Switching hits 'lowest levels' since records began

The number of people switching suppliers to get the best deal on their energy bills has hit the “lowest level” since records began in 2003, Government figures revealed. Gas switching […]

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The number of people switching suppliers to get the best deal on their energy bills has hit the “lowest level” since records began in 2003, Government figures revealed.

Gas switching in the third quarter of 2013 was 19% lower than for the same quarter in 2012 and electricity switching was down 18%, according to DECC’s latest energy statistics.

That said the recent round of price hikes did come after the period covered by the statistics and more recent figures show there has been an uptake since.

Domestic fuel prices actually fell during the quarter but were 5.4% higher than for the same time last year, driven by increasing gas and electricity prices.

Preliminary figures for 2013 show the average yearly electricity bill has risen by £31 when compared to 2012, rising to £510 while the average gas bill has increased by £54 to £854.

Industrial fuel prices during the quarter were 1.2% higher than for the same quarter in 2012. Increases in coal (3.9%), gas (10.4%) and electricity prices (3.2%) were offset somewhat by a falling price for heavy fuel oil.

Closing mines caused coal production to fall by nearly a third and oil and production dropped by 7% 3.8%.

With stations coming back online following outages, nuclear generation increased 3.6%. It was responsible for just under a quarter of all generation (23.9%).

Renewable generation was roughly 10.3 TWh – a 7.6% rise on 2012. The conversion of the Drax and Ironbridge power stations meant bioenergy generation was up by a roughly a quarter. Solar PV, wave and tidal also increased (31.9%) as did offshore wind (7.4%).