Energy customer switches rise by 30%, as millions of customers change supplier in the first half of the year

Press release

Publication date

Industry sector

Supply and Retail Market

Ofgem has published data which shows that in the first half of this year (Jan-June 2016) more than 3.8 million switches took place as people changed their energy supplier – around a million more than the same period last year (Jan-June 2015). 

In the first half of 2016, around 1.6 million domestic customers switched gas suppliers and 2.2 million domestic customers switched electricity suppliers.

Ofgem’s data also shows that consumers have more choice than ever before, with over 40 suppliers to choose from.

However, whilst there are more deals in the market to choose from, Ofgem’s data reveals that 66% of domestic customers are still on expensive standard variable tariffs. This is why Ofgem is taking forward the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) reforms to better protect those on pre-payment meters and to increase competition for all other customers. 

Meanwhile, customers can save over £300 by ditching expensive standard variable tariffs for the cheapest deal, often a fixed-term tariff. The average standard variable tariff of the larger energy suppliers as of 28 July 2016 was £1,066. The cheapest tariff available on that date – a one year fixed tariff – was £758, a saving of £308.

Rachel Fletcher, Ofgem senior partner, Consumers and Competition, said: “Great deals are there for the taking. There are very competitive offers and many more suppliers to choose from, and that’s why more consumers are switching. 

“With savings of around £300 available, and winter coming, now is a great time to shop around for cheaper deals. Advice from Ofgem is available from”

Small Business, Consumers, and Corporate Responsibility Minister Margot James said: “Thanks to the government’s action, it’s easier and quicker to switch than ever before. The number of suppliers has more than tripled since 2010 and it is great to see more people have already taken advantage this year by switching and saving money on their bills.”

Ofgem is a leading provider of authoritative, accurate and impartial data on the energy industry for consumers. We update our data regularly.

Notes to editors

1. Switching statistics

Between January and June 2016:

  • 1,643,386 domestic customers switched gas suppliers
  • 2,157,798 domestic customers switched electricity suppliers

2. The number of customers switching supplier shown in our data is based on the number of meter points a supplier gains from another following a customer choice to change their supplier.

About Ofgem

Ofgem is the independent energy regulator for Great Britain. Its priority is to make a positive difference for consumers by promoting competition in the energy markets and regulating networks.

For facts, figures and information about Ofgem’s work, see Energy market facts and figures.

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Ruth Somerville: 0207 901 7460

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