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Switchers shun energy giants in favour of challengers

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

For the first time this year, a greater number of customers switched away from the largest energy providers rather than to them, data reveals.

Switches away from the ‘big six’ – British Gas, EDF, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE – stood at 18% in June, greater than the 16% who switched to them.

According to Comparethemarket.com’s energy snapshot, this has been driven by ultra-competitive deals on the market from smaller challengers.

Its data also revealed that three of the five highest savings tariffs available on its platform were from smaller suppliers, with an average saving of £375.

Based on area, those living in the South East were more active when it came to switching (15%), saving an average £295, while just 5% of those in the North East switched, saving £294.

Those aged 50-64 had the highest rate of switches (26%), while the lowest rate tends to be among those aged under 21.

Peter Earl, head of energy at Comparethemarket.com, said: “With 127 energy tariffs coming to an end in July, hundreds of thousands of households run the risk of being rolled onto a standard variable tariff – which will likely be significantly more expensive.

“The best way to mitigate any increase in the cost is by switching provider or shopping around for a better deal. There are a range of competitive tariffs available at the moment – including tariffs that use renewable energy – making now a great time to review your current deal.”