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Changing Gas and Electric When Moving House

Adele MacGregor

Written by Reviewed by Jonathan Rolande

7th Nov 2022 (Last updated on 14th Mar 2024) 8 minute read

Moving house involves a lot of planning to ensure you are set up in your new home as soon as possible. One of the most important elements of this is ensuring gas and electric is set up properly at your new home.

You have a few options when moving. You can stay with supplier at your current home and move the contract to you new property. Another option is to stay with the company already supplying the home you are moving into. Or, you may want a different supplier altogether. It is important to always compare gas and electric prices in the UK.

Although you can change suppliers at any time, whether you should is another matter. It can be costly and potentially time-consuming. In light of the current energy crisis, it may also be ill-advised. As a result, it is vital that you do your research and get a few gas and electric quotes so you can find the best solution for you.

Below we look at the process of moving suppliers when you move house, including cost, time frame and best practice.

  1. What to Do Before Moving?
  2. Switching to a New Supplier
  3. What If You’re Staying with the Same Supplier?
  4. Leaving Energy Supplier Fees
  5. Can Exit Fees Be Avoided?
  6. How to Find the Energy Supplier for My New Home?
  7. What If the New Property Has a Smart Meter?
  8. What If the New Property Has a Prepayment Meter?
  9. New Property Not Connected to the Mains?
  10. Changing Energy Suppliers If Renting
  11. Changing Energy Suppliers If Buying a New Build
  12. How Long Does It Take to Switch Energy Suppliers?

What to Do Before Moving?

Before you move house, you will need to decide to stay with your current supplier or if you are switching. . If you are renting with utilities included, you may not have a choice over who supplies energy to the home.

If you are buying a home, you may want to keep your current electric and gas company or use the company already supplying the home.

The process, whether you are switching or staying with your current provider, starts before you move. Make sure you factor this in to your moving house timeline.

In the lead up to your move, make sure you contact your current supplier. Citizen’s Advice recommends you should give at least 48 hours notice. You will need to let them know if you are planning to stay with them or if you are moving to another supplier.

You will need to supply:

  • Your new address
  • Date of the move
  • Provide meter readings at your current property

TIP: Take pictures of the meter reading as evidence of the exact usage and date the readings was taken.

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Switching to a New Supplier

If you decide to switch suppliers, you will need to contact your chosen provider. It will be useful to have the following information to hand:

  • Your new postcode
  • The date you will move into the home
  • The name of your current supplier
  • The name or a reference of your current energy tariff.
  • Your annual energy usage or costs

Gas and electric tariffs are the rates you will pay for the energy you will be using. It will be on a daily fee called a standard charge which you will pay no matter how much energy you use.

You can find the details of your tariff, supplier and usage information on a recent energy bill.

Next you will need confirm your contract with the new supplier and arrange a payment method. Usually, paying via Direct Debit can save money. It is often preferred by many energy suppliers and customers alike.

Finally, your new supplier will contact you with your switching date.

TIP: It’s important to weigh up the costs of staying with your current energy provider versus a new contract with a different company.

What If You’re Staying with the Same Supplier?

If you are staying with the same supplier, you can take your contract with you when your change addresses and will not be charged exit fees. You will need to let them know ahead of the move.

You will also need to inform the company already supplying the home. This should be done as soon as possible to avoid paying for any energy you didn’t use. Provide the company with meter readings from the new home on the day you move in. This ensures your first bill is accurate.

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Leaving Energy Supplier Fees

Many, if not most, energy suppliers will have “exit fees” if you leave your contract early.

Customers on fixed energy plans are committed to a set amount of time with a supplier. If you break this contract, they may charge you for doing so.

These fees will vary depending on your contract and supplier but can cost on average £30 per service. If you have gas and electricity with the same supplier, this could be double to cover both fuel sources.

But, an article from June 2022 on Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert website warned that the energy crisis has impacted exit fees. They report that some exit fees have risen dramatically compared to previous years. With this in mind, it is always best to enquire about the cost of leaving your supplier before making the switch.

Can Exit Fees Be Avoided?

As stated on the Ofgem website, if you apply to leave your old supplier within 49 days of the end of your contract, they are banned from charging exit fees.

Additionally, there are some supplier which will cover your exit fees for you if you switch to them. Be aware that this may be less common in light of the energy crisis.

If you are moving house, you can set up your new home with your current supplier, avoiding these fees. But, if want to change suppliers or are moving to a rental property and cannot choose the supplier, you may be faced with paying the exit fee.

How to Find the Energy Supplier for My New Home?

What to know your gas and electricity prices? You can find out who your supplier is by using the Find My Supplier service. This enables you to find out who your Gas Supplier is, your Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) and Gas Transporter. You will not find your MPRN on your gas and electricity meters.

You can use this if you are the occupier or about to occupy a property. An agent who has been given the expressed permission to act on an owner’s behalf can also access this service.

If you are moving into a rental property, you can contact either the estate agent or the landlord to ask who the energy provider is. It may even say who the supplier is in your rental agreement.

If you're a homeowner, the details of the energy supplier can be found in the paperwork received the conveyancing process.

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What If the New Property Has a Smart Meter?

If your new home has a smart meter, you’ll need to check if it is in “smart mode”. If it is not, it will work like a regular meter and you will need to take meter readings regularly (usually monthly) to send to your new supplier.

What If the New Property Has a Prepayment Meter?

There are extra steps to keep in mind if you have a pre-payment meter in your new home. You will need to contact the current supplier as soon as you move in.

Make sure you do this before putting any money on the meter or using the key/card. If you do so, you could risk paying for any debts owed by previous owners or tenants.

When you contact the supplier you will need to ensure any debts are taken off and that you are given a new prepayment key or card. You may also want to ask them to send you any information about how the meter works.

New Property Not Connected to the Mains?

If your new home is not connected to gas or electricity, you will need to get it connected to the mains. You can do this by contacting your local gas network operator and electricity distributor.

Be aware that you will need to pay to have this done. The cost will depend on how work it takes to reconnect you and how long it takes. For example, if they need to access nearby properties or roads.

If you are struggling with costs, you may be able to get connected to the gas network for a lower price, or for free. This is part of the Fuel Poor Network Extension Scheme (FPNES). To find out if you are eligible you will need to contact your gas network operator.

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Changing Energy Suppliers If Renting

If you pay the utility bills directly for your rented accommodation, you have the right to switch if you want to. That said, you should check your tenancy agreement to see if the landlord as a “preferred” supplier. If you are switching from this provider, you should contact your landlord to make them aware.

Be aware that if your utilities are included in your rent, you may not have a say in what energy supplier the home is supplied by. This will be down to the landlord and at their discretion.

Changing Energy Suppliers If Buying a New Build

Building developers will often appoint gas and electricity suppliers during the house-building process. New builds will often have smart meters installed. When it comes to you moving in, you can either choose to keep the same supplier or switch.

How Long Does It Take to Switch Energy Suppliers?

The length of time it takes to switch energy suppliers will depend on the company but on average it can take around 21 days.

According to Citizens Advice, there will be a 14 day “cooling off” period after you agree a contract with a new supplier. During this time you can cancel the switch without paying a fee. After this period is up, you will be switched to your new supplier within 5 working days.

If you want to speed up the process, you can make an “express request” to the supplier.

Adele MacGregor

Having worked at Compare My Move for over five years, Adele specialises in covering a range of surveying topics.

Jonathan Rolande

Reviewed by Jonathan Rolande

Founder and Director, NAPB and House Buy Fast

Forming the National Association of Property Buyers in 2013, Jonathan Rolande is also the Director of House Buy Fast.