Energy switching up by 12 per cent

More than 400,000 customers changed suppliers last month

The number of customers switching supplier has risen by 12 per cent, according to the latest figures from Energy UK.

According to information published today by the trade body, more than 400,000 customers changed provider in June, which compares to around 360,000 in the same month last year – an increase of 12 per cent.

The figures show there were 143,155 switches in June from larger to small and mid-tier suppliers, while a similar number (145,028) switched from one large supplier to another.

Around 16 per cent of the switches (64,580) were between small and mid-tier supplies and 13 per cent (51,410) were from small and mid-tier suppliers to larger-scale operators.

Energy UK estimates more than 2,500,000 customers have switched supplier so far this year.

The trade body’s chief executive, Lawrence Slade, said switching was becoming more popular “as the energy market becomes more responsive to consumers’ needs”.

“To bust another myth, it really does just take minutes to switch to a better deal and save money, even during this hot weather,” added Slade.

But former Npower chief executive and current chief executive of North Star Solar, Paul Massara told Utility Week “an increase in the churn rate of the 33 per cent of the market is not by itself a sign of health”. 

“The health of the market needs to be measured in more than the number of suppliers or switching rates,” said Massara. “The reality is that the market is split into two with 33 per cent of the market actively switching and 66 per cent not.”

Claire Osborne, energy expert at consumer website, said it is “great news to see that even more people are waking up to the benefits of switching”.

“Energy isn’t always at the front of consumers’ minds during the summer, so to see so many switches in one of the hottest Junes on record shows that they are fed up of receiving ever increasing bills,” added Osborne

“Despite this progress, we can’t ignore that fact that seven out of ten households are still stuck on expensive standard variable tariffs. Those yet to switch could save up to £618 a year by choosing a cheaper deal in a matter of minutes.”