When should you switch providers?

Energy prices are constantly changing, and whether you are with the main provider or a small independent, it is important to keep yourself in the know with what is going on in the energy market to make sure you are getting the best deal.  With new tariffs and flexible plans available for multiple living situations and scenarios, we are going to highlight when you should start looking to switch providers.


  • When prices increase: A perfect time to switch suppliers is when there is an influx in price. If you are on a fixed-rate plan, the hike will not affect you; however, if you are on a variable/Flexi plan then it is best to change providers so you do not pay the premium. Please note that if you are with a bigger supplier and a competitor has increased its prices recently, then yours will no doubt follow to stay in line with the competition. We recommend looking at other variable plans that are not increasing or switching to a fixed-rate plan. Before switching plans, make sure that you are not going to be charged any exit fees that would exceed the payment on the new plan you are looking to change to. You can check tariffs by looking on a price comparison website to find the best deals.


  • When you have not switched for a while: If you have been with the same supplier for twelve to eighteen months then it may be time to switch. Some providers only offer a discounted or lowered plan for the first year or so, and once that has elapsed they will put you on to a standard plan, meaning that you may have been overpaying for your energy. We recommend looking at a price comparison website to see which deals are out there and looking to change your plan every one to two years to make sure you are getting reduced rates and a better overall energy deal.


  • Before winter: It is a good idea to look at switching just before winter, purely because that is the only season that you will be paying the maximum on your energy bills. It is a good idea to compare plans right before winter, just to see if you will be able to save yourself some money in the long term. For example, you may want to switch from a variable plan to a fixed plan for winter, so you are paying a set rate rather than paying for the amount of energy you will be using, which will be considerably higher due to the time of year.


  • When your deal is about to expire: When your energy plan is about to expire, the company you are with will automatically transfer you over to a standard tariff, which will be considerably higher than what you were paying on the original plan. Every supplier will have to tell you an end date of the plan, so looking at a price comparison website beforehand will enable you to switch the moment you get the end date for your plan, and you can avoid the dreaded standard tariff!


So, in summary; use a price comparison website to get the best deal, and make sure you always stay in touch with your provider to find out about hikes in price as well as when your plan is about to end so you can make the best decision for you when switching suppliers.

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