Energy supplier switching in Britain dived last month to one of the lowest levels this year across completed and new Change of Supplier (CoS) events.

In August, 399,000 switches were completed – a 19 percent dip compared to the same time last year, the lowest August since 2016 and the second lowest month of the year so far.

This brings the year’s number of switches so far to 3.848 million – just over 100,000 less than the same eight-month period in 2020.

Ofgem’s announcement of the standard variable tariff price cap increase does not yet appear to have sparked consumers’ urgency to change energy suppliers and save money on their bills.

There were 482,000 CoS started last month – low considering August 2020 recorded 18 percent more events. This is also the lowest monthly count of switches started so far this year.

Due to the industry-standard switching process, our analysts believe it is likely we will start seeing the outcome of popular financial advisors’ recommendations reflected in September’s switching reports.

In terms of switch types, the biggest drop compared to August 2020 can be seen in the large to other category while other CoS types remain unremarkable. However, with the news of four small energy suppliers going out of business in early September, added to potential movement initiated by the price cap increase, the next two months may show more dramatic fluctuations.

  • Large to Large CoS reached 179,000 – nine percent less than August 2020 and 45 percent of August 2021’s total switches completed,
  • Large to Other CoS reached 96,000 – 40 percent less than August 2020 and 24 percent of August 2021’s total switches completed,
  • Other to Large CoS landed at 67,000 – two more than August 2020 and 17 percent of August 2021’s total switches completed, and
  • Other to Other CoS hit 56,000 – 23 percent less than August 2020 and 14 percent of August 2021’s total switches completed.

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NOTES

At the moment, we are not seeing the impact of the reduction in tariffs available from suppliers and PCWs.  This is because many, but not all, suppliers take up to 10 working days between contract offer and starting the industry process of acquiring the customer. Furthermore, this process takes between one and four weeks (depending on the timeframes set by the gaining supplier) and as our data shows switches completed, it is representative of a range of requests over the previous six to eight weeks.  A better indication of the impact of the removal of tariffs is switch requests (which happen up to 10 working days after the contract offer) and we will be updating this daily and will report when we start to see the impact of the uncertainty in the domestic switching market.

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 from the EMDH by ElectraLink’s Energy Market Insights team.

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