Energy customers turn their backs on the Big SixDual fuel customers choose independent providers

14 June 2016

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Customers are looking to independent energy providers for the best tariffs

New research has shown growing numbers of energy customers are turning away from the Big Six and going to independent providers for their gas and electricity.

The research, by energy market consultancy Cornwall Energy, found almost one in six (17.4%) dual fuel costumers - who take both gas and electricity from a single company - are now with an independent provider, an increase of almost a five percent on 2015 figures. 

It's no surprise that savvy consumers are turning away from the big providers like EDF, British Gas and Npower. Last week new Which? research revealed that the gap between average Big Six standard tariffs and the cheapest tariff has widened significantly in the past two years.

Find out how you can save money on your energy bills through our independent switching site, Which? Switch. If you'd prefer to call, you can ring Which? Switch on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220 235.

Independent gas and electricity suppliers

Cornwall Energy's research showed that First Utility dominate the independent market, accounting for almost one in four non-Big Six dual fuel accounts.

The research also showed that in the last year, 2.2 million energy accounts on any type of tariff were switched from the Big Six providers to independents.

In ouur guide to the best and worst energy suppliers, the suppliers with the highest ratings from their customers are all independents. 

Energy companies aim to make switching easier

Earlier this year, an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that a third of residents had never considered switching for a better energy deal.

Energy UK which represents the major energy companies, is launching its Energy Switch Guarantee, which it says aims to reach out to those who haven't switched before.

The Energy Switch Guarantee is a list of pledges which Energy UK says is easy to understand and will give confidence to customers who are looking to switch to a better energy deal. The pledges include making it clear that any switch will be free of charge, that it will take no longer than 21 days, and that the new supplier is responsible for handling the switching process. 

However, a number of suppliers including SSE, one of the Big Six, are yet to sign up.

If you think you're paying too much for your energy, join with 460,000 others in our Fair Energy Prices campaign.

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