Gas and electricity Updated:
Have you switched energy supplier recently? If so, you're not alone, as research has revealed that more and more people are taking the plunge – and many are heading to smaller suppliers in the process.
The Big Six exodus
According to analysis from price comparison service energyhelpline.com, the Big Six energy suppliers are experiencing a definite exodus of customers, with many of their defectors opting for cheaper tariffs from smaller, independent suppliers. The figures speak for themselves: the Big Six's market share has fallen from 98% in 2012 to 86.6% today, which just shows how rapidly they're losing their grip on customers, and on the market as a whole.
"We have calculated that 1.05 million homes are set to quit the Big Six this year," said Mark Todd, director at energyhelpline.com. "[This] exodus is largely due to consumers switching from high prices with big suppliers to cheaper ones from the small upstarts… Savvy customers are continuing to vote with their feet."
Last year, energyhelpline's figures show that the Big Six lost around 1.5 million customers, with two-thirds of those switchers going to smaller suppliers. This year, the pattern is largely continued, with 50% of price comparison switchers opting for smaller suppliers. Since 2012 as a whole, it's estimated that around 3.3 million homes will have left the Big Six, making it "the biggest energy exodus the UK energy industry has ever seen".
Time to switch?
Given the potential savings involved, it's no wonder that so many people are taking the plunge and going small. In fact, nine of the top 10 cheapest tariffs currently available come from small suppliers, so is it time you gave them a go? It could pay dividends, and if you switch before the winter chill sets in, you could enjoy lower bills during the peak season of energy usage. Use our price comparison tool to get started, and see if you could get a cheaper deal with a smaller supplier.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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