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More than 650,000 energy customers ditched their supplier in March

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

About 650,000 households switched electricity supplier in March – the second highest number ever recorded by Energy UK.

After a relatively slow start to the year, the figure for last month has leapt by 42% compared to February and is also 10% higher than March 2020.

So far in 2021, 1,500,000 customers have switched supplier, which is 7% lower than at the same time last year.

Emma Pinchbeck, Energy UK’s chief executive, said: “Although always remaining healthy, switching figures have been notably more volatile over the past year – and after a slow start to 2021, we saw a big increase last month.

“Traditionally switching is at its highest at this time of the year – and it’s also likely that customers have responded to being advised to check they’re on best deal in light of the recent price cap rise.

“As ever a few minutes checking out what’s on offer from your own supplier and on the wider market, can really be worth your while – and those looking to ensure a hassle-free switch should also see if their new supplier is signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee.”

In March 2021, of all domestic switches 28% were from larger to small and mid-tier suppliers, 11% were from small and mid-tier to larger suppliers, 54% were between larger suppliers, and 7% were between small and mid-tier suppliers.

In March the net gain by small and mid-tier suppliers was 105,077 or 17% of all domestic switches.

Will Owen, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Millions of customers were staring down the barrel of price rises in March, and it’s great to see that so many voted with their feet and moved to a better deal elsewhere.

“Providers were pushing up the cost of their energy deals in reaction to April’s new price cap, but 650,000 electricity customers realised that they didn’t have to sit down and take it. There are 56 fixed plans coming to an end in April, meaning more than one million homes could see their bills rise by £244 on average as they are moved onto their suppliers’ default tariff.

“The cheapest deal currently on the market is £920 — £217 less than the £1,138 default price cap. If you’re still on a standard variable tariff, it’s not too late to do a search online and see how much money you could save by moving to a fixed deal.”