Switching domestic energy suppliers is a significant transaction that involves signing legally binding contracts for a prolonged period of time. The cooling-off period allows homeowners to avoid any penalty fees if they wish to cancel their contract.
What is the cooling-off period for energy?
The cooling-off period is the time permitted for you to cancel your new energy contract without incurring a financial penalty. It is enforced by the energy regulator Ofgem.
This begins as soon as you have signed the contract for your new energy tariff; the cooling-off period is a legal requirement set by Ofgem that all energy suppliers must adhere to.
Ofgem states: “14 calendar day cooling off period for gas and electricity consumers. This cooling off period cannot be waived.”
How long is the cooling-off period for energy?
14 days, starting the day you have signed your new energy contract.
Why does the cooling-off period exist in the consumer energy market?
It exists to protect consumers. The cooling-off period ensures that a consumer is protected and has the chance to review their decision. And for whatever reason, if they decide to cancel the switch, they do not incur any exit fees.
It’s the perfect time to review your deal and ensure you’ve made the right decision.
Is there a cooling-off period for businesses?
Currently, there is no cooling-off period for business energy. Business energy suppliers are currently not required to offer one – so there isn’t a cooling-off period when switching suppliers.
This means that you need to be more diligent when switching to a new energy supplier for your business to ensure it’s the right energy tariff for you. You don’t want to make a mistake and sign up for a new tariff and supplier that you haven’t properly researched.
Reasons for cancelling your energy tariff in the cooling-off period?
There are many reasons why you would cancel your energy tariff during the cooling-off period. These may include the following:
- Your new supplier has been unreliable.
- A significantly lower-priced tariff has become available.
- Customer service has not been up to standard
- Not happy with the terms and conditions put in place.
What happens after the cooling-off period ends?
Once the cooling-off period is complete, in most cases, energy suppliers will begin to transfer your energy supply which takes 21 days.
At no point during the switch will your energy supply be interrupted.
Once this begins, you will be given an exact date for your switch. You will also get an email from your new energy supplier outlining how to set up your new account and submit your first gas and electricity readings.
Then you’ll receive a final bill from your previous supplier using the final meter readings you submit.
How do I cancel the switch to a new energy supplier?
To cancel your energy switch in the first 14 days, you need to contact the new supplier – it’s recommended to send an email to ensure you have a timestamp on your cancellation request to avoid any cancellation fees if they give you a late response.
As long as you are within the cooling-off period, you are free to cancel at no extra cost.
Can I cancel my switch after the cooling-off period has ended?
Once the cooling-off period has finished, you can cancel your energy contract but at a cost. You will have to pay an exit fee if the 14 days have passed.
If you are unhappy with your new energy supplier straight away or have a reason to cancel, do so immediately whilst it’s still the cooling-off period. That way, you’ll be able to cancel without paying an exit fee.
How long does it take to switch suppliers?
On average, it takes 21 days to switch energy suppliers after the cooling-off period of 14 days is over.
This means that the whole process tends to take 35 days (14 days + 21 days).
Useful energy guides
We have written extensively about the energy market, so here are some energy guides you may find useful:
- Understanding the energy price cap
- Should I fix my energy tariff?
- Energy saving tips
- Wholesale gas prices
- Wholesale electricity prices
Why switch energy suppliers?
In normal circumstances, there are many benefits of switching energy suppliers, which include the following:
- Same money on your energy rates
- Get better customer service
- Provided with better
However, the current market conditions are making it difficult for energy suppliers to offer any significant deals, which is why this service is currently unavailable until further notice.
You can use our energy pages to compare the latest deals:
- Compare gas prices
- Energy comparison
- Compare electricity deals