Energy switching hits end-of-year high with competition ‘alive and well’



Around 1 million people switched to new energy suppliers in the final two months of 2013, according to figures from data firm Electralink.

After advice from the government to switch in order to keep energy bills down following the energy price hikes, the industry saw a record number of consumers moving to alternative suppliers.

According to the Electralink report, 1 million customers switched firms in November and December alone, compared with 3.2 million throughout the whole of 2013.

The industry said that this showed the reforms being made were working.

Angela Knight, chief executive of the trade body Energy UK, said, “Increased switching is a welcome sign that the energy industry is becoming more competitive, clearer and working for its consumers”.

“There has been a sharp increase in the number of customers switching and those shopping around for a deal which suits their individual circumstances. And competition is alive and well with people choosing new entrants to the market and smaller suppliers rather than just sticking with established companies”.

The energy price debate was sparked by Labour leader Ed Miliband, who announced at the party’s 2013 conference that he was planning to introduce a blanket freeze on energy prices for a 20-month period, in which a Labour government would sort out the industry in order to improve consumer service.

In response, all of the big six energy companies increased their prices, resulting in a major political row that dominated the final months of 2013.

Despite this, renewable energy firms Good Energy and Ecotricity both announced winter price freezes.

One Good Energy customer told the BBC’s Question Time in November, “My bills have never been cheaper.”

Further reading:

Good Energy customer on BBC Question Time: ‘my energy bills have never been cheaper’

Video: big six crumble in Ecotricity’s second ‘Dump the Big Six’ film

Green energy firms Good Energy and Ecotricity break mould with winter price freezes

Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy costs sparks intense debate

Energy customers switching suppliers at three-year high, says trade body


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