UK consumers are being urged to “think outside the Big Six box” to get a more competitive energy deal this year.
The call from price comparison site uSwitch.com comes as npower pulled its cheapest plan, meaning the five cheapest energy plans on the market now come from small suppliers.
Of the Big Six suppliers, EDF Energy is the cheapest, with its Blue + Price Promise at £1,182 a year. However, Sainsbury’s Energy has the cheapest deal on the market at £1,127 – £59 a year cheaper, closely followed by First Utility at £1,150 and Co-operative Energy at £1,157 a year.
But the site’s research showed only 52% of energy customers would switch to a supplier outside the Big Six. However, more than three quarters (77%) would consider moving to a smaller supplier for cheaper energy, 32% for better customer service and 28% for clearer bills.
Tom Lyon, Energy Expert said: “There is now a real mix of suppliers from the genuinely small and independent to well-known retailers that are taking their first steps into the energy market. Some are offering a genuine alternative to the Big Six, while a couple are being backed by one of the Big Six. But the fact is that consumers now have a bigger, better and more competitive choice than ever before.
“With prices having just increased and with winter fuel bills on the way, I would urge consumers to take advantage of this situation and to shop around for a better deal today.”
The research claims the biggest fear factor stopping consumers from moving to a smaller supplier is the worry it could go out of business as more than a third (35%) of consumers said this concern would stop them from switching. Almost three in ten would be worried of losing their supply if something went wrong with the company, while 22% wouldn’t trust a supplier they hadn’t heard of.