Should I switch energy suppliers?

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We know a fair price is what people want most from their energy supplier but there’s more to consider. Whether you’re already an Octopus customer, are thinking of switching to us or are simply exploring your options, we’ve put together a helpful guide on what to check when choosing your energy supplier.

Choosing an energy supplier

We give customers fairly-priced green energy with outrageously good service, so we hope we’re a great choice. When you’re picking a supplier, ask yourself these questions:

Is their customer service up to scratch?

TrustPilot reviews can reveal how well your new supplier lives up to its promises. Looking out for our customers has helped us become the UK’s most awarded energy supplier, having been awarded Which? Recommended Provider for 7 years running, and counting. Read about what makes us the UK’s most trusted and recommended supplier.

Do they support green energy?

We’re leading the UK to a sustainable energy system by investing billions in wind and solar farms, and bringing you green tech like EVs and heat pumps affordably.

Can they help me reduce my energy costs?

Choosing smart tariffs and green tech can slash your carbon footprint and save money on your energy bills at the same time. Our customers can get the latest smart green tech together with our leading smart tariffs for savvy savers, EV drivers, and heat pump or solar homes to save hundreds on their bills.

Do they offer rewards?

Yes, you read it right. Will you get any incentives or rewards for being a customer? We’re famous for our game-changing rewards programme, Octoplus, which rewards smart meter customers for making the grid greener with Saving Sessions, gives free leccy when the grid is at its greenest plus loads more chances to win fantastic prizes.

What to check before you switch

Before switching take the time to understand your current energy deal and ask yourself:

Is my new quote personalised to my home’s energy use?

If you’ve already got a cheaper quote from a new supplier, the chances are it’s based on your estimated use and not actual use. Estimates are given based on national averages for your type of household, so your quote won’t necessarily be accurate and could leave you with a nasty bill shock when you get your first bill from your new supplier.

Your current energy supplier will be able to give you your real energy use figures, so you can make sure any new quote is really accurate.

How to compare energy charges for the most accurate quote

Monthly payments aren’t the best way to compare prices - use your unit rate and standing charges to make sure any new deals actually stack up.

First step: find how much energy you use:

Your estimated annual electricity consumption

Your estimated annual gas consumption

You’ll find the information you need on your energy bill. If you're an Octopus customer, you'll find this on page two of your bill. Check out our handy annotated statement guide if you’re not sure. Or you can email us and we’ll be happy to help you.

Estimated usage on energy bill

Use these figures to get a quote on your new suppliers’ tariff to make sure your monthly price is lower than what it costs with your existing supplier. Again, it’s better if these figures are based on your actual usage and not estimated.

Second step: find your current energy charges:


Unit rate:

Night unit rate:

Standing charge:


Unit rate:

Standing charge:

Unit rate and standing charge on energy bill

Use these to compare the charges from your new supplier. Whoever is offering a lower unit price and standing charge are cheaper!

If your bills are estimated, you’ll want to submit an up-to-date meter reading to your existing supplier to generate an accurate bill to help get your account in order before a switch.

Future tip: If you don’t want the hassle of submitting regular readings, consider getting a smart meter when the time is right - they’ll give you super accurate bills and, with Octopus, you’ll get access to cost-busting energy insights in our app.

Is my current payment higher because I’m paying off debt?

Your existing supplier may be taking any debt into account when working out your monthly payments. So, if you’re comparing your current bill to a quote from a new supplier, it’s unlikely to be a true comparison because the new quote won’t include any debt but your current bill will.

Have I built up a lot of credit on my account?

If you have, and you pay by Direct Debit, this could be a sign that you’re paying a bit too much and could afford to reduce your payments or get a refund. We’ll always make recommendations to make sure you can cover the cost of the energy you use and get to a healthy balance. With us you’re always in control of your payments, and can change them or get a refund online without needing to contact us.

Our Balance Forecast tool maps out your energy balance over the next year, so you can see the impact of raising or lowering your Direct Debit. You can use it to test out different payment amounts, decide on one you're comfortable with, and clearly see what your balance should look like in a year's time.

Will I be charged exit fees to leave?

If you're on a fixed tariff, check the length of your contract and whether you would have to pay to leave before it ends. Exit fees vary from tariff to tariff but can be around £150, that’s £75 per fuel on a one year tariff. If you do have to pay exit fees, it could make a big difference against any potential savings of a cheaper deal, so make sure you check before switching.

Remember that your supplier can't charge exit fees if you switch in the last 49 days of your fixed tariff.

Ready to switch?

Now you’ve worked through these helpful questions, you’re ready to switch - great! Here's how you can switch to Octopus in minutes.

Published on 21st June 2024 by:

image of Pete Miller

Pete Miller

Head of Customer Experience

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!