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Customers desert big six for independent suppliers

A raft of cheap plans and coupled with a government drive to encourage households to switch energy provider, has seen households flock to small suppliers

Customers are leaving the big six in droves

Customers are leaving the big six in droves

According to Energy UK, the trade association for the energy industry, the number of people signed up to independent suppliers has jumped from 3% to 9% in just one year.

The information suggests that small suppliers have played an important role in creating a more competitive energy market.

Big small suppliers

Two months ago, First Utility became the first small supplier to sign up its one millionth customer. This gives the independent supplier a 2% share of the market, a far cry from the situation just three years ago, when the big six had 99% of market share.

Ovo Energy, the second most subscribed to small provider in the UK, has trebled its customers to 400,000 in the past year.

Big six fight back

The energy best buy table has been dominated by small suppliers since last winter’s price rises, but that’s starting to change.

Although First Utility has managed to keep hold of the top spot, E.ON and npower have both recently dropped prices and sit second and third.

Energy best buy table (as of Monday, 10th November, 2014)



Plan name

Average bill size

Tariff type


First Utility

iSave Fixed March 2016





E.ON Energy Fixed 1 Year v12





Online Price Fix Jan 2016




OVO Energy

Better Energy (all online)




Extra Energy

Fresh Fixed Price Dec 2015 v1



Source: *Based on a medium usage customer using 3,200 kWh of electricity and 13,500 kWh of gas paying by direct debit with bill sizes averaged across all regions.

The top three plans

First Utility’s table topping plan is the cheapest seen in the past two years and will fix energy rates until March 2016. This guarantees protection from price rises for two winters and comes with £30 per fuel cancellation fees.

E.ON’s plan, the E.ON Energy Fixed 1 Year v12, is £5 per year more expensive, but carries low £5 per fuel cancellation fees and includes E.ON rewards (Tesco Clubcard points or up to £15 of high street vouchers). It will fix energy rates for 12 months.

npower’s brand new plan, the Online Price Fix Jan 2016, has no cancellation fees and will fix rates until January 2016. A great choice for anyone who wants to keep their options open should a cheaper deal come along.

Read more

Snatch a great deal on your energy bills before the cold weather hits – updated

First Utility cuts switching times in half

  • know it all

    this is ok if you are a average user. I know with a fact that know one uses that exact amount of energy so the deals are based on the customers usage so if you are a low user first utility would be quite expensive due to the high standing charge so that would mean its not the cheapest on the market so why do this table when it is totally incorrect.