Changing your gas or electricity contract can sometimes be a way of saving hundreds of euro. It’s also quick and free, with no cancellation fees! So why wait?

Staying with the same supplier on the same contract year after year is rarely beneficial for the consumer. Firstly, staying put deprives them of attractive promotions and possible decreases in the gas or electricity price. Secondly, because they allow their supplier to renew their contract automatically when it expires, they may end up with a dormant contract that is much  more expensive than the market average.

These consequences are particularly regrettable since it only takes a few minutes to join the competition, as can be seen by looking at how our energy price comparison tool works.

Switching energy supplier has never been so easy

In Belgium, the electricity and gas market was liberalized in 2007 in Wallonia and Brussels and in 2003 in Flanders. This means that any consumer can choose another energy supplier if they wish.

Some people think that switching gas or electricity supplier is very complicated, that they have to send documents to the suppliers, that they must do this in advance, that it costs money, and so on. This is clearly not the case! In fact, the procedures that were already available to everyone in 2007 were simplified even further in 2012.

> No restrictions or cancellation fees! Switch contract whenever you like!

Calendar

Today, consumers 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 the right time! You could, for example, take the opportunity to review your energy contracts if you are looking to obtain your gas and electricity from the same supplier or if you are moving house. The same applies if you are the owner of a house that will soon be unoccupied. Some suppliers even offer an “empty house contract”.

This freedom to switch supplier whenever you like involves one important element: there are no cancellation fees. Regardless of whether you had signed up for a one-year or a three-year contract, if you want to switch contract before it expires, you are entitled to do so. In such cases, the suppliers are not allowed to charge you a cancellation fee. Please note, however, that your cancellation will only be effective if you give one month’s notice.

> No more administrative paperwork

In addition, consumers no longer need to do any administrative work. It is the new supplier who takes care of everything. They are responsible for contacting your previous supplier to cancel your old contract and start the new one. The only thing you will have to do is to provide your meter readings when the old contract is officially terminated.

In other words, cancelling your energy contract is a piece of cake! However, before you become a customer of another supplier, you need to compare gas and/or electricity prices. That is the only way to guarantee savings.

Compare now all energy suppliers active in Belgium and save money on your bill ! Clients save an average of € 275 thanks to Energyprice.be. Have a look on your savings

When is the best time to switch energy supplier in Belgium?

As a rule, it is advisable to review your energy prices once a year, as this is how long the promotions normally last. If you follow this pattern, you can be sure that you will always get the best prices. If you notice that your rates are not as favourable as they once were, you can quickly fix the problem by changing your pricing package or even your supplier.

>> Further reading: Energy price comparisons: when should you do one?

In addition, moving house is an excellent opportunity for switching supplier. A new home often entails new requirements, so you will need to review your energy contracts.

>> Further reading: I’m moving house: how should I manage my gas and electricity contract?

Finally, if you read in the press that energy prices have fallen significantly, it is in your interest to check the monthly rates. You might be able to take advantage of a golden opportunity, as was the case during the first coronavirus lockdown!

Only on Energyprice.be: discover all the suppliers' promotions!
Compare now Up to € 275 savings on your yearly bill

7 steps to switch your energy supplier

In reality, what happens after a contract has been taken out on an online energy comparison website? What happens to the data provided by the consumer? Energyprice.be has undertaken a step-by-step review of the actions taken by the various stakeholders in the energy sector when a consumer changes their gas or energy supplier. These also apply when the switch is made via an online comparison site.

  1. Requesting a contract via an online form or by telephone
  2. Acknowledgement of the request
  3. Data checks by the supplier and receipt of contract
  4. Meter readings by the DSO
  5. Start of supply by the new provider
  6. Receiving the initial instalment bill
  7. Receiving the settlement bill from the former supplier

1. Requesting a contract via an online form or by telephone

Headphones

Signing up for an energy deal is essential in several situations (such as turning on an existing electricity meter). To do this, you need to enter your contact details in an online form or contact the customer service department of your chosen supplier.

You can choose your new supplier with or without the help of one of our consultants, who can be contacted by telephone on 0800 37 456 or by email at info@energyprice.be.

Call one of our advisers Free of charge - No commitment

Useful tip: some suppliers charge the entire annual fee as soon as your contract is renewed for another year. We therefore recommend that you request your change of contract at least one month before your old contract renews. If you do not know your contract expiry date, please contact us. One of our staff will be happy to help.

2. Acknowledgement of the request

  • If you use Comparateur-Energie.be: once the form has been duly completed, you will receive a confirmation email containing all your data. This data is then forwarded to your chosen supplier. If you think any of the information is wrong, please notify us by telephone on 0800 37 456 or by email at info@energyprice.be.
  • If you do not use a price comparison site: if you sign up directly with the supplier in question, they will also confirm receipt of your request.

3. Data checks by the supplier and receipt of contract

The chosen gas or electricity supplier receives your data and checks it to ensure that it does not contain any errors.

They then send you an email or a letter confirming receipt of your request to switch gas or electricity supplier.

As part of the process, you will receive the formal contract, which contains:

  • the terms and conditions,
  • the rate card applicable for the gas and electricity,
  • and the start date of your new contract.

Please note that you have a statutory 14-day period to cancel your new contract without charge. In general, cancellations must be made by registered mail.

4. Meter readings by the DSO

Electric meter with clearly visible display

After the statutory 14 calendar-day period following your request, it is considered accepted. The new supplier will then inform your distribution service operator (DSO) of the change. They will then initiate your cancellation with your old supplier.

Once this has happened, your DSO will send you a request to read your meter(s). There are several ways in which you can provide your readings (please see the card that you will receive by post). The most common options are by post, by telephone, or online. In some cases, an agent may be sent to your home to read your gas and/or electricity meter.

Useful tip: if your DSO has an excessive workload, the request for a meter reading may not reach you in time. In such cases, the supplier will estimate your gas and/or electricity consumption in order to calculate your settlement bill. However, you can still provide your readings yourself or request an amendment to the estimated readings by providing your actual readings.

5. Start of supply by the new supplier

Your supply will commence at least 30 calendar days after your request. This may vary, depending on which supplier you have chosen. You can also choose a deferred supply start date. The latest activation date depends on the supplier and the type of contract chosen. Please contact us for further information on this subject.

6. Receiving the initial instalment bill

The options chosen when you signed up for your new energy contract (email or paper bill and payment by direct debit or bank transfer) will determine when you receive your initial instalment bill. You will normally receive it 15 days after the effective start of your supply.

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

7. Receiving the settlement bill from the former supplier

Stacked euro coins

Once you have switched supplier, your old supplier will send you a final settlement bill, also called an adjustment bill. This will include the instalments paid and the consumption amounts recorded since your last settlement bill. You will either receive a credit note in your favour or a request to pay the outstanding balance. You will normally receive this bill four weeks after providing the reading(s).

This is the last step in the process to switch energy supplier. Now you can sit back and enjoy your new rates and any promotions you picked up on our price comparison website.

Switch supplier in 5 minutes using Energyprice.be

As you will have gathered, switching energy supplier is simple. You just need to do a quick comparison and choose the energy contract that suits you best. This step will only take you 5 to 10 minutes on Energyprice.be.

Once you have confirmed your choice, you simply have to wait until you are asked for your meter readings. There’s no other administration for you to worry about.

So why wait any longer to switch contract and save on your energy bill?

Only on Energyprice.be: discover all the suppliers' promotions!
Compare now Up to € 275 savings on your yearly bill

>> Further reading: 5 tips for finding the best energy deal

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