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Trickiest energy companies to leave

Top tips to make it easier for you to switch gas and electricity supplier

A record 5.5 million people switched electricity supplier last year, but not every switch goes smoothly. We’ve dug deep into our research of more than 8,000 energy customers, so we reveal the companies it’s hardest – and easiest – to leave.

Co-operative Energy, First Utility, GB Energy and Ovo Energy are the trickiest of 11 big energy firms to leave*.

At least 6% of customers switching away from them said they found it difficult or very difficult.

Read on to find out which is the trickiest transfer overall and what the most common problems were. Plus, check out our expert tips to make sure your switch is hassle free.

If you’re planning to switch, compare gas and electricity prices with Which? Switch to make sure you get a good deal.

Most difficult energy companies to leave

Overall, the trickiest transfer was from EDF Energy to Npower. A fifth of customers who made this switch rated it difficult or very difficult.

British Gas or Eon to Npower were the next trickiest switches (8% and 9% found it difficult to move between these firms, respectively).

We can work this out because our survey asks which company respondents switched away from and the company they moved to. We can’t tell which company caused the problems, so keep reading to find out how you can help make sure your own switch goes smoothly.

Our survey also reveals the best and worst energy companies, according to their customers. This year, we have ratings for 31 gas and electricity companies in Great Britain and all six Northern Ireland energy firms.

You can use our results to help you pick the right energy firm for you – see the best and worst energy firms.

Easiest energy firms to leave

The big companies customers found easiest to leave were Sainsbury’s Energy and SSE – 92% or more of those who left them found it easy or very easy.

Switching from British Gas to First Utility was rated the easiest switch overall, with 97% saying it was easy or very easy.

Why is switching energy firm difficult?

The switch being slow is the most common reason people give to explain why they said they found the process difficult.

Financial factors, including trouble getting a refund from the previous supplier and difficulty paying the previous supplier, are also common explanations.

Don’t let this put you off switching, though. Depending on which energy firm you’re with, you could save more than £300 a year by switching your supplier.

How to switch energy supplier hassle-free

Follow our tips to help your switch go as smoothly as possible:

  • Use your actual energy use (in kWh) to get the most accurate quote when you compare energy prices. You can find this on your annual statement or latest bill.
  • Pick a company signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee for a speedier switch – these companies promise to complete your move within 21 days. Find out which firms are signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee.
  • Submit meter readings to your old and new energy suppliers to keep your bills accurate.
  • If you’re in debt, arrange with your old supplier how you will pay (if you pay by direct debit it may be able to take the amount owing automatically).

For more tips, check our advice on how to switch energy supplier.

Which? energy companies research

We carried out an online survey of 8,397 GB energy customers in September 2017.

*Only companies with at least 30 respondents who had switched away from them are included in this analysis. Sample sizes: British Gas (616), Co-operative Energy (48), Eon (543), EDF Energy (300), First Utility (178), GB Energy Supply (31), Npower (347), Ovo Energy (107), Sainsbury’s Energy (130), Scottish Power (295) and SSE (288).

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