Consumers say no to switching utilities

The number of customers switching gas and electricity suppliers each month has plummeted since last September, according to Ofgem.

The energy regulator says the number of people changing electricity suppliers fell by 62.5 per cent, and those switching gas suppliers dropped by 40 per cent, in the past four months.

Between May 1998 and last September, 320,000 consumers a month switched electricity suppliers. The figure has since dropped to 200,000.

In the same period, 200,000 gas customers switched suppliers each month, but the total has now fallen to 80,000 a month.

This is despite Ofgem claims that customers that switch their gas supplier can save up to one-fifth on some bills, with direct debit customers saving up to 14 per cent.

John Evans, marketing director of PowerGen, adds: “The slowdown is because some smaller companies may not be signing up people at the same rate as others.”

According to a National Audit Office report titled “Giving Domestic Customers a Choice of Electricity Supplier”, electricity customers could reduce their bills by a total of &£700m a year, or 13 per cent, if they switched supplier.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here