22nd February 2016
The amount of bill-payers changing energy provider jumped by 15% in 2015, according to the industry’s regulator.
According to Ofgem, some 6.1m gas and electricity accounts had been switched during the 12 months, around 800,000 more than in on the previous year, reports show.
Switching site Comparethemarket.com said that the behaviour is probably rooted in two key factors.
“Firstly the sheer extent of the sum that many people can save, with the average consumer on a standard tariff standing to save £375 by switching energy provider.
“Secondly, the actions of the Big 6 energy companies, introducing fairly feeble cuts in the region of 5%, have spurred consumers to look at other providers who appear to be giving a better deal,” said Peter Earl, head of energy, at the group.
However Earl highlighted that the six million or so households who switched energy last year is still a small proportion of the market.
The market remains dominated by the so-called Big Six players and, for meaningful competition to be injected which will drive prices lower, switching levels will need to rise even further he added.
Earl said: “We believe that Ofgem should make it mandatory for energy companies to issue an annual notice for consumers to review their energy expenditure to encourage people to check that they are on the best deal. This notice would be sent to all customers on an annual basis, not just those who are coming to the end of a fixed rate tariff.”