Switching rockets after price cap news nudges customers

April 15, 2021

March 2021 signalled the second highest number of switches ever in a single month after 649,000 customers changed energy supplier.

This falls just short of the record month of April 2019 with 669,000 switches completed. Changes of supplier (CoS) completed last month is over 10 percent more than March last year when the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on switching first became visible.

Chart showing switches completed in GB until March 2021

Dan Hopkinson, ElectraLink’s Acting CEO, said:

“In February’s CoS update, we predicted a spike in switching in spring after Ofgem’s announcement of an increase to the standard variable tariff price cap owing to high wholesale electricity prices. Queries running through one of our APIs have jumped into the millions recently, forewarning us of the likelihood of increased switching activity well before the trend started. Validation of this prediction with data from the Energy Market Data Hub demonstrates the power of data to monitor market activity. It also shows how adept our Energy Market Insights team is at observing trends, analysing data and combining these elements with market expertise.”

CoS started in March 2021 emerged even more impressive. The 884,000 CoS started is the highest ever for a single month, outpacing March 2020 by 24 percent and March 2019 – the previous switches started record month – by 15 percent.

Chart showing switches started in GB until March 2021

Our EMI analysts predict CoS completed in April will be similar to March based on analysis of:

  • How many switches have completed in April so far,
  • How many switches have started in April so far,
  • The average number of switches raised per day this year,
  • The average number of switches raised per day this month,
  • The time switches take to move from started to complete, and
  • The impact of the long Easter weekend on the timeline of switches.

In terms of CoS types, Large suppliers were the main beneficiaries of last month’s activity, securing most of their new customers from one another. Other suppliers also saw a notable spike in acquisitions from the Large players. However, very few customers from Other suppliers moved around with low numbers for both Other to Large and Other to Other categories.

  • Large to Large CoS reached 341,000 – 18 percent more than March 2020 and 53 percent of March 2021’s total switches completed,
  • Large to Other CoS reached 177,000 – 34 percent more than March 2020 and 27 percent of March 2021’s total switches completed,
  • Other to Large CoS landed at 72,000 – 25 percent less than March 2020 and 11 percent of March 2021’s total switches completed, and
  • Other to Other CoS hit 59,000 – equivalent to March 2020 and 9 percent of March 2021’s total switches completed.

Chart showing switches completed by supplier types until March 2021

For more information on CoS figures, contact communications@electralink.co.uk. If you would like access to the CoS data we hold and analysis we provide for the energy market, please reach out to sales@electralink.co.uk.

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NOTES:

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

We do not include CoS 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.

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

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

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

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