Faster supplier switching times approved by Ofgem

UK energy regulator Ofgem has approved proposals from British Gas and other energy suppliers to cut the time it takes to switch supplier.

The changes, which come in to force at the end of the year, mean that once a customer signs up with a new supplier, the switch will take place three days after the statutory 14-day cooling off period.

Ofgem also published new proposals to make the switching process more reliable and put next day switching in place by the end of 2018 at the latest. This will be made possible by replacement of the IT systems (originally developed in the 1990s) used in the switching process.

Currently switches take around five weeks, including the 14-day cooling off period. From this August, new Ofgem rules come into force meaning suppliers could face investigation and fines if they cannot meet the five-week timescale.

In Britain, we already have one of the highest switching rates in Europe, with a choice of 25 suppliers and 11 independent switching sites. British Gas is committed to making switching faster and easier and share the ambition for next day switching by 2018. By the end of this year British Gas will ensure that switching is possible within just three days, after the statutory two-week cooling off period.

British Gas is leading the roll-out of smart meters, which will make it easier to send information to a new supplier about a customer’s energy usage if they decide to switch. The introduction of smart meters to all homes will help bring swifter switching and to date British Gas have installed more than 1.3 million smart meters in homes and businesses across the country.

View the Ofgem press release

Enquires: British Gas press office on 0800 107 7015