You’ve probably already noticed a chill in the air and the days getting that bit shorter. Winter is on its way and that means you’re likely to be turning up the heat and huddling by the radiator.

But if you’re on a tight budget, the cost of heating and lighting your home in the winter can be a burden. If you’re on a costly energy tariff, you might struggle to afford a higher bill.

You don’t have to put up with this – you could change your energy supplier. Find out how you can do this and how it could save you a few quid.

Can you change your energy supplier?

First off, you need to work out if you can actually change your energy supplier. If you’re in a fixed energy deal, you could switch but you’ll usually have a fee to pay for this. You might still be in a fixed energy deal if you signed up to your current plan in the last year or so – check your bill to find out what tariff you’re on.

You might not be able to switch if you have a prepayment meter and you owe more than £500. If you owe less than this to your gas or electricity provider, you can change supplier. You’ll usually only be able to switch onto a similar deal though – so another prepayment tariff if you have a prepayment meter. If you want to switch to a standard meter, get in touch with your energy supplier to see if you’re eligible for this.

If you’re a renter, you should be able to change your energy supplier. Even if your landlord has a preferred supplier, you don’t have to stick with them. But if your bills are included in your rent, your landlord doesn’t have to change your provider.

Finding the right deal for you

So if you can switch your energy supplier, how do you find the best deal? One of the best ways to look at a range of deals is with a comparison site like uSwitch or MoneySuperMarket.

Search on one of these websites to see what deals are available for you. You can put in your current energy usage to get the most accurate deals but don’t worry if you don’t know this. The sites can estimate how much energy you use based on the size of your household.

Once you’ve found a good deal, you can either switch through the comparison site or by calling the new supplier. They’ll need some information about your current supply – you should be able to find this from your last energy bill.

According to Confused.com, the process of switching supplier should take about 17 days. If you start now, it will give you plenty of time to change your supplier before the colder weather hits. And that means you should be able to stay warm this winter, without worrying as much about the cost.