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Consumers Switching Back to Big Six After Failures of Small Suppliers


More than 100,000 customers switched to a Big Six energy firm from a challenger supplier in October, according to Energy UK.

New data from the industry’s trade association has revealed that 102,138 customers moved to a Big Six supplier (British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power or SSE) from a smaller supplier last month. This means October was the first month in more than 2 years that more people have switched to a Big Six supplier from a smaller one than vice versa.

One of the reasons for so many people reverting to the major suppliers could be the fact that so many smaller suppliers have gone bust in the last two years. Most of the major firms have also changed their tactics to deal with the increased competition, including British Gas recently offering some of the cheapest energy deals on the market.

In total, 626,284 customers switched their energy supplier last month, a 1.1% decrease compared to October last year. However, the total number of energy switches for 2019 is expected to surpass the record of 5.8 million that was set last year. So far this year, over 5.3 million people have switched energy supplier, 9.2% more than at this point in 2018. More people have switched energy supplier every year since 2014 when just 3.2 million people switched.

“This month’s figures show that consumers continue to take advantage of the increased competition,” said Audrey Gallacher, director of policy at Energy UK. “Over 5.3m customers have already moved to a new supplier and switching is on track to hit the 6m mark this year.

“With the temperatures dropping across the country, I’d encourage consumers to get in touch with their supplier or have a look online to make sure they’re on the best deal ahead of winter and the cold weather.

“More importantly I’d urge everyone to make their homes more energy efficient – for example by insulating the roof or installing LED light bulbs – as this is the best way to save money on your bills and at the same time do your bit to save the planet.”

Fergus Cole
Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.

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