Since June 2013, 2 million people have switched from the ‘big six’ energy suppliers, with npower hit particularly hard, losing 62,000 customers, according to uswitch. This loss of customers has stemmed from growing customer complaints, criticising the big six for a lack of competitive pricing or good customer service.
This news comes as energy suppliers are under increasing pressure to provide adequate customer service, after EDF agreed to pay out £3 million because of a 30% increase in customer complaint levels. This reminded energy suppliers that customer service is key to the industry, and that profits should never come before customers.
As well as npower, British Gas is losing customers too according to uswitch. More than 180,000 homes have switched from British Gas to smaller suppliers since June 2013, and there is no indication that this number is decreasing. All of this is good news for smaller, independent suppliers, who benefit from all negative publicity surrounding the big six.
Saving money is the obvious reason behind people switching. According to estimates, people can save between £200 and £300 per year on their energy bills, by switching supplier. And there’s no point in energy customers holding on to an old relationship with their energy supplier, either, because loyalty doesn’t pay.
Some companies have taken steps to reinforce a positive image with customers. Last week, we reported that Power NI and SSE Airtricity have frozen household electricity prices until 2015, and it is likely that other large suppliers will follow suit.
If you fancy switching energy supplier to save money, we recommend reading the Which? guide to switching supplier.