Are we at long last seeing a seismic shift in the energy supplier market? If reports of unhappy customers marching off to the smaller companies to get a better deal are true, it seems the winds of change could be blowing.
Good news for the little man then – the independent smaller suppliers reaping the benefit of gobbling up an increasing proportion of the market share.
The greedy giants are losing customers fast, according to analysis from Cornwall Energy. Indeed, the Big Six suppliers – British Gas, EDF, npower, E.ON, Scottish Power and SSE – have lost 660,000 customers in the last year.
They surely can’t keep ignoring these customers and turn their backs in ‘laissez-faire’? How long before the little men become an army of power?
Although still dominant in the energy scene, the control of the big people in the UK dual fuel energy market is beginning to waver as disgruntled customers begin to show they’ve had enough and turn away.
The independent suppliers grew their market share from 9% to 13.4% in the last year alone. Translated to households this equates to over one in eight are being supplied by a company other than one of the Big Six.
So the underdogs are biting back. Cornwall’s data would indicate this is no random fluctuation: the Big Six lost a significant115000 dual fuel accounts to the smaller independents in the three months to 31 July.
In other words, the smaller suppliers added more energy accounts in three months than they held in total four years ago.
First Utility has reportedly added 275,000 new customers over the same period and have remarked that the rapid growth reflects consumer dissatisfaction with the giants; customer concerns, up to now, have largely been dismissed by the giants as they held on to their unchallenged grip. Now, there is also more awareness of making considerable savings from switching energy suppliers.
Chief customer officer at First Utility, Ed Kamm, commented: “The dramatic growth of independent suppliers is testament to consumers wanting something different – lower energy prices and better value from their provider.
“While so many have already switched, 40% have still never made a move and over 70% of the incumbents’ customers are on the most expensive standard variable tariff.”
It’s certainly fuel for thought.
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