Customer Behaviour

Energy customers changed suppliers last year at the highest rate in six years, as they increasingly shopped around for the best deal. Bill payers switched providers 7.7 million times, saving potentially more than £200 a year, according to Ofgem.

However, looming price rises by some of the UK’s biggest suppliers would test how competitive the market was, the regulator said. Firms were not doing enough for about two thirds of customers, Ofgem added.

In the coming weeks, standard gas and electricity tariffs will go up at Npower, Scottish Power, Co-operative Energy and First Utility, while EDF will raise electricity prices.

Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan said the increase in customer switching should act as a “warning” to such suppliers.

“If they fail to keep prices under control or do not provide a good service, they risk being punished as customers vote with their feet,” Mr Nolan said.

“While today’s figures show good progress, the market is not as competitive as we would like.”

About two thirds of energy customers remain on standard tariffs or pre-payment deals, which often offer far worse value, the regulator said.

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