There have never been more suppliers to choose from, says Ofgem

switching energy supplier

There are now 72 active energy suppliers in the UK market, according to a new set of facts & figures released by the energy regulator Ofgem – with small & medium companies making up around one fifth of the market.

  • Ofgem estimates a saving of £375 by switching away from one of the ‘big 6’ suppliers
  • Gas prices are lower in the UK compared to the average European country
  • UK electricity prices are around average
  • 2.1 million electricity customers switched suppliers during the first half of 2018

In 2014, new regulations made it easier for smaller ‘independent’ energy companies to enter the market, providing some much-needed competition for the so-called ‘big 6’ who up until then had dominated the industry. Eversmart Energy launched in 2016 with an aim to educate energy customers who were paying too much, and moving them onto cheaper tariffs.

Since then, record numbers of people have switched suppliers, thanks largely to the internet and greater choice for consumers.

You can see the full set of findings below. Click or tap on the image to view the full-size version.

Ofgem infographic

Infographic by Ofgem

Energy security in Britain

energy security

Large-scale power outages are thankfully rare in the UK. In an uncertain world it’s the job of organisations like Ofgem, The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, and The National Grid to keep our energy supplies secure and reliable.

Ofgem recently released a detailed infographic explaining where our energy comes from, how it’s kept stable during periods of high demand, and which other countries we cooperate with in order to improve energy security & save costs. Factors such as unusual weather, the cost of fossil fuels, the availability of renewable power and economic activity can all affect demand and put strain on the National Grid.

Did you know?…

  • Energy demand can triple on a cold winters day
  • Britain is able to import electricity from France, Ireland and the Netherlands when demand is high
  • We can also sell electricity to a number of European countries when demand in Britain is low
  • Around half of Britain’s natural gas comes from the North Sea
  • Gas can be imported from continental Europe via pipelines or shipped in from further away in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The government are also rolling out Smart Meters and attempting to create a Smart Grid, which will make it easier to understand energy usage and anticipate periods of high demand.

The full Ofgem infographic can be seen below. Click or tap on the image for a better view.

energy security infographic

Should I switch to a small energy supplier?

Should I switch to a small energy supplier

For a long time the gas & electricity market has been dominated by the so-called ‘Big 6’ energy firms, leaving consumers with a limited number of options when it came to choosing a supplier. Today, there are over 40 energy providers including many smaller – or ‘independent’ – companies who can offer very competitive prices.

But despite the fact they are considerably cheaper, many people are nervous about switching to a lesser-known supplier – but should you be?

What is an independent energy supplier?

Basically, any company that isn’t one of the Big 6 – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power or SSE– is considered as a ‘small’ or ‘independent’ energy company.

Back in 2014, the energy regulator Ofgem announced plans to open up the electricity market and encourage healthier competition between suppliers. These plans included several proposals that would “level the playing field” and make it easier for independent firms to compete with the big boys – such as greater transparency when it comes to wholesale energy prices.

As a result, dozens of new suppliers entered the market, offering lower prices thanks to smaller overheads and freedom from some of the government obligations placed on the Big 6. Eversmart Energy was one of these companies – offering competitive pricing and refreshingly modern customer service through text and social media. We started supplying in 2016, and two years later we’re still going strong and still proudly independent!

Is it safe to switch to a small supplier?

A recent survey from Citizens Advice revealed that 1 in 3 people don’t feel confident switching energy suppliers. Another study from Money Saving Expert asked people what puts them off from switching – the number one answer was being unsure about using an unfamiliar firm.

Money Saving Expert noted on their blog: “While our poll shows many are wary of smaller suppliers, and feedback on new small suppliers is often limited, previous MSE polls suggest some smaller firms can actually offer a better customer experience than their big-name counterparts.”

Ofgem have also attempted to ease concerns about the stability of some smaller suppliers. If an energy company ceases trading, regulations are in place to make sure you are transferred smoothly over to a new supplier.

Whenever you switch energy suppliers, there’s very little hassle and no interruption to your supply. If you do decide to switch to an independent, you could save up to £300 a year!

How do independent companies keep their prices so low?

Eversmart Energy offer a free Smart Meter to every customer – this allows us to reduce operational costs and pass the savings on to you. Like many independents, we’re smaller and more flexible than some of our bigger competitors, with fewer overheads and lower operational costs.

We also understand that people’s lifestyles are changing, along with the way they like to communicate. If you don’t have the time to speak to us over the phone, we’re happy to communicate via text, social media or Facebook messenger – whatever works for you! We like to think we do things the smart way.

How do I make the switch?

Switching energy suppliers is quick, simple and hassle-free. You can get a quote and find out how much you could save here.

A record number of people switched their electricity supplier in February

switching electricity

Over 660,000 people switched electricity suppliers last month, according to industry figures from Energy UK.

This is the highest ever number of people switching in a single month, and represents a 60% increase compared to the same period last year.

2017 also saw the highest number of people switching gas suppliers since 2008, according to the latest figures released by Ofgem.

The unusually cold weather, better informed customers and aggressive advertising by certain energy firms have all been suggested by experts as reasons for the high figures. Around 20% of switches were people moving away from the ‘Big 6’ and opting for a cheaper, independent supplier.

See also: Should I switch to a smaller energy supplier?

“The energy market has never been so competitive, and it’s great to see record numbers of consumers engaging in the market to get a better deal” said chief executive of Energy UK Lawrence Slade.

Customers can save up to £300 per year by switching their gas and electricity to a smaller, more competitive supplier such as Eversmart.