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Changes of energy supplier (CoS) dropped to the lowest level since records began in 2012, according to November’s Energy Market Data Hub (EMDH) switching data. Only 131,000 switches were completed last month after switching requests plummeted in October.

This figure is 75 percent less than November last year when switching had comfortably recovered from challenges presented by the pandemic.

Since the start of 2021, 4.876mn switches have been completed. This is 13 percent less than the same period in 2020 and 16 percent less than January-November 2019.

However, these figures only include customer-initiated switches. Including Supplier of last resort (SoLR) and other market-initiated switches, 1.8mn customers moved to a new supplier last month. The biggest winners from these activities are the large legacy brands, formerly known as the Big Six.

Chart showing energy supplier switches completed in GB until Nov 2021

Switches started last month similarly fell to a new low, even fewer than the historically low 232,000 reported for October’s CoS started. 161,000 switches were started in November – the lowest since our records began and 73 percent less than November 2020.

Our Energy Market Insights analysts forecast approximately 120,000 switches to complete in December, and fewer people attempt switches over the festive period so switches started in December will likely land even lower than they have for the past two months.

Chart showing energy supplier switches started in GB until Nov 2021

In terms of CoS types, switches to smaller challengers from the largest energy suppliers have suffered the most. Earlier this year, we reported that switches from large legacy suppliers to the newer large suppliers had overtaken switching between large legacy brands as the most common CoS type. However, this trend has been reversed since smaller suppliers have been exiting the market at a high frequency.

More customers chose to switch back to the large legacy brands than away from them for the second month in a row – a behaviour trend that had not happened for nine years.

CoS types data from November shows:

  • Large to Large CoS reached 66,000 – 50 percent of November 2021’s total switches completed,
  • Large to Other CoS reached 27,000 –20 percent of November 2021’s total switches completed,
  • Other to Large CoS landed at 25,000 – 19 percent of November 2021’s total switches completed, and
  • Other to Other CoS hit 14,000 – 10 percent of November 2021’s total switches completed.

Chart showing energy supplier switch types in GB until Nov 2021

For more information on CoS figures, or to find out how your organisation can access the CoS data we hold and provide for the energy market, contact communications@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 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.

‘Large suppliers’ include the former Big Six as well as Ovo and Octopus.

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.