A report published by trade association Energy UK revealed a record number of customers switched electricity supplier during 2019. A total of 6.4 million customers switched last year, which averages out at 12 supplier switches every minute.
The new record is an increase of 9% on the numbers from 2018. That year saw the previous record of 5.8 million customers switching their electricity provider.
Customers Make Savings by Switching Supplier
The increase in switching is driven by customers realising they can find better tariffs by changing to a new supplier. Smaller providers continued to gain customers from bigger suppliers, said Energy UK, though the rate has slowed from 2018. Smaller suppliers gained 1.5 million customers throughout 2019, though there were significant numbers moving in the opposite direction too.
June in 2018 saw only 7% of electricity supplier switches go from small and medium suppliers to large ones. That figure had increased to 18% by December in 2019. This month still saw a total of 32% of switching customers move from larger energy providers to smaller ones.
On average, more than half a million households and businesses switched supplier every month during 2019. The monthly record was set in April with a total of 668,000 customers moving to a new provider. Last December saw 519,343 customers changing their supplier, which is an increase of 12% from December in 2018.
Competition ‘Flourishing’ in the Retail Market
Energy UK were pleased with the competition, though warned that unsustainable business models must be accounted for. The body’s Interim Chief Executive, Audrey Gallacher, said: “With switching at a record high, with on average 12 switches every minute in 2019, it is evident that competition continues to flourish in the retail market and customers are benefiting from new innovative products and services.
“There are around sixty energy suppliers and the rapid market changes in recent years have now led to a point where we no longer have a ‘Big Six’. However it is an extremely challenging retail environment for energy companies of all sizes and we must ensure a level playing field to make sure customers have a positive experience and aren’t left picking up the tab when companies with unsustainable business models fail.”
Ms Gallacher added that Energy UK welcomed recent moves by Ofgem to introduce tighter rules for new energy supplying firms.
Supplier Switching Best with Emissions Cutting
The Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, also saw the positives of so many switches. Mr Kwarteng said: “Today’s figures show the benefits of switching, with customers potentially saving around £290 per year on their bills. Households can also cut their bills by cutting their emissions.”
To learn more about switching to a new energy supplier with a more beneficial tariff, contact Business Save and their team of highly experienced energy experts.