Disclaimer: The information on this page was correct as of August 20, 2021.
Changing the account holder for your gas and electricity can often be a tricky task. Because it’s not something that happens often, there’s not a lot of information on it out there so we’re here to make it easier for you. As always, we’ve got you covered!
- Why you might change the account holder
- Having more than one account holder
- How to add and remove account holders
- How to change the account holder’s name
- How to change the account holder
- What to do if the account holder has died
- Changing the account holder when you move house
Why you might want to change the account holder
There are a number of reasons you might want to change, add, or remove account holders. This could include:
- Someone is moving in/out – If someone else is moving in with you, you might want to add them to your energy account and have both your names on your bills. This makes it easier if someone then moves out again as you can simply remove the other person rather than have to change everything completely.
- Your financial circumstances have changed – If the current account holder isn’t earning as much or their partner is taking over bill paying, you might want to change the account holder to the new payer. It makes a lot of sense to have the payer’s name on the account if they’re responsible for it.
- You’re joint homeowners – If the property is under both your names, you might want both names on your bills as well. It might have to be changed if you’ve taken the property over from someone else.
- You live in shared accommodation – If you split your bills, you’ll probably want everyone’s names on the account to share the bill-paying responsibility. Alternatively, you might just want to change the name or bank details of the person who will be paying.
- You’re a landlord with new tenants – When the old tenants have moved out and you have new ones moving in, you’ll want to change the account holders to the new tenants. This might be your responsibility or it might be theirs.
- The account holder is in a vulnerable situation – If the account holder becomes ill or in a vulnerable position and needs someone else to take over the account or bill paying (likely the power of attorney), you might want to change the account to someone else’s name to make sure bills are paid and everything is done correctly.
- The account holder has died – If you have to take over their home, you’ll have to change all the account details to whoever owns it now. It can be especially distressing if the deceased is still receiving bills and letters.
Can there be more than one account holder?
Yes, you can have more than one person as the account holder.
Having more than one account holder might be useful if there’s more than one person who owns/rents the house. This means that you’re both responsible for paying the bills and any debts that arise rather than just one person.
Alternatively, you can add someone else to your account to act for you. This person won’t be responsible for paying your bills or debts but can talk to your provider on your behalf.
How to add an account holder
If you want to add an extra account holder, you can usually do this by calling your energy provider. You’ll have to call when you’re together as your provider will want to talk to both of you about the change to make sure you’re both happy being on the account.
Alternatively, you could write a letter outlining that you want an extra account holder and whether you want them to be responsible for bills or just act on your behalf. Both of you should sign this and send it to your provider either through the post or by scanning it into an email.
How to remove an account holder
Removing an account holder might be a bit trickier than adding someone depending on the reason they’re being removed.
To have someone removed from your energy account, you’ll have to contact your provider and let them know you want them removed, which sounds easy enough. The tricky part is that they have to be there when you call or sign documents authorising the removal.
If they can’t be there, you’ll have to send other proof that they’re no longer responsible for the account or have moved out, for example, decree absolute, final order, or proof of new address.
How to change the account holder name
Changing the account holder name can take just minutes. You can sometimes do this through your online account, but it’s more likely you’ll have to contact your provider.
The quickest way to do this is through the live chat service (if they have one), especially if you’re asked for proof of your name change, for example, a marriage certificate. You can often send files through the live chat, making the change in seconds.
If you call your provider, they should be able to make the change too but you might still be asked for proof. Because you can’t send the proof over the phone, you’ll be asked to email or post it instead, which can draw out the process.
How to change the account holder
If you want to change the holder of your energy account, you can normally do this through your online account if you have one available. You’ll have to change each of the details separately if you want to do it this way.
Usually found under ‘personal details’ or ‘my details’, there should be an option to change these. If you’re changing the account holder, you’ll likely want to change all of the details except the address.
Alternatively, you can give your provider a call and they can help change it for you. Both the new and old account holders should be there when you call in order for the change to be authorised.
You might have to show evidence that both parties want to change the account holder which can usually be done over the phone, in writing, or through a power of attorney if needed.
Changing if the account holder has died
Because this is a difficult time for you, energy providers often make the process of changing the account holder easier to avoid too much stress.
You should try and find as much information on their energy account you can – find out any gas and electricity letters/bills, take meter readings etc. If you can’t find these, don’t worry too much – their name, address, and the date they died should be enough but it may make the process longer if you don’t have meter readings.
When you get in touch, they will issue you with a final bill to be sent to the solicitor or whoever is in charge of the account. You can use the information on this bill to apply for a grant of probate. If they had a prepayment meter, a new key/card will be sent out so the old card is not running up debt.
The account will then be closed and you won’t be sent any more bills or need to do anything else. The new occupant will have to set up a new account with the provider.
If you don’t know who their energy provider is or who to get in touch with, their Distribution Network Operator (DNO) will be able to help find that information.
Do you have to change the account holder if you move house?
You won’t have to change the account holder, you’ll have to set up a whole new account as the previous occupants’ account will have been closed.
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When you move out, you should contact your supplier at least 2 days before you move out, letting them know your:
- Moving date
- Current contact details
- New contact details
- Closing meter readings
When you move in, you should receive a welcome pack letting you know who your new provider is and what the next steps are. Even if you’re planning on switching providers, you’ll still have to set up an account as the current providers will still be supplying the property until the final switch date and you’ll have to pay them for any energy you use.