Millions put off switching energy after string of firms collapse
Over a million people have been impacted by the failure of 14 energy firms in the past two years.
And one in five people, the equivalent of 5.5 million households, have been put off switching energy firms as a result, according to Comparethemarket.com research.
However, geographically, the number of customers put off switching jumps to nearly one in four energy customers in the West Midlands (24%) and the North East (24%).
For 13%, they’ll only switch to larger, better-known providers, and 7% said they won’t switch to a smaller energy supplier.
Based on its customer data, Comparethemarket.com found that in the past three months, the number of switches to larger suppliers has outstripped the move to smaller firms.
But it added that engagement in energy switching is relatively low as one in four have never switched supplier and 21% last switched more than three years ago.
Peter Earl, head of energy at Comparethemarket.com, said: “It is hardly surprising that the catalogue of supplier collapses in the past two years is having a negative impact on people’s decisions when it comes to choosing an energy supplier. Engagement in switching is already low despite the considerable savings that can be made by changing supplier regularly, with the roll call of supplier failures further fuelling inertia.
“Proposals outlined by the regulator to implement new financial checks and tests for existing energy providers should be fast-tracked to prevent the stain of supplier collapses on the industry becoming a permanent fixture. Consumer confidence is already damaged, but action is required now to reassure energy customers in 2020 and beyond that the issue of supplier collapses is being treated with the seriousness it deserves.”
List of suppliers which have collapsed:
- January 2018: Future Energy – 10,000 customers
- July 2018: Iresa – 100,000 customers
- September 2018: Gen4u – 500 customers
- October 2018: Usio Energy – 7,000 customers
- November 2018: Extra Energy – 108,000 customers
- November 2018: Spark Energy – 290,000 customers
- December 2018: OneSelect – 36,000 customers
- January 2019: Economy Energy – 235,000 customers
- January 2019: Our Power – 38,000 customers
- March 2019: Brilliant Energy – 17,000 customers
- August 2019: Cardiff Energy Supply – 800 customers
- August 2019: Solarplicity – 7,500 customers
- September 2019: Eversmart – 29,000 customers
- October 2019: Toto Energy – 134,000 customers