If you’re part of the 88 per cent of homeowners who buy energy from the ‘Big Six’ suppliers – British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power, and SSE – now may be a good time to save money by switching to an independent gas and electricity provider.
Why? Well quite simply because independent energy suppliers are currently offering some of the cheapest energy tariffs seen in years. Simply compare gas and electricity to find out how much switching providers could save you.
The Big Six
The Big Six energy companies have dominated the energy market for too long, supplying the vast majority of the UK with energy. This dominance can result in uncompetitive prices and means many of us are unaware of the benefits of switching to an independent energy supplier.
“This is a real pity as these smaller providers represent a genuine alternative and can offer you significant savings,” says consumer body Which?.
The influx of the Independents
According to reports, 3.1 million people switched energy suppliers in 2014, with around 1.1 million switching to small suppliers like First Utility. Research carried out by USwitch in 2014 reveals 72% of households would consider switching to a small supplier – an increase from 56% in 2013.
The latest electricity switching data from Energy UK shows 335,826 household switched energy suppliers in April 2015, which is up from the same period last year. The new figures show a growing resistance to the Big Six.
Ed Kamm, Chief Customer Officer of First Utility, the UK’s largest independent energy supplier, comments: “We are working hard to make the switching process itself quicker to remove some of the barriers, but we call for more to be done to level the playing field and make it easier for smaller energy providers to compete and put even more pressure on the Big Six.”
Paying the price for customer dissatisfaction
A survey conducted by Which? in January revealed the best and worst energy companies for customer service. The top five energy companies for customer service were all little known independent energy suppliers, while the Big Six languished at the bottom of the table with scores of 50 per cent or less.
The top five energy companies for customer satisfaction were all little known, smaller suppliers, while the “big six” – E. ON, British Gas, EDF Energy, npower, Scottish Power and SSE – were all at the bottom of the table, with scores of 50 per cent or less.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said: “For the fourth year running, smaller suppliers are wiping the floor with the Big Six on customer service.
The large energy firms, which dominate the market, need to up their game as millions of customers deserve better.”
Customer satisfaction was rated on customer service, value for money, accuracy and clarity of bills, complaints and how they help customers to save energy.
Switching made simple
Switching energy supplier has never been simpler, with the time it takes to switch energy supplier now the shortest it’s ever been. You can switch energy supplier in just over two weeks (a process that used to take 5 weeks!), with three-day switching set to come into play by the end of the year. The current switching time includes a two-week cooling off period mandated by EU law, meaning you’re covered if you change your mind.
First Utility’s successful Fix the Switch Campaign was instrumental in halving the switching time, and the energy company is campaigning for 24-hour switching by 2016. The energy company is also petitioning to scrap the variable tariff to save the UK £3.4 billion in over-priced energy bills. Find out more about First Utility campaigns.
Discover just how easy it is to switch energy suppliers with our handy guide and compare gas and electricity to find a better deal today.
About First Utility
First Utility is the UK’s fastest growing and largest independent energy supplier. It supplies gas and electricity to more than 780,000 customers throughout the UK and is committed to helping them reduce their energy bills by offering cheaper gas and electricity tariffs, helping customers use less energy through the use of innovative technology and campaigning for industry change. First Utility also donates 1% of its profits each year to the First Utility Foundation, an independent charitable organisation with a goal to improve the lives of vulnerable families and individuals across the UK
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