Exit fees are essentially cancellation fees. If you leave a fixed term tariff before the end of the contract period (e.g. 12 or 24 months), many suppliers will charge an exit fee.
This does not mean you are prevented from switching. But if you are on a tariff which has an exit fee if you leave the contract early then you need to factor this cost charge into your considerations. Often, even with the cost of an exit fee added in you can save more by switching.
Switching to a new supplier will still follow the same process…simply pick a new deal and complete your switch as normal. Your old supplier will then contact you about paying the exit fee or you will simply receive a final bill with this additional charge included.
Is there any way to avoid exit fees?
Wait to the end of your contract term.
Simply wait until you’re out of your initial contract term with the supplier and then you’ll be able to switch suppliers without worry of being hit with an exit fee.
In general, the most common contract for energy deals is usually 12 months – although some suppliers offer 24-month long contracts for certain tariffs. 24 months is a long commitment, so always make sure you are fully aware of time commitments when signing up to a new supplier!
It is also worth noting that there are circumstances in which some suppliers waive cancellation fees. For example, in the case of moving home, you may not be liable to pay early exit fees, or for a Change of Tenancy.
How expensive are exit fees?
In Northern Ireland, the typical exit fees for energy suppliers are as follows:
- Budget Energy – £40 for a 12 month fixed contract
- Click Energy – £30 for a 12 month fixed contract
- Electric Ireland – £40 for a 12 month fixed contract
- SSE Airtricity -£40 for a 12 month fixed contract
- Power NI – No exit fees or fixed contracts
Sometime savings by switching can still me more than an Exit Fee
Remember, sometimes it can be cheaper to exit a fixed tariff and pay the fee, rather than stay with a more expensive deal long term. You can explore all of your options through Power to Switch’s handy price comparison tool, and if you have any additional questions, feel free to get in contact with the team here.