Moving to a new student house in September? We’re willing to bet that you’ve already thought about how you’re going to lay out and decorate your new room when you get there. But have you thought about the household bills? Better yet, have you thought about how long it’ll take to change energy supplier if you’re not happy with the current one? We’ve got all the information you’ll need to put your mind at ease. Keep reading to find out.

Check your rental agreement

Firstly, before you even think about looking up new suppliers, you need to check your rental agreement to make sure that you’re the one in control of the utility bills and not your landlord. Some student homes come with all bills included, or the landlord has stated in the contract that they’re to decide which suppliers you use. If this is the case, you won’t be able to change suppliers without speaking to the landlord and gaining their permission first.

Other things you should look out for in the rental agreement are if the landlord has requested that you tell them of any supplier changes, or if the agreement has a notice and returns clause. A notice and returns clause simply means that when you switch suppliers, you need to inform the landlord, and once you move out, you need to switch back to the original provider.

How to change energy supplier

The switching process can be complicated if you don’t have all the information that they’ll need. Of course, you’ll also have to research energy providers first and choose the one you think is best for you and your household. If you’re in a shared house, make sure everyone is happy with the switch before you do anything!

Double-check the contract or the house itself to see if you’ll need gas and electricity or just electricity. You might find that you only need electricity as typically most student houses don’t have gas.

Once you’ve chosen the provider you want to change to and contact them, you’ll need to give them the following information:

👉🏻 The postcode of your student accommodation

👉🏻 The name or contact of the current energy supplier

👉🏻 The name of the current tariff you’re on

👉🏻 The amount you currently pay for your energy per unit (shown on your bill)

👉🏻 The amount of energy you use each year

👉🏻 You may also need to give them meter readings, but they will request this if they need it

Remember to also inform the current energy supplier that you’re moving too! If you don’t know who the provider is, contact your landlord or letting agent as they should know.

Read our article, “How to set up your electricity and gas bills”, for more information.

How long does switching energy suppliers take?

Once you’ve given the current and new energy supplier all the right information, switching over shouldn’t take too long. In fact, the maximum time it should take is up to five working days. If, after five working days, you’re still to be switched over and have had no updates from the new provider,​​ you can actually apply to get compensation for problems switching energy suppliers.

If you’re not happy or you change your mind after you’ve switched suppliers, you have a 14-day cooling-off period, which means you’ll need to cancel within this time frame or you’ll be charged exit fees for cancelling the contract early.

Other alternatives

If all the above sounds like a lot of work and you’d rather be able to move into your new home and relax knowing that your utilities are sorted, then Split The Bills are the service for you! The process of setting up with Split The Bills is as follows, you build your ideal utility package, get all your housemates to join the account, we’ll then set up your bills and payments, and you’ll pay your share of the bills each month. This way, you won’t need to contact any suppliers or have awkward conversations with your housemates about missed payments – we’ll do all the hard work for you. Plus, all our energy packages come with uncapped usage, so you won’t need to worry if your housemate is constantly leaving the light on (but make sure to remind them of the carbon footprint they’re leaving behind!).

Take a look at how Split The Bills works, how to build your package, or contact us with any questions or enquiries you may have, we’ll be happy to help.