Switching remains down at year end

The number of customers changing to a new supplier remained low in December 2021 with only 172,408 customers making the move, according to Energy UK’s latest electricity switching figures. This represents a 63% decrease compared to the same period last year.

This follows a similarly steep fall in November 2021 when only 139,070 customers changed supplier, the lowest monthly figure since Energy UK started publishing these in October 2013.

Such a fall was expected after the current upheaval in the retail market led to price-capped ‘default’ tariffs becoming the cheapest deals available – removing the prime reason for many customers switching supplier.

In total, last year saw 5.1 million customers switch suppliers, 14% lower than in 2020, with high switching rates in earlier months falling away in the autumn.

Matthew Cole, Independent Chair of Energy UK’s Energy Switch Guarantee, (a voluntary industry initiative under which signatory suppliers commit to making switching simple, and safe for customers) said:

The continuing fall in switching comes as no surprise with record wholesale prices resulting in a reduced range of tariffs and leading to customers staying with their existing supplier. However, it remains important that consumers are able to switch suppliers if they desire, and when the market recovers, or to switch to a different tariff with their current supplier. The ESG ensures that these switches can happen quickly and safely, and makes sure suppliers are adhering to making switching easy and safe for consumers in a time of uncertainty in the market.”