British Gas price hikes pushes energy switching to record high

british gas

British Gas’ price rise propelled ­energy switching to its highest ever rate on one of the country’s biggest ­comparison sites.

The decision this month by Britain’s biggest energy supplier to raise electricity bills by 12.5 per cent triggered a two-and-a-half-times increase in switching on compared with the same day of the prior week, the Telegraph reports.

The site said nearly half those leaving their supplier on the day of the price rise announcement were British Gas customers.

The acceleration in switching will bolster expectations of record customer losses for energy’s “Big Six” this year.

British Gas increased electricity prices for 3m customers on its standard variable tariff, raising energy bills for the typical dual-fuel customer by £76 to £1,120 per year.

Peter Earl, from, said the British Gas price rise was “clearly the final straw for many”.

What are the ‘Big Six’ energy companies?
  1. British Gas
  2. EDF Energy
  3. npower
  4. E.On
  5. Scottish Power

“The activity on our website shows that consumers are voting with their feet. The Big Six energy companies have a huge job to do in terms of ­rebuilding trust. If they don’t, the stampede towards the challenger brands will only accelerate,” he added.

Equity analysts at Jefferies say this year is likely to be another record year for switching in the UK energy supply market, and market share loss for the Big Six.

“In 2016, independent suppliers gained 1.1m net customers from larger suppliers. For the January to July ­period this year, a net 812,982 customers have already switched to independents, up 6 per cent from last year,” Ahmed Farman, an analyst at Jefferies, said.