Energy switching soars 30 per cent

Energy customer switches have increased 30 per cent in the first half of this year.

New Ofgem figures have revealed that between January and June 2016, more than 3.8 million people changed energy supplier, around a million more than the same period in 2015.

In the first six months of 2016, around 2.2 million domestic customer switched electricity supplier and 1.6 million switched gas supplier.

The data also shows that 66 per cent of domestic customers are still on standard variable tariffs which cost an average of £1,066 per year, according to the regulator.

Ofgem senior partner consumers and competition Rachel Fletcher said: “Great deals are there for the taking. There are very competitive offers and many more suppliers to choose from, and that’s why more consumers are switching.” 

In April 2016, the regulator announced that a record number of customers were switching to smaller suppliers and in August, that summer switching had reached record highs.

Small business, consumers and corporate responsibility minister Margot James said: “Thanks to the government’s action, it’s easier and quicker to switch than ever before. The number of suppliers has more than tripled since 2010 and it is great to see more people have already taken advantage this year by switching and saving money on their bills.”

Ofgem’s data also highlights that consumers have a choice of more than 40 suppliers in the market.

Energy Helpline co-founder Mark Todd said that the rise suggested consumers are “getting savvier” but there is still “a long way to go” as energy suppliers “continue to benefit from the blind loyalty of consumers”.