How long will it take to switch?

Changing your energy provider can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have different suppliers for each source. If you are on this page you are probably in the process of looking to switch, or you are switching as we speak!

Congratulations and you do not need to worry, we are going to break down in this article how long it takes to switch providers, and what you should be expecting during that transition period.

Depending on what stage you are in your old plan, a transition can take anything between 1-3 months depending on what meter you have:

Analogue meter: An analogue meter is typically read every three months, and this is also reflected in how long it will take for you to switch over. For example, if the meter was last read in January and you made a switch in February, it would only take place after the final meter reading was taken in March, meaning you will still be paying your old provider. Please note this does not mean you will be making a double payment, as your new provider will be aware of this. Once you have made the final payment in March, your new provider will start billing you in April.

Smart meter: A smart meter is probably the most popular on the market as it is an innovative digital meter that sends a reading every 30 minutes to your provider, giving them an extremely accurate and timely result. Switching when you have a smart meter can be as quick as 14 days to 1 month, depending on what is in your contract with your previous provider.

During this transition period, it is important to reiterate that your new provider will not charge you, as they will be aware of the transition period. It should really be as simple as using a comparison website to get the best deal, calling up your old provider and informing them and then figuring out how long you will have to wait before transferring over. You should take the time at this stage in the process to ensure all your direct payments to your old supplier are canceled and you have your regular payments set up with the new supplier.

So, what can I expect during the transition period?

Well…nothing! You are probably sitting there worrying ‘what if the heating does not work’ or ‘what if the water suddenly becomes cold’ – you do not need to be concerned that there will be a cutoff point with your supplier. We like to compare it to giving notice in a job before starting a new one, your salary will not be suddenly cut leaving you in the lurch. You would be paid your notice before starting with a new company where your salary would be paid by a new employer. Think of your energy switch in the same way (minus the stress of an interview) and your switch should be easily manageable.

Author: Claire Stapley
Claire Stapley is's Energy Editor, based in Melbourne Australia. Claire is a founding member of News and Energy Team.