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UK sees record numbers switch to smaller suppliers to cut bills

October saw a record-breaking 138,000 households switch to a small, independent electricity supplier outside of the Big Six.

A recent report from Energy UK revealed that a record number of domestic energy consumers switched to a smaller supplier last month.

The statistics show that October 2014 saw a total of 345,000 people swap to a different electricity provider in search of a better deal, with a record 138,000 of these opting for suppliers outside of the Big Six. The overall figure is a 33% increase on the number of switchers from the previous month of September, and is the highest number for any month in 2014 so far.

Each year, the late autumn and early winter period usually sees a spike in the number of those switching, as cold weather begins to set in and people make an effort to take control of their energy bills. But this year, the surge of switchers was 7% higher than expected, suggesting more households are realising the benefits that can be gained from switching suppliers.

It seems that the British public has finally grown tired of being exploited by larger energy companies, and is beginning to put its trust in smaller suppliers

The news comes shortly after it was revealed that 74% of consumers now say they find it easy to change their energy supplier, suggesting a possible cause for the switching boom. It seems that more people are realising that by taking simple steps to interact with the energy market, they can take control of their usage and lower their bills before the winter months fully roll in.

The reported surge in switchers is particularly interesting when paired with the fact that two of the usual motivators for switching have not yet occurred this winter. As of October, the UK had not yet seen drastic temperature drops, nor had the Big Six energy suppliers announced their usual round of winter price hikes. When these additional motivational factors kick it, it stands to reason that the peak in switchers could well last throughout the winter.

It seems that the British public has finally grown tired of being exploited by larger energy companies, and is beginning to put its trust in the small suppliers – as well as enjoying the financial savings that come along with switching.

However, there are still a large amount of people who are not actively engaged with the energy market. The non-switchers, or ‘sleepers’, who have not switched their supplier(s) could be missing out on savings of more than £200 – an amount that could equal up to one third of the money the average family spends on Christmas each year.

With the recent rise in popularity of smaller energy suppliers and a public shift of allegiance away from the Big Six, there is a lot of competition among suppliers in the market to win consumers’ trust and offer the best prices. This means it’s the perfect time for UK consumers and businesses alike to make the most of switching, and saving money.