February 28, 2017
The number of households switching energy supplier hit a six-year high last year as savvy consumers shopped around for a better deal.
28% more customers switched in 2016 than in 2015 - a total of 7.7 million transfers. This included 4.4 million electricity switches and 3.4 million gas switches - this is an increase of 30% for electricity and 24% for gas switches. Officially making it highest level of switching since 2010.
Of these switches, nearly half (47%) were to small or medium suppliers as they continued to attract growing numbers of customers.
In recent weeks some suppliers have announced price rises for customers on standard variable tariffs, which are typically more expensive than fixed deals.
With savings of around £230 a year on offer from switching to the cheapest deals, it's even more important now to compare tariffs.
It's never been easier to change supplier, as the vast majority of switches take three weeks to complete including a 14 day 'cooling off' period. Compare this to three years ago when it took around five weeks to switch supplier.
Despite rising switching rates, however, around two-thirds of customers still remain on standard variable tariffs and are spending more than they need to on their energy bills.
Ofgem's CEO Dermot Nolan comments:
"This welcome increase in switching should serve as a warning to supply companies. If they fail to keep prices under control or do not provide a good service, they risk being punished as customers vote with their feet.
"While today's figures show good progress, the market is not as competitive as we would like. That is why we have put a temporary price cap in place to protect people on prepayment meters who have the least access to competitive deals and why we are pursuing a raft of reforms which will make this market fairer, smarter and more competitive for consumers."
"Big savings of around £230 are available and switching has never been easier, so we would urge everyone to shop around for a better deal, especially if their supplier announces a price rise."
Energylinx offer a free and impartial switching service. You can speak to one of our knowledgeable advisors by call 01259 22000 or by visiting www.energylinx.co.uk.
Posted on February 28, 2017 at 02:54 PM