More than 3.8 million people switched their energy supplier between January and June this year, up 32% on the same period in 2015, according to figures released today by energy regulator Ofgem.Over the first half of 2016, there were 34% more electricity switches than the same period last year, as 2.2 million changed their supply. A further 1.6 million switched gas, 29% more than the same time in 2015.
Ofgem says more consumer choice has been the driving force behind increased switching – with the number of suppliers more than tripling since 2010 – while schemes such as faster energy switching and the Energy Switching Guarantee have made it easier and quicker to switch.
While this is encouraging, Ofgem points out that two-thirds of domestic customers are still stuck on expensive standard variable tariffs.
Based on someone with typical use, a standard tariff with one of the big six costs £1,063/year on average. By switching to one of the leading cheap fixed deals, someone with the same usage could save nearly £300.
With winter on its way, now's a great time to look at locking in the best possible energy rates for the colder months ahead – before further price rises are unveiled.
We recently warned that some of the cheapest deals were disappearing – back in May, someone with typical usage could get a one-year fix for just £724/yr. The cheapest deal today costs £770.
Last month, two more suppliers announced that due to rising wholesale costs – the prices suppliers pay for energy – and the impact of the Brexit vote, they were increasing their prices. Ovo Energy raised the price of its 'Better Energy' one-year fix by an average of 3.6% and Co-op Energy increased its 'Pioneer' tariff by 3%.
We can help you cut the cost of your energy bills
Here at MoneySavingExpert.com we're encouraging customers to check if they can save on their energy bills before more price rises are introduced.
You can do this by:
- Doing a quick comparison via our Cheap Energy Club – if we can switch you to a better deal, we'll also give you £30 dual fuel cashback (£15 single fuel).
- Use our top-pick comparison tool to find full reviews of tariffs and help about which deals to choose.
- If you don't want to switch firms, you may still be able to switch to your current provider's cheapest tariff – you won't save as much but it's still worth doing.
For a chance at market-leading tariffs...
If you're looking for the cheapest deals going, you can register for our upcoming Big Switch Event 5 – our fifth collective switch where we use the power of Cheap Energy Club members and recipients of our weekly email to negotiate cheap deals with suppliers. In our previous collectives, we've managed to beat the market's cheapest tariffs, and we hope to do the same again this year.
The regulator's rules mean we can only offer these tariffs to 'members', so check you're registered, or sign up for either our Cheap Energy Club or weekly email by 8pm on 12 September to take advantage.