First Utility drives growth of independent energy supplier market share to 10%

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New data released yesterday shows that First Utility, the UK’s largest and fastest growing independent UK energy supplier, is leading the charge of the independent gas and electric suppliers who collectively have now reached a remarkable 10% share of the dual-fuel UK energy market. The growth comes as customers continue to realise how much they can save on their energy tariffs by moving away from the Big Six.

First Utility

"Positive change is happening in the industry and more and more people in the UK are realising that the independent providers simply offer far better value than the traditional players. " - Ian McCaig, CEO, First Utility

In 2011, the Big Six energy companies accounted for 99% of the residential dual-fuel UK energy market, in September 2014 they had 92% share and this figure has now dropped to 90%.

The data from Cornwall Energy, an independent market intelligence service, reveals that First Utility now holds 3.1% of the dual-fuel UK energy market with 675,000 households (equaling more than 1.25 million customer accounts). An additional 125,000 customers have joined First Utility in the last three months, representing a 0.5 percentage point market share growth in this period alone.    

The erosion of the dominance of the Big Six energy companies is testament to the growing public awareness of the value and service offered by independent gas and electric suppliers and the increasing disillusionment consumers feel with the incumbents. The average saving for a typical usage household moving to First Utility is £213 a year, highlighting the large difference in prices from one of the cheapest energy suppliers compared to the energy tariffs offered by Big Six energy companies.

Since 2008, First Utility has been at the forefront of bringing lower gas and electricity prices and better value to households across the UK while campaigning for positive changes that improve the market for all consumers. This year, its ‘Fix the Switch’ initiative led to switching times for UK energy suppliers being halved from five weeks to just two and a half, significantly lowering one of the main barriers that consumers feel prevents them from switching energy tariffs.

Ian McCaig, CEO, First Utility, says:
“This is a major milestone on the journey towards delivering a fairer and better deal for consumers. Positive change is happening in the industry and more and more people in the UK are realising that the independent providers simply offer far better value than the traditional players. Our teams at First Utility are really proud that we have led the way in making this significant and positive change happen. The next step has to be to help the millions of households who are still paying too much to take the positive step of switching to one of the new providers and saving hundreds of pounds per year. It’s probably the easiest way of saving money for consumers today and we’ll work as hard as we can to put that money into people’s pockets.”

Nigel Cornwall, Managing Director, Cornwall Energy, says:
“The independents gaining 10% share of the household dual-fuel market is a massive landmark in the British energy retail market. Smaller suppliers are now a significant threat and credible alternative to the major suppliers.”

The Rt. Hon. Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, says:
“The growth of independent suppliers in the energy market is a fantastic success story. We’ve worked hard to increase competition and nearly trebled the number of independents since 2010 and switching times will halve by the end of this year. But I want to go further and see them have a 30% market share by the end of the decade. Switching can save an average £200 a year and we’ll continue to work with independent suppliers to ensure they can compete on a level playing field with the big six.”

About First Utility
First Utility is the fastest growing and largest independent UK energy supplier. It supplies gas and electricity to more than 675,000 customers throughout the UK and is committed to helping First Utility customers reduce their energy bills by offering cheaper energy tariffs, helping customers use less energy through the use of innovative technology and campaigning for industry change.

First Utility formed a trading partnership with Shell Energy Europe Ltd (Shell) in December 2013. Under the terms of the agreement, Shell will act as intermediary for First Utility, to competitively source gas and electricity from the wholesale market.

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Anna Pank
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