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This blog post was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Power to Switch campaign gets off to a flying start

Over the past few years we’ve seen a change in customer behaviour, where people shop around for the best value groceries, phone contracts and discounts for meals at restaurants.

But although each month around 200,000 electricity customers switch supplier, this is just one per cent of electricity customers in Great Britain. As a result, we know around 13.5 million households are paying more than they need to on their energy bills.

With savings of around £200 to be had, I want our Power to Switch campaign to encourage people up and down the country to think about switching. So far, we’re off to a flying start.

During the first two weeks, thousands of people have been going online to see if they can get a better energy deal. A successful Twitter Party hosted with BritMums on 3 March saw over 700 tweets during the hour and #PowertoSwitch trending across the UK. It’s great to see the public, switching sites and industry, get behind the campaign.

We’ve heard from a number of people already who have saved money by switching energy supplier and plan to spend the money they’ve saved on holidays, days out, or redecorating their home.

UK households can take advantage of living in a country with one of the most competitive markets in the world. There are now 27 energy companies to choose from, meaning the lowest possible gas and electricity deals as these suppliers compete for business.

And we’ve been working with energy companies and Ofgem to make it simpler to switch. It only takes minutes to find out the best deals available and now you can complete your switch in only 17 days. I want to see this continue so that people look out for better deals and switch more readily.

We’re now at the halfway point of the Power to Switch campaign and it’s important we keep the momentum. There are millions of people who could really benefit from switching. I urge those who may not have switched before or have been on the same tariff for some time, to visit

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  1. Comment by Jon Lewes , Home Energy Centre posted on

    Switch Off Fossil Fuels.Now.

    Save £200 by switching to another utility in the Big Six cartel ? ..not very likely as their unit prices are the same !
    Save £200 by switching to a smaller utility, one of the other 21 suppliers not in the Big Six
    cartel ?..possibly, but then knock off from the value of any small savings gained by the loss of the Warm Home Discount of £140 ..smaller utilities are not wishing to register for processing the payment of the Warm Home Discount to householders and that means the householder never receives the £140..

    Net result of switching ..not a lot of difference, money-wise..perhaps no more than £4/month ?
    Meanwhile, heating and power for UK homes make up 35% of UK's total annual carbon emissions..a reduction is possible by an increase in energy-efficiency measures in the home plus a switch off fossil-fuels..
    ..if householders switch to a utility that supplies electricity generated by renewable installations like wind, solar and hydro, rather than by fossil-fuels like coal, gas and oil, then at least the household reduces its carbon footprint, so contributing to UK's drive to reduce its carbon emissions..and that's good for all of us..

  2. Comment by lee cattermole posted on

    Is it coincidence; taking the first listed comparison site as viewed via the beanenergyshopper and requesting a comparison returns results excluding companies outside the big six!

  3. Comment by Nick posted on

    A number of points:
    Switching is not the only metric of a competitive market - the true test may be absence of the need to switch.
    Regulatory interventions reduce the ability of suppliers to differentiate their offerings.
    Gas is also important.
    It's easy to switch - DECC and Ofgem sometimes make it sound tricky, which can only deter people.
    The CMA interim report points out that the £200 saving would, if all non- switching customers engaged the market, be eroded over time through an equilibrium process.