Energy switching is at a four and a half year high proving that customers are becoming increasingly savvy about cutting gas and electricity costs - but prices are now on the rise and the cheapest deals are disappearing fast so make sure you switch ASAP.

Research by regulator Ofgem found that 2.3 million gas switches and 3.1 million electricity switches took place between January and September this year – a 28% increase on the same time period last year.

In September switching reached its highest level since 2012, with 15% of energy customers choosing to switch suppliers.

Nevertheless, Ofgem is urging suppliers to contact customers who have not switched to offer them a better deal after a report by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which was published in June, found that 70% of customers with the ‘big six’ suppliers are on expensive standard tariffs.

By switching your energy supplier you could save almost £250/year - the typical standard tariff from 'big six' suppliers (British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power, SSE) comes to £1,063/year, while some suppliers are charging as little as £822/year.

Check out our Cheap Energy Club for more on how to switch and save.

Energy bills set to soar

The arrival of the winter months has heralded a rise in energy bills - something we warned about during the summer - in May this year the cheapest tariff available was for a one-year fix of £724, today the cheapest available tariff is £822.

Am I able to switch?

All residents in the UK are able to switch, regardless of whether they own or rent their home, in order to access the cheapest deals.

According to Ofgem guidance, if you pay the energy bill then you're still entitled to change supplier at any time - even if your rental agreement bans switching.

'Suppliers must do more to reach out to people'

Rachel Fletcher, Ofgem senior partner for consumers and competition said: "We welcome the fact that more customers are switching to take advantage of the cheaper deals or better service on offer.

"Suppliers must do more to reach out to people who have not switched and offer them better deals so that competition drives down prices for everyone, including loyal customers. Otherwise public trust will not be restored in the energy market."

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