Energy customers switched suppliers 6.3 million times in 2019

January 14, 2020

Switching data from the Energy Market Data Hub (EMDH) published by ElectraLink today reveals that 526,000 customers changed energy supplier in December 2019, a 21% increase from December the year before.

This brings the total number of switches completed during 2019 to 6.3mn, 9.3% more than 2018.

There were 559,000 switches started in December 2019, up 28% from December 2018.

Within switching types, Big Six to challenger switching prevailed as the switch type with most changes of supplier (CoS) completed – 170,000 customers moved onto newer brands from the current established companies.

However, as has been the trend of the past few months, many customers continue to switch back to the Big Six from challengers as more suppliers cease trading in a tough market. December 2019 saw the second highest number of switches from challenger to Big Six suppliers – 93,000 switches completed, only 7% under October 2019’s record of 100,000 switches.

This follows a trend of noteworthy improvement for the Big Six after a record net loss of customers in April 2019 – 251,000 compared to December’s net loss of 77,000.

The individual switching types took the following portion of December’s total switches:

  • Big Six to challenger switches reached 170,000 (32% of the total switches completed in December 2019),
  • Big Six to Big Six switches reached 153,000 (29% of the total),
  • Challenger to Big Six switches landed at 93,000 (18% of the total),
  • Challenger to challenger switches reached 109,000 (21% of the total).

Overview of switching in 2019

It was a bumper year for switching in 2019. Despite the implementation of the standard variable tariff price cap, never has the consumer been so active in deciding who they buy energy from and for how much.

The record 6.3mn switches occurred amongst 5.8mn MPANs. This means 20% of all MPANs switched supplier at least once in 2019.

Over 97% of MPANs switched only once and 488,000 MPANs switched more than once in the year. The record for the most switches for a single MPAN is 16 and another 12 MPANs switched 10 or more times in the year.

The month with the most switches was April with 670,000 CoS completed – the most ever in a single month.

And finally, December 2019’s switching activity broke the trend of the previous two years as CoS events increased from November to December rather than decreased as they had done in 2017 and 2018.

For more information on switching figures, contact Ian Scougal at Ian.Scougal@electralink.co.uk or Paul Linnane at Paul.Linnane@electralink.co.uk

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NOTES:

The above figures relate to electricity switching in Great Britain only.

We do not include switches from Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) processes or trade sales in our monthly CoS reporting. We account for only voluntary switches, or instances where the customer made an active decision and took action to change supplier.

Switches started refers to the number of valid switches started, also known as switches raised.

All data is provided by ElectraLink’s Energy Market Insights (EMI).

ElectraLink has been granted the governance protections to hold, transfer and analyse switching and other data.

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