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Record numbers switch energy supplier

Five million switched gas or electricity in 2007

A blue flame from a gas hob

Although there is no ‘green gas’, you can still switch your energy supplier to a green tariff

A record number of customers switched their energy supplier last year in search of a cheaper deal, according to new figures.

Industry regulator Ofgem said the number of people changing their gas or electricity company hit 5.1 million in 2007.

The figure is up from about 4.8 million switches in 2006.

It added that Scottish & Southern Energy has now overtaken Eon to become the second biggest energy supplier in Britain after British Gas.

Energy deals

But Ofgem says that certain groups of customers – such as pensioners, unemployed people and those on low incomes – are switching less than other groups.

It’s now launched a pilot campaign with Citizens Advice to encourage more of these customers to switch to a better deal.

Ofgem Chief Executive Alistair Buchanan said: ‘The number of customers switching supplier is increasing and 5 million account switches alone in 2007 shows that suppliers who don’t offer competitive prices and good service will lose customers.

‘However, some customers have voiced concerns about the market and we have responded by launching an investigation to examine whether it is working effectively for all customers.’

Switch with Which?

Which? runs an impartial energy price comparison site – Switch with Which? – where you can check which supplier offers the best deal for your gas and electricity.

Users of Switch with Which? are currently enjoying average savings of £200 each year on their energy bill. 

The figure comes from those who used the site to switch in the 12 months to July 2007.

Compare tariffs

Switch with Which? allows you to compare thousands of tariffs on a regional basis to find a cheaper supplier.

With an estimated 40% of people still on standard tariffs, Switch with Which? recommends that people with internet access consider an online tariff.

These can save hundreds of pounds because the energy companies pass on the savings from reduced paperwork.

Paying by monthly direct debit and opting for a dual fuel tariff could further reduce your bill.

You could also avoid future price rises by switching to a capped or fixed tariff.

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