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Why are record numbers switching from the Big Six?

Updated on
min reading
Lightbulbs in a dark room

More than a quarter of a million households opted for smaller energy suppliers in June.

Over 470,000 electricity switches were completed last month, according to Change of Supplier data from Electralink’s Energy Market Data Hub (EMDH).

This is an increase of 6% compared to the same time last year and an 8% jump from last month, with much of the country on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Smaller suppliers make up majority of switches

Although the exact cause for the jump in households switching remains unclear, Electralink has speculated that as the lockdown eases and workers begin to return from being furloughed, engagement with energy suppliers has once again become a priority.

Another reason could be providers dealing with a backlog of switching requests following an unprecedented few months of homeworking and with engineers unable to enter homes to install smart meters. As life slowly begins to return to normal, these switches can now be processed.

The biggest winners from these switches are smaller, ‘challenger’ providers like Bulb, Octopus, Ovo and Shell Energy, with 209,000 - or 65% - of June’s switches deciding against the traditional Big Six suppliers, such as British Gas and EON.

  • Electricity switching in June 2020
  • 103,000 switches from one Big Six supplier to another (22% of June’s total switches).
  • 149,000 Big Six to challenger brand switches (40%).
  • Challenger supplier to Big Six switches fell to 60,000 (13%).
  • 115,000 switches from one challenger energy provider to another (25%)

Why is now a good time to switch?

Electricity bill and money

With much of the UK working from home, domestic energy bills have skyrocketed for many in recent months.

Rachel McCann, an energy expert with Selectra, said: “Even for those who haven’t previously struggled financially, the last few months have been a worrying time, so it’s not surprising that many customers are looking at their electricity bills as a way to cut costs and save money.

“With the Big Six suppliers doing little to reduce their prices, customers are turning to smaller suppliers, which can offer more competitive rates at a time when everyone is desperate to save.”

Although domestic energy usage is up, overall gas and electricity consumption has actually dropped - leading to record low wholesale energy prices. Suppliers have, in turn, passed on the savings to their customers by offering them some of their cheapest tariffs in years.

With many consumers due to receive elated price hikes over the next few months, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible on your gas and electricity by shopping around.

Here at Selectra, we scour the market to offer energy tariffs personalised to suit you. Switching supplier is a lot easier than you may think, with no need to worry about arranging home visits or installing new equipment unless switching to a tariff on a different type of meter.

The services and products mentioned on this website may only represent a small selection of the options available to you. Selectra encourages you to carry out your own research and seek advice if necessary before making any decisions. We may receive commission from selected partner providers on sales of some products and/or services mentioned within this website. Our website is free to use, and the commission we receive does not affect our opinion or the information we provide.

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