Small Energy Suppliers Benefit from UK Policies

August 7, 2014 By Karen Henry

UK EnergyThe UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reports that more than two million UK utility customers have switched to independent electricity suppliers since 2010 due to government action to open the energy market.

However, despite nearly tripling the number of independent suppliers since 2010, the Big Six still control the majority of the market, DECC said. DECC and Ofgem published a list of commitments to make it even easier for independent electricity suppliers to enter and grow in the UK energy market. The commitments are designed to deliver a level playing field on which smaller suppliers are able to compete with large established suppliers:

  • Create an online resource for independent energy suppliers to improve communications with the government.
  • Reduce burdens imposed by industry codes and processes that can put independent suppliers at a competitive disadvantage.
  • The Competition and Markets Authority announced that it will carry out an investigation into competition, following a referral by Ofgem, including barriers to entry and growth, and transparency in the retail energy market. The government will continue to work with independent suppliers on the proposals for improving engagement with them.

The UK government also plans to introduce QR codes on energy bills to support one-click price comparisons.

DECC officials met with energy suppliers and switching companies, Ofgem, consumer groups and app developers in June to discuss the development of new systems that would make it easier for people to receive and compare quotes from energy suppliersHouseholds could save more than $300 a year on their energy bills by switching suppliers, DECC added.

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