Over 5m customers have switched energy supplier so far in 2019, Energy UK has revealed, as consumers continue to make the most of increased competition.
The latest figures show that 626,284 customers moved to a new supplier last month – down 1.1 per cent on October 2018.
Over 100,000 of these came from people switching from small and medium-sized companies to large providers, suggesting that the Big Six may have learnt a lesson from their smaller competitors.
Peter Earl, head of energy at comparethemarket.com, said:
“After years of haemorrhaging customers the Big Six have staged a comeback, clawing customers from smaller and medium-sized energy suppliers.
“More than 100,000 customers switched from a small and medium-sized supplier to a large provider in October, a number which eclipses any other month in the last two years. British Gas appears to have woken up to the threat from start-up and challenger energy brands, going gung-ho for value with a very competitively priced tariff in an attempt to lure back customers.
“The Big Six have snatched the momentum from their smaller and nimbler energy rivals – but whether this is a longer-term trend or merely a blip remains to be seen.”
The total number of switches hit 5,367,738 so far this year, up 9.2 per cent on the same time last year – when a record 5.8m customers switched supplier.
The number of people switching supplier has grown every year since 2014, when there were around 3.2m changes.
Audrey Gallacher, Energy UK’s director of policy, said:
“This month’s figures show that consumers continue to take advantage of the increased competition. Over 5.3m customers have already moved to a new supplier and switching is on track to hit the 6m mark this year.
“With the temperatures dropping across the country, I’d encourage consumers to get in touch with their supplier or have a look online to make sure they’re on the best deal ahead of winter and the cold weather.
“More importantly I’d urge everyone to make their homes more energy efficient – for example by insulating the roof or installing LED light bulbs – as this is the best way to save money on your bills and at the same time do your bit to save the planet.”