Households switch away from the big six suppliers

High voltage power pylonMore than a million households switched away from the ‘big six’ energy suppliers in the past year.

Figures from Cornwall Energy showed that about 11 per cent of homes now buy their gas, electricity or both from smaller independent companies.

These figures are significant for businesses because it demonstrates that households are waking up to the real savings on offer if you switch suppliers.

Traditionally, businesses are more sensitive to energy price than consumers. Meaning they are more likely to switch if there’s a better price elsewhere.

Lots of business owners have already seen sense and switched from the larger suppliers to other companies which are more responsive on price.

But many more businesses haven’t yet made the switch. In all likelihood, this means that they are not on the best tariff.

Ultimately it comes down to ignorance or lethargy. And that can be very expensive.

Citizens Advice Week claims that households can save around £200 if they shop around for a better energy supplier. The potential savings for businesses will be even greater because they use more energy.

According to reports, ministers and regulators are still trying to decide how best to encourage more households to shop around.

Despite the huge savings on offer, many customers are ‘sticky’ with their original supplier.

There are a lot of reasons cited by people why they don’t shop around for the best deal. These include not knowing about better deals on offer, not wanting the hassle of switching, and in some cases, not knowing energy has been privatised.

Business’s Head of Energy Procurement Paul Rafis said: “The fact that so many more homeowners are switching to the smaller suppliers should really get businesses thinking about their energy supply.

“Earlier in the summer the Competition and Markets Authority found that suppliers like British Gas and SSE were overcharging customers by a total of £1.2 billion. Any business which is still with one of these suppliers should seriously consider trying to find a better deal.

“Domestic customers as well as some business owners have all sorts of reasons why they don’t shop around for a better deal, but ultimately it comes down to ignorance or lethargy. And that can be very expensive.

“At Business we make switching suppliers easy. Energy managers just get in touch and we negotiate the best price on their behalf.”

Communal switching schemes

One other explanation for the increasing number of switching customers is the growing popularity of group switching schemes.
These types of schemes allow home and business customers to group together and use their collective bargaining power to get more affordable energy. As these schemes get more well known, more people are waking up to the potential savings.
Business manages two communal switching schemes for businesses across the UK. Find out more on our communal switching page.

For our help switching your business gas or electricity supply, get in touch today. Call: 0800 157 7175.