Energy switching to small firms hits new high as complaints rise

 
Suzie Neuwirth
THE NUMBER of customers switching their energy supplier rose by seven per cent in March, with the percentage of switches to a smaller firm hitting a record high of 43 per cent.

Industry body Energy UK said that its data, compiled by Electralink, showed that there is greater choice for customers. The big six suppliers have been losing accounts amid the public furore over the cost of living, as people shop around for cheaper deals.

The data coincides with research from the energy ombudsman that shows the number of complaints about energy providers surged by 224 per cent during the first three months of 2014.

Complaints from distressed customers rose from 3,277 for the first three months of 2013 to 10,628 for the same period this year.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of the consumer group Which, said the numbers were yet further evidence that “the energy market is broken and it is right that it has been referred for a full-scale investigation”.