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"Big Six" energy companies continue to lose market share


New figures released have shown the six biggest energy companies in England are continuing to lose market share to smaller suppliers.

The figures, released by independent research group Cornwall Energy, reveal that five years ago, the large suppliers had 99.8% of the market, which has now gone down to 92.4%. This shows that independent suppliers have increased their market share from 0.2% to 7.6% in five years.

The “big six” energy suppliers consist of British Gas, Npower, SSE, Scottish Power, E.On and EDF. Between them they supply 45.9 million homes with energy, while smaller suppliers now have 3.8 million accounts between them. The next biggest and independent supplier, First Utility, has increased its customer base massively in the last 3 years, and now has 1.02 millions accounts. The next biggest independent supplier, Utility Warehouse, has 835,000 accounts.

Many of the smaller firms claim they offer a cheaper alternative to the big six, and The Department of Energy boasts that the total number of suppliers has "almost trebled" to more than a dozen since 2010.
Energy minister Ed Davey said:
"With over two million customers now signed up to independent suppliers overall it's clear that households increasingly trust them and are benefiting from competition in the market"

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) began an enquiry into the big six suppliers earlier this summer, after the regulator, Ofgem, said the market was not working in consumers' best interests. This shift in market shares could be an indicator of consumers taking matters into their own hands, and switching suppliers when they feel they do not have a fair deal, breaking the “stranglehold” the big six companies have on the energy business.

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