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Electricity switching hits record levels

Electricity switching hits record levels

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 22/01/2014
First Published: 21/01/2014

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The number of people who switched electricity supplier at the end of 2013 reached record levels, according to figures from industry data provider ElectraLink. It found that 615,000 people switched during November alone, the highest number yet recorded, easily surpassing the previous record of 553,000 switchers in August 2008.

This figure was arguably achieved in response to energy suppliers raising their prices over that period, which left many customers looking for cheaper tariffs to ensure they weren't hit by excessive bills over winter. It seemed to be the smaller suppliers who were benefitting too, with 26% of customers switching towards the end of 2013 choosing to move to smaller firms rather than the Big Six.

However, it could be a temporary anomaly rather than an on-going trend. In December the number of switchers had fallen back to 391,000 (albeit still an increase on September's figure of 208,000) while figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change show that in the long-term there are actually fewer people switching overall – between autumn 2012 and autumn 2013, the number of customers who changed dual fuel supplier per quarter fell from 3% to 2%.

It remains to be seen whether customers will continue to switch suppliers in such large numbers as those seen in November, but with most energy firms pledging to keep prices where they are for the foreseeable future a lot of consumers might be happy to stay where they are.

But, if you've yet to compare tariffs to see if you could get a cheaper deal elsewhere, make sure to do so as soon as possible. There could well be savings to be made, and with some smaller suppliers offering fixed tariffs that last well into 2018 it could be a great time to see if you can make some long-term savings.

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