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The UK Energy Supply market

How many home energy suppliers are there in the UK?

As at August 2014, there were 25 energy suppliers in the domestic energy market, providing consumers with more choice than ever.  This is up from 2010 when there were 7 independent suppliers, all with fewer than 50,000 customers.

Source: DECC/Ofgem

How many business energy suppliers are there?

There are 13 Electricity suppliers and 15 gas suppliers in the business energy market.

Source: DECC/Ofgem

How long does it take to switch suppliers?
  • British Gas implemented a commitment to faster switching in November 2014 – it now takes three days to switch, with a two week cooling off period.
  • There are no exit fees for British Gas tariffs and we offer exactly the same deal to new and existing customers.
  • Smart meters will help enable quicker, easier switching – potentially within 24 hours.  British Gas has led the roll-out of this technology and has installed more than 1.7 million smart meters in homes and businesses so far.
  • Many customers choose to stay with British Gas because they trust us, they like our service, and they know that we’ll write to them if we have a cheaper deal for them.
How many people have switched energy supplier recently?
  • In 2014, 4.6m people switched gas or electricity supplier.  Source: DECC
  • In Britain, we already have one of the highest switching rates in Europe. Customers can use any of 25 suppliers and refer to at least 11 independent switching sites.
How many people use energy price comparison sites?
  • Research published by Ofgem in July 2014 showed that 44% of consumers who switched energy supplier used a price comparison website. Source: Ofgem
  • British Gas tariffs are fully visible on price comparison sites, so consumers can compare us with other providers. 
How do UK energy prices compare to other European countries?

Average household gas prices including tax in the UK were the second lowest in the EU 15 and 17% lower than the EU median for the period July to December 2014.

EU Gas Prices

Average household electricity prices including tax in the UK were eighth lowest in the EU15 and in line with the EU median in the period July to December 2014.

EU Electricity Prices

Source: DECC


What is the energy industry worth to the UK?

The energy industry’s contribution to the UK economy in 2013:

  • 3.3% of GDP
  • 18.1% of total investment (at current prices)
  • 56.1% of industrial investment (at current prices)
  • 2.3% of annual business expenditure on research and development in 2012
  • 169,000 people directly employed in 2013 (6.2% of industrial employment) and more indirectly e.g. an estimated 200,000 in support of UK Continental Shelf production.

Source: DECC 

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