Over 6 million domestic energy supply accounts were switched in 2015, a 15% increase on 2014, according to figures published today by Ofgem. This is the highest number of switches since 2011.
Over 40 per cent of switchers chose independent suppliers.
Rachel Fletcher, Ofgem senior partner said: “It’s encouraging to see switching levels at their highest level for four years. With more than 30 suppliers active in the energy market and hundreds of pounds of savings to be made, it’s a great opportunity to shop around.”
Juliet Davenport, founder and chief executive of independent energy supplier Good Energy said this was a win for the smaller energy companies: “These new figures show that loyal consumers are ditching those big, old-fashioned utilities which have been taking them for granted for far too long.”
Peter Earl, head of energy at comparethemarket.com, said that more still needed to be done to encourage switching. “The six million or so households who switched energy last year is still a small proportion of the market. The market remains dominated by the Big 6 and, for meaningful competition to be injected which will drive prices lower, switching levels will need to rise even further. We believe that Ofgem should make it mandatory for energy companies to issue an annual notice for consumers to review their energy expenditure to encourage people to check that they are on the best deal. This notice would be sent to all customers on an annual basis, not just those who are coming to the end of a fixed rate tariff.”
The industry body Energy UK said it expected the figures to be even higher in 2016. ”This year is set to see switching success continue with around six people shopping for a new supplier every minute in January – the highest comparable monthly figure since records began,” said Lawrence Slade, chief executive.