Changing your electricity and/or gas contract allows making savings and besides, it’s quick and free! So why wait?

Staying with the same supplier year after year rarely benefits the consumer. Indeed, stagnation deprives the customer of attractive promotions and possible decreases in the price of electricity and/or gas. Even more regrettable that joining the competition is possible in a few minutes as proved by the operation of our energy price comparison.

When should I switch energy provider?

In Belgium, the electricity and gas market was liberalized in 2007 in Wallonia and Brussels and in 2003 in Flanders. Any consumer can therefore switch to another energy supplier.

Some people think that switching supplier is very complicated, that they have to send documents to the suppliers, that they must do so in advance, that it costs money… This is obviously not the case! Indeed, the procedures, already available to all in 2007, were again simplified in 2012.

CalendarToday, citizens are free to switch energy supplier at any time. You no longer have to wait until the end of the current contract to see if the grass is greener on the other side. On the contrary, any time is right! Take advantage, for example, of looking to combine gas and electricity from the same supplier or moving house to review your energy contracts. The same applies if you are owner of a soon-to-be unoccupied house. In fact, some suppliers even offer an “empty house contract”.

Moreover, consumers don’t need to undertake any administrative process. The new provider who takes care of everything. And the last piece of good news, changing supplier does not involve paying a termination fee as long as a month’s notice is given. In other words, canceling your energy contract is a breeze.

However, before you become a customer with another supply company, you must compare electricity and/or gas prices! Only then will you guarantee savings.

The 9 steps specific to changing supplier

In reality, what happens after concluding a contract on an online energy comparison website? What happens to the data provided by the consum’actor? Energyprice.be has made a stage-by-stage review of the steps taken by the various stakeholders in the energy sector after a consumer has visited Energyprice.be. But also more generally in when changing supplier in the classic fashion.

  1. Request a contract via an online form or by phone
  2. Acknowledgement of the receipt of the request
  3. Data verification by the supplier
  4. Receipt of the contract
  5. Request to change to the DSO after 14 calendar days
  6. Meter readings by the DSO
  7. Start of supply by the new provider
  8. Receiving the first payment invoice
  9. Receipt of the settlement from the former supplier

1. Request a contract via an online form or by phone

HeadphonesChoosing an energy deal is critical in many situations. This is the case, for example, when you want to open an existing electricity meter.

In order to conclude a new contract, you must complete an online form with your details or contact the customer services of the provider of your choice. You can choose your new supplier with or without the help of one of our consultants, available on 0800 37 456 or by e-mail at info@energyprice.be.

Your comparison consultant’s tip: some suppliers charge the entire annual fee as soon as your contract starts for one year. We therefore advise you apply for your contract at least one month before the renewal of your energy contract. If you do not know the expiry date of your contract, do not hesitate to contact us. One of our staff will be happy to help.

2. Acknowledgement of the receipt of the request

Having completed the form, our services will send you a confirmation e-mail with all your data. They are then forwarded to the supplier of your choice.  If you think any information is wrong, you can notify us by phone on 0800 37 456 or by e-mail at info@energyprice.be.

If you contact the supplier in question directly, it also will confirm receipt of your request.

3. Data verification by the supplier

The chosen provider receives your data and checks them to ensure they contain no errors. If it is a contract for an SME or a company, the supplier also checks, if necessary, the financial health of the company. It then sends you an e-mail or a letter confirming receipt of your request to switch supplier.

4. Receipt of the contract

Following the previous step, in due course you will receive the contract from the supplier containing the terms and conditions and rate card applicable for electricity and gas, as well as the start date of your new contract.

For your information, you have a statutory 14-day period to cancel your new contract without charge. Please note that generally speaking, cancellation must be made by registered mail.

5. Request to change to the DSO after 14 calendar days

After the statutory period of 14 calendar days of your request, the new supplier informs your distribution system operator (DSO) of the change and also informs your previous provider.

6. Meter readings by the DSO

Electric meter with clearly visible displayFollowing receipt of the request to change supplier (“switch” in energy jargon), your DSO will send you a request to read your meter(s). Several approaches are possible to inform of your reading and they are set out in the letter you receive through the post. Depending on your DSO, you can send your reading(s) by mail, by phone or by Internet. In some cases, an agent may be sent to your home to take the reading of your electric meter and/or gas meter.

When your DSO has an excessive workload, in some cases the request for a reading does not reach you in time. In this case, an estimate of your consumption will be carried out to establish your settlement bill. However, you can inform as to your reading yourself or request an amendment to the estimated reading by notifying your real reading.

7. Start of supply by the new provider

Your supply will commence at least 30 calendar days after your request. This may vary according to your supplier. You can also choose a deferred delivery start date. The maximum activation date depends on the supplier and the type of contract selected (contact us for further information on this).

8. Receiving the first payment invoice

Depending on the options chosen when establishing your new power contract (e-mail or paper bill and payment by direct debit or bank transfer), you will receive your first payment invoice.

You will usually receive it 15 days after the actual start of your supply.

If you want to change any options (how you receive your bill, method of payment, date of payment or instalment amount), you can contact your new provider to make the necessary modifications. Most suppliers now offer an online interface allowing you to make any changes yourself (“online” customer space).

9. Receipt of the settlement from the former supplier

Following your switch of provider, you will receive from your old supplier a final settlement bill also called a regularization invoice . It will include the instalments paid and consumption read since your last payment invoice. You will either receive a credit note in your favour or an invitation to pay the remaining balance. You will normally receive this bill four weeks after the reading(s) made when switching supplier.

This is the last stage in switching supplier.Stacked euro coins

Now you need only enjoy your new rates and any promotions gleaned on our price comparison website.

One last little tip from our consultants: if you have opted for a one-year contract with promotion, we recommend you make another comparison in a year’s time, when the above-mentioned promotions have expired. If, on the other hand, you have chosen a contract without promotions, returning to the simulator the following year is not an advantage in itself. Especially, if you have chosen a fixed two-, three- or five-year contract. Energyprice.be employees will, in any case, remain at your disposal if you have any questions.

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