The market share of Britain’s big six energy firms of domestic customers in the country fell to a record low in 2017, as smaller rivals lured customers away with cheaper deals, according to energy regulator Ofgem.
The market share of the big six suppliers tallied 79% for electricity and 78% for gas in December 2017, down from 84% for both gas and electricity a year earlier, says Ofgem.
Last year, 5.1 million electricity consumers and 4.1 million gas consumers in total switched supplier, the highest number for almost a decade. More than a third of these customers switched away from the big six to a challenger firm, Ofgem said.
A seperate survey conducted by uSwitch has also found that satisfaction levels are lower at the UK’s big six power companies, causing customers to seek better treatment at smaller competitors.
The company's annual customer satisfaction report, now in its 12th year, surveyed more than 17,000 energy customers. The findings include UK consumers are happy with services offered by smaller utilities such as Octopus Energy, Bulb and Utility Warehouse, taking the top three places in the survey.
The survey has listed big six customer satisfaction levels as lower down and at the bottom of the table. For instance, British Gas is listed 14th with 68% and Npower 15th on the list.
The news comes at a time when UK energy companies are under pressure to reduce bills as prime minister, Theresa May has this week introduced new legislation to cap energy prices until 2020, preventing customers from being ripped off and protecting vulnerable citizens.
Britain’s big six energy suppliers include Centrica’s British Gas, SSE, E.ON, EDF Energy, Innogy’s Npower and Iberdrola’s Scottish Power.
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