How does the switching process work?

Many energy customers believe that switching their gas and electricity suppliers is a difficult and cumbersome process. We don’t blame them. There is lots of industry jargon, and with so many different plans and suppliers in the market, it can make the process feel daunting.

The good news is that Lumo has changed that, and has made the process extremely easy and hassle-free for it’s customers. Most importantly Lumo focuses on ensuring customers are switching on to the most suitable plan whether they’re looking for the cheapest plan, suppliers with excellent customer service, or a provider that focuses on green energy.

This guide will walk you through the very straight-forward process, and answer some typical questions customers might have using Lumo for the first time.


How do I get started?


All you need to get started is to have your postcode ready (this is really important as energy prices are predominantly affected by where you live), and provide some basic information about your energy usage so we can recommend the best plan for you to switch to. The more information you can give us the better, so we can give you the most accurate recommendation possible. Alternatively, you can simply upload your bill so we get all of your actual energy usage.

Enter your postcode or upload your bill to get started and we’ll recommend the most suitable plan for you.


What happens once I’ve chosen my new supplier and plan?


Once you’ve chosen, your new supplier will get in touch with you very shortly to tell you when they will be switching you. At this point they will do all the hard-work for you by getting in touch with your current supplier, notifying them, and ensuring the switch goes smoothly.

You can expect an email from your new supplier confirming the date you’ll officially switch, and most of the time encouraging you to set up an online account with them so that you can manage your forthcoming bills more easily.

On the official day of your switch, remember to take a meter reading and submit to your new supplier (they will remind you), which will be the closing reading for your existing supplier and your opening reading for your new supplier. At this point, your existing supplier will get in touch with you to settle any outstanding debts on your energy account.

As a precaution, cancel any previous direct debits with your existing supplier to ensure no further money is taken out of your account when you’ve moved to your new supplier.


How long does this whole process take?


The switching process for most people is generally very quick and should only take about 17 days. Ofgem have put a lot of pressure on suppliers to cut this time down to ensure the process is as easy as possible for customers.

In some cases it can take four to six weeks, and this is often experienced by customers who are switching to very small and independent suppliers. If your switch is taking longer than expected, you should get in contact with your new supplier and ask them how long it will take them, and when it will be resolved. If you don’t feel satisfied you should make an official complaint.


What if you change your mind?


In some cases, customers may want to change the mind. Not to worry – there is a 14 day “cooling-off” period where customers can cancel their switch. If you wish to do, read your article here on how to do this.


Will there be any interruption to my energy supply?


The switch should be completely seamless, and you will not experience any loss of supply during the process. When changing your energy supplier, no new pipes or cables are laid down – your energy will stay exactly the same, it’s just that you will have new rates, and it will be managed by a new company.


Can you still switch if you owe money to your current supplier?


If your energy account has been in debt for 28 days or less, then your existing supplier will send you a final bill that you will have to pay, and you can still switch. If you’re over those 28 days, then you’ll need to pay the balance before you can physically make the switch

If you’re on a prepayment tariff and you have less than £500 in debt you should still be able to switch. In these cases, the current debt on the account is simply transferred to your new supplier.

So what are you waiting for? Upload your latest energy bill or enter your postcode now, and see how much you could save by switching your energy supplier.