Your energy supplier has put its prices up
If your gas or electricity supplier increases its prices, they should tell you in a reasonable amount of time before the change takes place, unless:
- you're on a 'staggered tariff', where your contract contains set price increases on set dates (you won't get a reminder)
- you're on a 'tracker' tariff, where your prices will go up and down to follow something else, such as a stock market (you won't get any notice)
You should complain to your supplier if you think they haven’t given you reasonable notice.
How to avoid the increase
To avoid the increase, you can compare tariffs from different suppliers to see if you could get a better deal. Make sure you act quickly - you'll need to ask to change tariffs before the price is increased.
If you change tariff with your current supplier, they must put you on the new tariff no later than 20 working days after the price increase was due to start.
If you switch to a tariff with a new supplier, they must tell your current supplier they're taking over your supply. They have to do this no later than 20 working days after the price increase was due to start.
If you owe money on your account, your current supplier can prevent the switch until you've paid. They must write to tell you they're doing this. If you pay the balance within 30 working days of them telling you, the switch can still go ahead and your current supplier mustn't increase the price.
If you’re on a 'fixed rate' tariff
Your supplier can’t increase the price you pay for energy unless:
- the government has raised VAT
- you have a tariff that has structured price changes set out in advance
If you’re unsure what tariff you’re on, check your bill. If it says your contract has an end date, you'll most likely have a fixed term tariff.
When your fixed rate tariff ends
The price you pay for energy might go up when your contract ends - this depends on the type of tariff your supplier moves you to. If your new tariff is more expensive, you can change tariff or switch provider.
You’ll be given 42 to 49 days’ notice before your contract ends - you can use this time to decide if you want to stay with your supplier or switch. You won't have to pay an exit fee if you change supplier in this period.
You should complain to your supplier if you:
- don’t get notice about the end of your fixed term contract
- are charged an exit fee to switch suppliers less than 42 days from the end of your contract