Almost 1.5 million customers switched electricity supplier over the summer months despite the prolonged high temperatures across the UK.

In August just under half a million customers (494,839) switched, an 11 per cent increase on the same period last year.

This takes the total number of electricity switches so far this year to more than 3.7 million, which Energy UK said is on course to beat last year’s record of 5.5 million.

Of those who switched in August this year, 41 per cent were from larger to small and mid-tier suppliers while 11 per cent were from small and mid-tier to larger suppliers.

In total 31 per cent of switches were between larger suppliers while 17 per cent were between small and mid-tier suppliers.

The net gain by small and mid-tier suppliers was 152,348.

According to the latest research from the Energy Switch Guarantee confidence in switching is high, with nine in 10 customers saying they are happy with the process.

Pamela Taylor, chair of the Energy Switch Guarantee, said: “With more than 70 suppliers in the market there is more choice than ever before. Despite the recently announced price cap, switching tariffs remains the best way for consumers to get the best deals in the market.”

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, added: “Despite record-breaking temperatures, it is great to see that nearly 1.5 million people have made a switch this summer.

“It is vital that these positive steps, which deliver benefits for customers, are not undone as a result of policy decisions with Ofgem’s own impact assessment suggesting falls in switching of up to 40 per cent as a result of the proposed price cap.

“We will be monitoring numbers closely and hope that consumers up and down the country continue to benefit from the competitive market.”

A spokesperson for Ofgem said: “Although switching levels are increasing, millions of customers who don’t switch are still paying over the odds for their energy, paying hundreds of pounds more than those who do switch.

“It’s unacceptable that people who don’t switch are overcharged in this way, which is why Ofgem is planning to introduce a price cap by the end of the year to ensure they pay a fairer price for their energy.

“Even with a price cap, customers can still save money by switching to a better deal and Ofgem will be making the process to switch supplier easier for people.”

Ofgem outlined its plans for the price cap on 6 September.

The regulator proposes the cap to be set at £1,136 per year for a typical dual fuel customer paying by direct debit. When it is introduced suppliers will have to cut their prices to at or below the level of the cap.

Ofgem says 11 million households on poor value default tariffs are set to save around £75 on average, while a typical consumer on the most expensive tariffs would save more than £120.

However there have been some concerns raised that the price cap will not save customers as much money as if they switched.

Speaking when the regulator revealed more details about the price cap, Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert, said: “Ofgem has been brave, setting the price cap lower than expected. It will mean millions see a noticeable reduction in bills. Yet the regulator was given a poisoned chalice. It is calling this new tariff a ‘fair’ tariff, but that isn’t the same as a good tariff.

“The savings are still pitiful compared to the amount people would get if they switched and went to the market’s cheapest providers – but there is a real concern the imposition of a cap will give people a false sense of security that doing nothing is fine.”

What to read next