Customers switch to smaller energy companies
Apr 08, 2014 by Spark Energy
Chris Gauld comments on the high level of customers switching to smaller energy firms.
“While it is very welcome news that more customers are switching to smaller energy providers for better deals, small suppliers only account for just over 5% of the market, with the Big Six suppliers controlling almost 95%. That’s unacceptable.
“The switching process for all providers is currently too complicated and takes far too long to complete. While customers can switch online within a matter of minutes, the physical process takes weeks to complete and too often delivers a disappointing intial experience for the customer. Facilitating switching in 24 hours to an actual meter reading would encourage customers to search for better deals and would allow small suppliers to deliver on the promise of better service.
“Until the 15 or so smaller suppliers can compete on a level playing field accessing wholesale energy on an equal basis and producing regulation and policy that actively promotes competition, not suppress it, our ability to offer the consumer a more cost appealing energy supply remains thwarted.
“As it stands there are simply not enough consumers reassessing suppliers and switching. In our specialist area, the letting sector, only 23% of customers are switching. Confidence needs to be restored in the energy market and the investigation by Ofgem should have the knock-on effect of alerting homeowners, tenants and landlords to accessing better deals from a wider choice of providers.”