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450,000 energy customers switched in February

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In January and February, 836,000 customers switched energy supplier, representing a 2% increase year-on-year, the latest figures from Energy UK have shown.

Over the course of February, 450,000 customers switched supplier, which was a 0.1% fall when compared to February 2018.

It is worth noting that 2018 was a record year for switching, with over 5.8 million customers (equating to one in five) making a move.

Peter Earl, head of energy at comparethemarket – the comparison site, put the slight drop in switches in February down to the introduction of the energy price cap, which came into force in January. It applies to default tariffs and aims to prevent energy providers from charging more than £1,137 for a typical dual fuel tariff. The cap is due to increase by £117 in April.

“It’s no coincidence that the drop in switches came at the same time the energy price cap came into play, lulling people into a false sense of security and decreasing levels of engagement.

“However, with the recent announcement that the price cap level will be raised on average by £117 and the subsequent Big Six price rises, we can expect the number of people engaging and switching to accelerate over the next few months,” Earl explained.

He urges any households on standard variable and default tariffs to take a look around to find a better deal.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, added: “While there has been a small decrease this month, switching remains up on last year and we hope that, over the coming months, we continue to see high levels of consumers engaging in the market to find the best deal for them.”