prices are not regulated.
Since 1996, when the energy market was opened up to competition, UK consumers have been able to switch energy suppliers to find a cheaper gas and electricity deal. Previously, Ofgem did set a maximum price for energy; but now Ofgem only regulates the market as a whole — that means creating a regulating schemes to support vulnerable households and more.
Overall, Ofgem states that its intention is to regulate the market in a way that increases competition and encourages more engagement from consumers, therefore causing prices to come down naturally.