Helsinki, Finland --- (METERING.COM) --- September 10, 2012 - Victoria, Australia continues to lead the world with record levels of customer supplier switching, reaching almost 28 percent during the past year, according to VaasaETT’s latest compilation of world energy retail market rankings.

This is a 1 percent increase over the previous year, and ensures that Victoria remains the only “super hot” market, in which switching has been over 20 percent for at least three years.

The report aims to provide a global view of customer switching and covers 38 liberalized electricity markets.

Globally the average switching rate for 2011 was 7.75 percent, up just over 0.5 percent. Of the 32 markets in the rankings in 2011, 19 increased their switching rates from the previous year. Only 9 decreased their switching rates.

The report finds that the biggest riser was New Zealand, with an increase from 19.5 percent to almost 21 percent. This is thanks largely to the Energy Authority’s successful ‘What’s my number’ national awareness campaign, which was run in winter 2011 and has been repeated during this year’s winter.

Conversely the biggest fallers during the past year were Great Britain and Ireland, with Australia generally, due largely to its price caps outside Victoria, losing its national lead. Both Great Britain and Ireland are now bordering on losing their status as ‘hot’ markets, losing 21 percent and 35 percent of their activity respectively between 2009 and 2011.

Switching levels in these markets are also starting to be inhibited by restrictions on door-to-door sales, which historically have proven to be the most important sales channel for such switching.

Among the other findings of the report, new analysis has found that absolute price levels are insignificant in switching levels. Rather, the complexity of the relationship between prices and switching is such that the way in which prices change, and the environment of the change are far more significant.

Further, retailers are failing to understand the role and dynamics of cyclicality in switching. Major switching opportunities are therefore being missed.