One million households switch after energy price rises

Almost a quarter decided to move to an independent gas and electricity supplier

One million homes switched energy supplier in the last two months of 2013

One million homes switched energy supplier in the last two months of 2013

The number of homes which changed energy supplier more than doubled in the final two months of 2013, following each of the big six energy suppliers raising their energy prices.

Of these one million switches, close to one fourth selected an independent energy supplier. The latter may not boast the same level of brand recognition as their larger rivals, but are not required to pay certain government taxes meaning they are able to offer extremely competitive prices.

Political hot potato

This winter’s price rises caused much anger and led to a fierce political debate which is still ongoing. Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged to freeze energy rates for 20 months should he be elected, a proposition which the Conservative Party has branded “unworkable”.

The Conservative Party did, however, reduce the level of green levies imposed on energy companies. As a result the average bill will be reduced by about £50, although this is still far from wiping out this winter’s energy price rises.

price rise infographic

‘Competition is alive and well’

Speaking on the switching figures, Angela Knight, head of Energy UK, said: “Increased switching is a welcome sign that the industry is becoming more competitive, clearer and working for consumers.

“Competition is alive and well with people choosing new entrants and smaller suppliers rather than sticking with established firms.”

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