In our monitoring of the retail energy market for gas and electricity, we collect and analyse a vast range of data. Our retail market indicators give a snapshot of this monitoring. They draw from a comprehensive framework which underpins our ongoing monitoring, including our annual update on the retail energy markets in Great Britain. You can view these updates in the related publications section below.
Our interactive retail market indicators
Select from the below to view the indicators in detail and for an overview of our monitoring themes.
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Retail highlights March 2021
Prices and Profits
As of February 2021, the average price of standard variable tariffs (SVTs) for the large legacy suppliers for a typical dual fuel customer paying with direct debit was £1,042, unchanged from the previous month and coinciding with the winter default tariff cap level.
The cheapest tariff basket decreased to £933 from £936 in January. As a result, the differential between the average price of SVTs for the large legacy suppliers and the cheapest tariff basket slightly increased to £109 from £106. It is the fifth consecutive month this differential has been below £200.
The cheapest standard credit tariff among the large legacy suppliers increased to £1,093 from £1,044 in the previous month. On the other hand, the cheapest direct debit tariff in the market was the same price as the cheapest standard credit tariff, and £125 less than the cheapest prepayment tariff.
The weighted average price of SVTs for a dual fuel prepayment customer was unchanged at £1,065 as of February 2021, below the winter prepayment cap level set at £1,070. For the same period the cheapest prepayment tariff was stable at £985. Therefore, the differential between the average SVT and the cheapest prepayment tariff was unchanged at £80.
See Prices and Profits.
In January 2021, the number of switches dropped by 26% compared to December 2020. In electricity it fell from 479,270 to 349,642 and in gas from 352,279 to 263,033. Compared to the same month in 2020, switches were down 21% in electricity and 20% in gas.
Lower switching figures around this time of the year are common. This drop also coincided with the national lockdown that started towards the end of December 2020, after the second COVID-19 wave. January 2021’s switching figures are lower than any month in 2019 or 2020. The last time switching levels dropped as low as this was in January 2018.
In January 2021, the proportion of net gains in switching away from the large legacy suppliers was 30% of total switches for gas and electricity combined, up from 22% in December 2020.
Prices and profits
We look at trends in external switching (between suppliers) and internal switching (with the same supplier) to understand levels of consumer engagement. We also look at average switching times, an indicator of process quality.
Methodology and sources
We have selected this range of indicators to support general understanding of the market, including how they contribute to the key priorities outlined in our strategic narrative. We also aim to provide a picture of the market where it is not produced elsewhere, or where there is scope for us to set a clear methodology for the data.
Our data comes from sources that are either publicly available, provided by third parties or from responses to Ofgem information requests. Specific sources and relevant dates are listed with each indicator. We are grateful to third parties for allowing us to reproduce their data.
Most of these indicators will be updated quarterly while still allowing access to historic information. Updates will depend on the availability of data for an indicator.
We will review the indicators periodically to ensure they continue to help promote transparency and understanding of the retail energy market and as additional sources of information become available.
These market indicators and data are not intended for use or to be relied on for any commercial purposes. View copyright and disclaimer