Are The Big Six Losing Their Grip On The Market?

11.01.19

In the UK, approximately 80% of households and a large number of businesses are powered by the big six energy companies. Mains-supplied natural gas is an integral part of the UK’s energy mix, meaning that there is high demand for domestic and commercial gas.

What do we mean by the Big Six?

For a long time, the majority of the market was dominated by a handful of gas companies known as the Big Six. They are: Npower, British Gas, EON, EDF, SSE and Scottish Power.

How is the energy market changing?

Recent figures have suggested however that the popularity of these gas and electric companies appears to be waning. It was predicted that by the end of 2018, the Big Six would have lost 2.35 million customers to smaller suppliers. There are many reasons for this, including price hikes – in September 2017, British Gas hiked their electricity prices by 12.5%. Although the Big Six’s profit remains protected for now, this trend of moving away from these six companies is allowing many smaller competitors to grow their market share to unprecedented levels.

What’s the flipside?

Of course, as is the case in any situation, there are two sides to every coin. Although 2017 and 2018 were promising years for energy switching, some experts are worried that newly-proposed energy legislations could soon put an end to this trend.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she planned to fix a ‘broken market’ by proposing a cap on energy bills which could last for five years. Although this could sound like a benefit for consumers, there are many who have reservations. 

Essentially, it’s been predicted that the price cap could lull consumers into a false sense of security, therefore making them feel that sticking with their energy supplier is the ‘safe option’.

Although that’s the case, several of the small suppliers have actually welcomed the prospect of the cap because their tariffs are already lower than the limit to be set. 

What have the challengers got to offer?

For those who are willing to look beyond the Big Six energy companies, there is plenty that can be gained if they test the water with a smaller challenger firm, with financial savings being just the beginning.

For example, here at Flogas, we’ve been a respected energy supplier with more than 30 years’ experience in the energy industry. As well as providing bespoke off-grid energy solutions such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), we specialise in gas mains for businesses too.

While we pride ourselves on highly competitive, fixed mains gas tariffs – which can save a business as much as 30% per year on bills when they switch – we offer customers much more than that.

With our in-depth understanding of the challenges faced when running a business, we know what commercial customers are on the lookout for in an energy supplier. Thanks to this, we’ve built an attractive, whole-package offering that is designed to make business owners’ lives easier, as well as their supply more affordable. For instance, each of our customers are assigned a personal account manager who is dedicated to making sure their switch is a smooth transition.

What does the future hold?

There are so many influencing factors at play when it comes to energy, so it’s hard to predict what the future holds for gas companies and the energy market as a whole. However, there are two things that are for sure: firstly, consumers are starting to realise that their options aren't limited to the Big Six energy companies, and secondly, smaller suppliers have a range of attractive alternative offerings.

Contact us today to see how we can help you with your energy needs.

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