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Shift Away from the Big 6 Energy Suppliers

big 6 energy

Leading independent business energy broker Business Juice have released their 2014 Business Energy Trend Figures which have demonstrated a trend of diminished loyalty towards the Big 6 energy suppliers amongst businesses as 38% of customers switching moved their contracts in 2014 to join smaller suppliers.

Only 6% of switchers actually moved from a smaller supplier to one of the Big 6 suggesting, in line with many surveys, that those with smaller energy suppliers are more satisfied with the service and pricing that they have received.

5 of the Big 6 suppliers were featured in the top 5 ‘biggest losers’. It’s not all bad news for the Big 6 though as it appears that customers are still using them with 3 of them featuring in the ‘biggest winners’ alongside 2 independent suppliers.

James Constant, CEO of Business Juice, explained:

“While the pricing and customer service issues regarding domestic energy suppliers regularly hit the headlines, little mention is ever made of the business energy market

“These figures demonstrate that more and more companies are becoming aware of their ability to change energy supplier, and the trends show small suppliers are benefitting strongly. This is not just about price, although the potential cost savings can indeed be staggering.”

“Customer service is mentioned time and again as being an issue for business energy customers, who find it difficult to get resolution to their issues with the larger companies. In general, the smaller energy suppliers seem to be less burdened by heavy infrastructure and out of date systems, which makes them more efficient and they are reaping the benefits.”

“What we’re seeing is a savvier type of customer that is shopping around for the best deals rather than remaining on rolling rates with the same provider out of brand loyalty and apathy.”

Constant cautioned however that there was still a significant number of UK businesses who failed to engage in the energy market, with reports suggesting that 81% of SMEs have never switched provider. Whether this stems from a lack of understanding or awareness the result is the same – preventing them from accessing the best energy contracts for their needs. Constant said:

“The UK electricity market is still dominated by the Big 6, and there still remains a major gap between people’s understanding of the domestic and the business energy sector. They do not operate on the same pricing basis and as such prices change in the latter far more frequently and with greater relevance to the wholesale market”

“This means advantageous deals are constantly available and don’t just follow the formulaic price changes we see in the domestic market”.

“Increasing numbers of UK businesses now understand and are benefitting from engagement in the energy market however many still are caught unawares with over 80% of businesses sticking with the same old supplier and getting a raw deal.”

Business Juice’s 2014 review also looked at the performance by region across the UK, revealing the regions’ propensity to switch as well as the average savings achieved in each area.

East Anglia was the area most likely to switch business energy supplier with almost 14% of switches. That is despite only 11% of UK businesses being based in the region.

The North East had the second highest propensity for switching at 5% against a business population of just 3% of the UK.

The lowest propensity to switch energy supplier was in Greater London with just 10% of customers coming from that region in an area housing almost 18% of UK businesses.

Overall businesses switching their electricity or gas in the North West had the most to gain, saving on average £3,104, followed by those in the East Midlands (£2,276) and Greater London (£2,249) with an average saving across the UK of £2,447.

The savings for larger companies were even more, averaging £43,803 on total energy spendin 2014.

James Constant continued:

“With an average saving in 2014 of 17.5% on a business’ total energy spend it is clear that customers being on a disadvantageous energy contract can have a massive cost impact on a company and there is growing realisation amongst businesses, both large and small, that they can save a lot of money by engaging in the market thereby boosting cash flow and profitability as well as reducing service headaches.”

Business Juice offers a free quotation service for businesses of all sizes and from all industries; from start-ups and SMEs to FTSE companies. They offer a team of Energy Experts who review the whole market to deliver the most appropriate options from nearly 30 UK energy suppliers based on the needs and requirements of the individual business.

Business Juice are unique in the market by offering a comprehensive Key Facts document to all of their customers which include all the details of the deal agreed including any potential commission payment to Business Juice.

In 2014 Business Juice procured over 500GWH for clients delivering savings of £8,117,939 in doing so. Originally part of the Forward Internet group, which also owned uSwitch, Business Juice was subject to a management buyout in 2014, led by CEO James Constant.

The figures quoted in this release were based on analysis of 5,043 business energy customers who entered a new energy supply contract in 2014.