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Further fall for switching

Only 139,070 customers changed supplier in November, according to Energy UK’s latest electricity switching figures. This is the lowest monthly figure since Energy UK started publishing these in October 2013 and represents a more than 70% fall compared to November 2020. So far this year almost 4.9 million customers have changed supplier, an 11% decrease compared to the equivalent period in 2020.

The continuing fall – after a 27% dip in October – had been expected given the current turbulence in the retail market. The cheapest deals on the market at present are those covered by the price cap – removing any financial incentive to switch as customers are advised to stay on these default tariffs in the absence of better deals elsewhere. These figures do not include customers transferred as part of the Supplier of Last Resort (SOLR) process, activated when a supplier goes out of business.

Matthew Cole, Independent Chairman of Energy UK’s Energy Switch Guarantee, (a voluntary industry initiative under which signatory suppliers commit to making switching simple, and safe for customers) said:

“This steep fall is very much as expected given the current situation in the retail market. There’s no financial reason for customers to switch away from default tariffs and this is likely to remain the case in the near future. Once we are through the current upheaval, the retail market is going to look very different to how it did earlier in the year but there will still be an important role for switching between suppliers, and between the tariffs an individual supplier offers– albeit, in a market where price is no longer the only consideration and other factors like service quality and innovative new, tailored, products attract customers.”

Notes to editors:

  • To see the latest monthly switching stats, please visit Energy UK’s website.
  • From December 2020, larger suppliers in the market are British Gas, Bulb, EDF Energy, E.ON (including npower), Octopus Energy, OVO (including domestic business of SSE) and Scottish Power. This is based on Ofgem’s revised definition of classifying all suppliers with a market share of 5% or above in either fuel as larger.
  • Gemserv Limited is the service company contracted by the MRA Service Company (MRASCo) to provide services in support of the MRA including the management of its governance and providing specialised expertise to MRASCo in support of the growing electricity retail market.
  • The data referenced in these reports is for electricity only. These figures include both domestic (Profile Classes 1 and 2) and non-domestic customers (Profile Classes 3-8 and 0) but do not include customers transferred to another supplier as a result of the Supplier of Last Resort process (SOLR). Also, any switches between merged parties are considered as internal and are not counted in our switching statistics.
  • These figures do not include internal electricity switching. Such statistics can be found on the Ofgem website.
  • The Energy Switch Guarantee (ESG) is a set of 10 commitments – launched by Energy UK in 2016 – that makes switching simple, speedy and safe. The Guarantee covers nearly 80% of the retail energy market. Find out more on the ESG website.