Why can’t I terminate my business energy contract?

There are several reasons your gas or electricity supplier will object to you moving to another supplier. I will outline these below, as well as throwing some light on the various stipulations individual suppliers have when it comes to ending your contract.

It should be a simple and straightforward process of course, and usually is. However, you may well find yourself in a position where you have notified your energy company that you are leaving and they have refused to adhere to your wishes. Lets investigate why that might be…

I forgot to give my energy company notice and they say I can’t switch

Historically, this is the most common reason, although it is becoming less of an issue with suppliers adhering to requests from OFGEM. Up until April 2014, pretty much all gas and electricity companies required between 30 and 90 days notice (depending which one you were with) before the end of the current contract. For example, if you were with British Gas, who required 90 days notice, and you gave them notice 80 days before the end of the contract, then they would tell you this is too late and you are already committed to another 12 months at the higher prices they choose to charge you.

All in the small print. This caught out thousands of businesses every year, and was obviously a major gripe with energy companies. To rub salt into an open wound, the new prices would be a substantial increase too.

However, this is changing, but not with all suppliers, so be careful. I should also point out that the details below are based on our dealings with suppliers, with the relationships we have built with them over the years, so do check what your business contract says, as there may be

Several suppliers won’t roll customers onto new fixed term contracts, instead they will put them onto a standard variable rate. This will be considerably higher than they were paying, but the good news is that they can move with just 30 days notice. These suppliers include British Gas, Scottish Power, E.ON and CNG. Other suppliers are expected to fall in line as well.

My energy company says I owe them money

Occasionally an energy supplier will object to a transfer away because the customer owes them money. This is usually due to a disputed bill, or a lot of estimated bills that have been much less than the actual use. Once this is paid off, your energy company will allow the transfer to go through.

They told me I am still in contract, but I am sure it has ended

If your new supplier applies to take over the gas or electricity supply too early, then this will result in an objection. Even if it is just one day before the current contract ends, that will likely be objected to. Sometimes suppliers will let it go early, but this is rare. Just confirm the correct date your contract ends, and ask the new supplier to apply for the day after this.

My supplier doesn’t know why they objected!

Yes, it happens! It seems some gas and electricity companies object to every transfer of business away from them. Just put them straight and ask them to mark your contract on their system as free to go.


Perfect Clarity can help businesses save money on their energy and water contracts. Call 020 3372 6517 for more information.