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Switching remains down at year end

The number of customers changing to a new supplier remained low in December 2021 with only 172,408 customers making the move, according to Energy UK’s latest electricity switching figures. This represents a 63% decrease compared to the same period last year.

This follows a similarly steep fall in November 2021 when only 139,070 customers changed supplier, the lowest monthly figure since Energy UK started publishing these in October 2013.

Such a fall was expected after the current upheaval in the retail market led to price-capped ‘default’ tariffs becoming the cheapest deals available – removing the prime reason for many customers switching supplier.  

In total, last year saw 5.1 million customers switch suppliers, 14% lower than in 2020, with high switching rates in earlier months falling away in the autumn.   

Matthew Cole, Independent Chair 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:

The continuing fall in switching comes as no surprise with record wholesale prices resulting in a reduced range of tariffs and leading to customers staying with their existing supplier. However, it remains important that consumers are able to switch suppliers if they desire, and when the market recovers, or to switch to a different tariff with their current supplier. The ESG ensures that these switches can happen quickly and safely, and makes sure suppliers are adhering to making switching easy and safe for consumers in a time of uncertainty in the market.”

Notes to editor:

  1. To see the latest monthly switching stats, please visit Energy UK’s website.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. These figures do not include internal electricity switching. Such statistics can be found on the Ofgem website.
  6. 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.