It’s a well-known “secret” with energy providers – you do the rounds to find the best deal, and chances are that you’ll get an even cheaper agreement just by asking someone else (or putting your current provider on the back foot). But the scale of people doing this is becoming truly impressive – at least, according to Ofgem’s latest news.
According to the independent champion of consumers in the market, 15% more energy accounts were switched in 2015, when compared to the previous year. It marks the highest number of changes since 2011, and well over a third (40%) of these were made to independent suppliers.
The findings come soon after Ofgem launched its “Be an Energy Shopper” campaign, where it is going out of its way to advise customers on how to shop around for better deals on energy bills. It found that on average, people could save as much as £200 a year by making a change, while those who have ironically stayed loyal to just one provider could save a lot, lot more.
Speaking on the findings, Ofgem senior partner Rachel Fletcher said: “It’s encouraging to see switching levels at their highest level for four years. With more than 30 suppliers active in the energy market and hundreds of pounds of savings to be made, it’s a great opportunity to shop around.
“Whether customer service, price or both is what’s most important to you, remember you always have a choice. If your energy company isn’t up to scratch, vote with your feet and walk away.
Ofgem also revealed that it has already referred the energy market to the CMA – the Competition and Markets Authority – for a full and proper inquiry, and will be monitoring findings to ensure consumers are treated fairly.