Retail highlights November 2023
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.
These market indicators and data are not intended for use or to be relied on for any commercial purposes. View copyright and disclaimer
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In Q2 2023 the number of active licensed suppliers remained same at 21 as Q1 2023. This was due to no new entries and exits.
The combined market share of the large legacy suppliers remained at 71% in electricity and at 71% in gas. Other large, medium and small suppliers accounted for the remaining 29% in both fuels.
For our classification of suppliers by size see the ‘information tab’ of the market share indicators.
Prices and profits
In October 2023, wholesale prices continued to be volatile and extremely sensitive to market news. Significant price spikes were associated with the Middle Eastern conflict, the possibility of further strikes at Australia LNG facilities, onset of colder weather and reduction in renewable energy generation (both wind and solar).
The number of fixed tariffs on offer remained stable last month, although new fixed tariffs continued to be released as previous ones were withdrawn. Around 70% of these offers became available to the whole market, rather than just to existing customers, with prices generally close to or slightly higher than the price cap. The average fixed tariff was priced at £1940 in October 2023, somewhat lower than £2,041 in the previous month.
The average price of SVTs with large legacy suppliers for a typical dual fuel customer paying with direct debit declined to £1832 in October 2023, just below the price cap value.
The cheapest tariff basket was down by £181 to £1,811. As a result, the differential between the average price of SVTs for the large legacy suppliers and the cheapest tariff basket decreased to £21.
The update of all profit and average bill indicators based on Consolidated Segmental Statements (CSS) has been paused. Only three large domestic legacy suppliers (British Gas, EDF and Scottish Power) and one non-domestic supplier (SSE) submit a CSS under existing regulation. This information is insufficient to generate market representative statistics. A review of the CSS obligation is in progress and we intend to resume the publication of these indicators as soon as new data becomes available.
From 14 April 2022, we have required suppliers to pay a Market Stabilisation Charge when acquiring new customers. The market stabilisation charge will only apply in certain market conditions (that would otherwise create risks to market stability), which we will assess on a weekly basis. You can find out if the Market Stabilisation Charge has been triggered, and if so what the level of the charge is on our website at Market Stabilisation Charge dashboard | Ofgem.
In Sep 2023, the total number of switches was down 1.7 % relative to Aug 2023 and approx. 154.9 % above the level observed in September 2022. However, it remains 59% lower than two years ago, before the gas price crisis started. The number of electricity switches increased from 184,353 to 195,053, while gas switches decreased from 118,220 to 102,363.
The proportion of net gains switching away from the large legacy supplier was around 33% in Sep 2023, continuing to reflect mainly customers moving towards other large and medium suppliers.
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.