The impact of energy supplier failures in late 2021 and volatile wholesale gas prices throughout 2022 has all but eliminated the value of switching in GB.
The total number of changes of supplier (CoS) in 2022 ended the year on 1.3mn – 73 per cent less than the 4.99mn CoS that took place in 2021. The year closed with 108,000 CoS in December, and 2023 opened with 117,000, contrary to the usual trend of fewer CoS events in January than in December.
ElectraLink analysts have confirmed that a new monthly average has been established in supplier changes, sitting around the 100,000 CoS mark. With the Government’s energy bills support scheme still cushioning the worst effects of high energy prices, there remains little incentive for households and businesses to change supplier.
In terms of CoS types in December 2022 and January 2023, what CoS was left was focused between Large suppliers, and slight deviations in the finer details may suggest a some worthwhile deals on the market, according to our analysts.
In December 2022:
- Large to Large switches reached 54,000 – six per cent more than November 2022 and 50 per cent of December 2022’s total CoS completed,
- Large to Other switches reached 25,000 – 10 per cent less than November 2022 and 23 per cent of December 2022’s total CoS completed,
- Other to Large switches landed at 20,000 – five per cent less than November 2022 and 18 per cent of December 2022’s total CoS completed,
- And Other to Other switches hit 10,000 – 26 per cent less than November 2022 and nine per cent of December 2022’s total CoS completed.
In January 2023:
- Large to Large switches reached 60,000 – 10 per cent more than December 2022 and 51 per cent of January 2023’s total CoS completed,
- Large to Other switches reached 26,000 – three per cent more than December 2022 and 22 per cent of January 2023’s total CoS completed,
- Other to Large switches landed at 22,000 – 12 per cent more than December 2022 and 19 per cent of January 2023’s total CoS completed,
- And Other to Other switches hit 9,000 – one per cent more than December 2022 and eight per cent of January 2023’s total CoS completed.
It took about six months for the UK’s energy supplier switching activity to be almost buried. We established that there were 1.3mn voluntary, customer-initiated energy supplier switches in 2022 – almost three-quarters less than the year before. This is also 62 per cent less than 2013: the first full year ElectraLink began analysing switching data on a monthly basis. The supplier failures and wholesale gas price crises have thus pushed switching back by a decade or more.
However, with all the switching activity due to Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) transfers and other commercial changes, the CoS process was still used over 5.78mn times across 5.62mn unique MPANs. This is the lowest number of total annual CoS since 5.5mn switches occurred across 5mn MPANs in 2017.
In 2022, the highest number of switches for a single MPAN was nine, compared to the 14 times an MPAN switched in 2021. Fewer than 50,000 MPANs switched more than once.
First time switches saw the largest fall across all metrics emerging from ElectraLink data. 1.1mn MPANs switched for the first time in 2021, but this fell over 95 per cent to 51,000 MPANs changing supplier for the first time. This is by far the fewest first-time switches in a single year since records began. Since 2012, 19.8mn MPANs have moved supplier at least once.
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 [email protected].
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.
All data is provided by EMPRIS.
Due to the introduction of the Central Switching Service in July 2022, ElectraLink is no longer able to provide data on CoS started.
ElectraLink has been granted the governance protections to hold, transfer and analyse CoS and other data.