Businesses buck the trend when it comes to smaller energy suppliers
The Big Six (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower, SSE and Scottish Power) account for around 99% of all domestic energy accounts, but when it comes to business energy, it’s a different story.
It won't taste any less sweet because it's smaller... Image by Facundo Prámparo via Flickr.
There are plenty of smaller energy suppliers on the market, and many of them are competitive when it comes to price. However, according to DECC, their share of the domestic market is a tiny 1% and new research from our sister company, uSwitch, has found that only 52% of customers would switch to one for their home.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch commented: “Unfortunately, when it comes to energy suppliers many consumers are caught in a trap – they’re unhappy with the Big Six, they like what smaller suppliers have to offer, but they’re too frightened to try one out.”
She added: “The fact is that smaller suppliers offer competitive prices and a genuine alternative to being with the Big Six. There is no risk of losing your supply, either while switching or at a later date. If anything happened to your supplier, Ofgem would step in so you would always be guaranteed supply.”
However, we’ve found that it’s a different story when it comes to businesses - 24% of our customers go with a supplier that isn’t part of the Big Six.
Why? Well, in the business energy market, beyond the Big Six you have suppliers that cater specifically for businesses, which is a real selling point. These suppliers may not have a big name or advertise on TV, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t competitive, or that they don’t have a good pedigree or significant backing. For example, take Haven Power, which is part of Drax Power, one of the UK's largest independent power companies, or Gazprom, which is part of the Gazprom Group - the largest producer of natural gas in the world.
So if you’re thinking about your business energy contract, don’t think there are only six options and no competition. One of the Big Six may well be the best option for your business, but then again, it could be that the best combination of price and service comes from somewhere you weren’t expecting.
There’s 16 suppliers listed in our energy supplier directory if you want to find out more, or if that sounds like too much effort, give us a call on 0800 688 8568.
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