Our energy expert

When can you switch energy supplier without penalty

Switching from your supplier's standard variable rate tariff to a cheaper fixed rate energy deal is a quick and easy way to cut the cost of your gas and electricity bills, but to make the most of the best-priced energy deals out there, you need to regularly compare energy prices and switch.

What happens when my energy tariff ends?

When you switch to a fixed rate energy deal, you agree to pay a set amount for each unit of energy you use for the length of the deal - remember, it's only the unit rate that is fixed, so the more energy you use, the higher your bills will be.

Fixed rate deals usually last for 12 months, although some allow you to lock in your rates for longer, and when the contract reaches its end date, your supplier will automatically roll you onto its more expensive standard variable rate.

Although you won't be tied down to your supplier's variable rate deal, meaning you can switch at any time, to avoid overpaying for your energy, you should switch to a new deal before your current one expires.

The trouble is, many fixed rate deals come with an early exit fee, which is a penalty charge for backing out of your deal early.

These fees are usually charged per fuel, meaning that if you're on a dual fuel energy deal, you'll be charged two fees - one for gas and one for electricity - and the combined cost might add up to more than you'll save by switching, so always bear this in mind when comparing energy prices.

The good news is that not all fixed rate energy tariffs include this fee, and there is actually a way around paying it even on those deals that do.

How can I find out if my energy deal is ending?

The end date of a fixed rate energy contract probably isn't an anniversary you'll commit to memory, but there are a number simple ways to find out if your energy deal is ending.

The first is to check the table below, which shows all the energy deals ending this month - if your deal is on there, you can now switch with paying an exit fee.

Energy tariffs expiring this month

Below is a list of the energy tariffs for all energy suppliers due to expire this month:

Supplier Tariff Name Expiry Date
E.ON Fix Online Exclusive v24 28/01/2021 Compare Now >
E.ON Fix Online Exclusive v25 30/01/2021 Compare Now >
British Gas Energy Plus Protection Jan 2021v3 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Fix for Longer January 2021 Online 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Fix for Longer January 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Fix and Save January 2021 EH1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Extend Fix and Save January 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Extend Exclusive Fixed January 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Extend Fixed Saver January 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Fix and Save January 2021 FH1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Fix Your Energy January 2021 YH1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Fix Your Energy January 2021 YH1 Online 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Together Energy Together 25 October2020 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ESB Energy 2 Year Price Protect v3 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
OVO energy 2 Year Fixed Energy 18 December 2018 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
OVO energy 2 Year Fixed Energy (all online) 18 December 2018 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Shell Energy Fixed January 2021 V2 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Shell Energy Fixed January 2021 V3 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
EDF Energy Simply Online 1 Year Fix Jan21 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
EDF Energy Simply Online 1 Year Fix Jan21 v2 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
EDF Energy Simply Online 1 Year Fix Jan21v3 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
OVO energy Better Energy 4 December 2019 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Shell Energy Fixed January 2021 V4 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
EDF Energy Simply Online 1 Year Fix Jan21v4 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
OVO energy Better Energy 9 January 2020 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
So Energy So Zebra - Green 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
EDF Energy Simply Online 1 Year Fix Jan21v5 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Octopus Energy Octopus 12M Fixed April 2019 v1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
So Energy So Acorn - Green 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
isupplyenergy Discover Green 12 months Direct 12v2 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
OVO energy Better Energy 15 January 2020 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Powershop Fixed Term 12 Month 2019 Issue 10 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Octopus Energy Super Green Octopus 12M Fixed August 2019 v1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Octopus Energy Exclusive Octopus 12M Fixed June 2019 v1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ESB Energy Brighter Future 12 v4 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
EDF Energy Together Online 1 Year Fix Jan21 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
EDF Energy Together Online 1 Year Fix Apr21 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Shell Energy Fixed January 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Green Edison 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Green Faraday 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Help Beat Cancer Fixed Saver January 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Help Beat Cancer Fixed Saver January 2021 Online 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Help Beat Cancer Fix and Save January 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Help Beat Cancer Fix and Save January 2021 Online 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
E.ON Fix Online v34 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
British Gas Energy and Boiler Cover Jan 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
npower Exclusive Green Fix January 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
npower Price Fix January 2021 v2 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Tonik Energy 2 Year Greenest Fixed v2 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Green Network Energy GNE Family Green 18 Month Fixed V27 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Super Saver January 2021 B1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Avro Energy Simple and SuperSave 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
People's Energy People's Energy 2 Months Upfront Winter 19 Tariff v2 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Super Saver January 2021 B2 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Online Fix and Save January 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Online Fixed Saver January 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Green Network Energy GNE Family Green 12 Month Fixed V5 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
People's Energy People's Energy 2 Months Upfront 20 Tariff 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Co-operative Energy Co-op 12M Fixed November 2019 v1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Online Exclusive Fixed January 2021 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Saver January 2021 EM1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Saver January 2021 FM1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Online Exclusive Fixed January 2021 SM1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Saver Fixed January 2021 PM1 Online 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Saver Fixed January 2021 PM1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Online Exclusive Fixed January 2021 IM1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Online Exclusive Fixed January 2021 SM2 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Online Exclusive Fixed January 2021 OH1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Online Exclusive Fixed January 2021 OM1 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Saver Fixed January 2021 PM2 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
ScottishPower Saver Fixed January 2021 PM2 Online 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Avro Energy Simple and SuperPremium 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Outfox the Market fix'd 20 2.0 31/01/2021 Compare Now >
Outfox the Market fix'd 20x 1.0 31/01/2021 Compare Now >

How can I switch energy supplier without penalty?

The most obvious way around paying an early exit fee is to sign up to an energy deal that doesn't have one.

If your energy deal does come with a penalty fee for cutting your contract short, then you can avoid paying it by making sure you only switch once your deal has 49 days or fewer left to run. This is because rules from Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, mean that your supplier can't charge you any exit fees if you switch within 49 days of the end of your current tariff.

When is my energy deal ending?

You can find out if your energy tariff's end date by doing any one of the following:

  • Check your most recent energy bill - Whether you're billed online or through the post, all the information you need to switch supplier can be found on your latest bill, including the amount of energy you use, the name of the plan you're currently on and the date it's due to end.
  • Get in touch with your energy supplier - If you can't find a recent bill but you do know who supplies your energy, you can find out your contract's end date by getting in touch with your supplier and asking them. They should be able to give you the information you need based on your address and the security questions on your account.
  • Wait for your supplier to get in touch with you - Once your energy deal is nearing its expiry date, your supplier has to write and let you know. You should get a letter through the post between 42 and 49 days before your tariff ends, which will outline the exact end date - once this arrives, you can switch without having to pay any exit fee.

What should I do if my energy deal is ending?

Compare prices and switch, is the simple answer.

If your energy deal comes with an exit fee attached, you should start comparing prices as soon as it enters its last 49 days - although you can compare prices and switch online in minutes, the actual switching process can take up to 21 days, so it makes sense to arrange your transfer to a new supplier as soon as possible.

If your energy deal doesn't charge an early exit fee, it makes sense to compare prices every month, to see if you can get a cheaper deal elsewhere. Although this might sound like an unnecessary hassle, it only takes a few minutes to run an energy price comparison with The Energy Shop and, once you decide on a deal you like, we'll handle the whole switch for you.

What happens if I don't switch before my current energy deal ends?

If you don't switch before your current deal ends, your supplier will simply roll you onto its standard variable rate tariff - although this means you'll still have gas and electricity to power your property, it also means you'll be paying more than you need to for energy.

And while the government's energy price cap puts a maximum on the amount suppliers can charge on their standard variable rate deals, you can save a lot more money by switching to a better-priced fixed rate energy deal.

If you are rolled onto your supplier's standard variable rate tariff, you can switch away from this at any time, without being charged a penalty.

How do I switch energy suppliers?

The simplest way to switch energy supplier is to run a price comparison with The Energy Shop - we'll instantly compare the best deals from across the market, so you can see how much you could save by switching.

All you have to do is find a deal you like and let us know you want to switch by clicking the 'Proceed' button. We'll then handle the rest of the switch from there, by informing your current supplier that you'll be leaving and letting your new one know you're joining.

You'll be with your new supplier and saving money within 21 days.

Compare Energy Prices. Switch & Save up to £232!

You may also be interested in:



Ofgem Confidence Code
Fully accredited by Ofgem since 2003