British Gas price hike: Can I change energy suppliers? How do I find the best deal?

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Millions of British Gas customers face a major hike in their energy bills after the supplier announced it will increase tariffs by 12.5 per cent.

The move, due to be introduced on September 15, will leave 3.1 million households forced to fork out more for monthly bills.

Changing suppliers could help save much-needed cash but how easy is it to do and what do you need to know?

How do I find out who my supplier is?

Your energy supplier will be clearly stated on any bills and documents sent by the company.

If you have recently moved landlords suggest waiting for your first bill to come through or contacting previous homeowners or tenants to find out who supplies your address.

Don’t forget to make a note of your gas and electricity meter readings when you decide to switch.

Where can I find the best deal?

Use a comparison site accredited by energy regulator Ofgem to find a rundown of current deals available to you.

Notable sites include uSwitch and Money Supermarket. Click here for a full list.

Once on a comparison site enter your postcode and your household consumption details which are available on your latest bill.

If you don’t have the details to hand you will be asked a series of simple questions about your lifestyle to provide an estimate.

How do I pick a plan?

A number of plans and prices will appear on your screen – use filters including cheapest, those without a cancellation fee and those with fixed amounts to pick the right one for you.

How do I switch?

Contact your chosen supplier online to confirm the switch.

The new supplier will arrange a switchover date with your current supplier meaning customers avoid paying two bills. 

You will need to confirm your full address and bank details to make the switch.

What if I change my mind?

Most companies offer a two week “cooling off” period in which customers can change their minds and go back on the switch.

How often can I switch?

Customers can change suppliers every 28 days. 

Experts at uSwitch recommend checking comparison sites once or twice a year to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

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