The ‘Energy’ Market
Is the energy supplier market increasing? For a while the active suppliers remained relatively stable, but since 2012 they have been on the increase – is this good news for the consumer?
New suppliers are joining the market place with now 44 active in the domestic gas and electricity retail markets. This must be good news for the consumer, more competition – but choose wisely, factor in schemes such as Warm Homes Discount (if you meet criteria) to ensure this is taken into account when being quoted a cheaper deal.
The market share for of small and medium sized suppliers continues to grow with new entrants such as not-for-profit, renewable and local supply schemes while the six large suppliers continue to lose their share.
Switching suppliers is on the increase within the first eight months of 2016 a 29% increase than the previous year. With around £300 more expensive on a standard variable tariff to a fix-term tariff you can understand why people are looking to switch.
Consumers who are in a vulnerable situation continue to experience the worse outcomes; those who are in debt or have a prepayment meter are limited to the choice of tariffs. There is also the assumption that everyone has access to the internet, suppliers are trying to address these issues and have started to offer a number of cheaper ‘smart’ prepayment tariffs. Energy is essential service and no-one due to their circumstances should face barriers to receiving the best service and price.
So what do we have to look forward to in 2017? Wider choices for vulnerable customers? Improved customer service from suppliers?