Why Small Can Be Beautiful When Choosing Energy Suppliers


Released on: September 11, 2009, 8:27 am
Author: uSwitch.com
Industry: Energy

Consumers will welcome news that small energy suppliers are challenging their bigger rivals with market beating plans. The move will give more choice, especially for those looking for an alternative to the big six energy suppliers who dominate the market.

Two challengers - OVO Energy and First:Utility - have launched highly competitive online energy plans. OVO's plan averages out at GBP978 a year, while First:Utility's plan is market beating, averaging out at GBP967 a year. This makes it GBP16 cheaper than EDF Energy's online energy plan, which costs GBP983 a year on average and is the cheapest plan offered by one of the big six.

First:Utility's plan is available in 12 out of 14 energy regions and, unlike its other plans, does not require consumers to have a smart meter installed. In the remaining two regions, its smart meter online plan is available and it has just announced that it is dropping the price on this too. OVO's plan is a fixed price plan, which means that customers will continue to benefit even if prices go up during the duration of the plan. However, there is an exit penalty attached.

Will Marples, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: "This is the first time that a 'challenger' energy provider has gone head-to-head with major suppliers on price and beaten them. This is because their size works in their favour - they are quick and nimble and able to react to falling wholesale prices quicker than their bigger rivals. It's good news for those consumers who have been looking for a viable alternative to the big six, but who are concerned about paying more for their energy as a result.

"Although small and relatively new, both OVO and First:Utility are setting out to differentiate themselves. First:Utility was the first supplier to offer all customers the chance to get a smart meter installed, putting householders in greater control of their energy usage. And now they are positioning themselves as the UK's cheapest provider too. This is exactly the type of challenge the market needs and consumers will now be watching with interest to see how other suppliers respond.

"With winter on the way households should be looking to cut the cost of their energy. If they want to benefit from the cheapest prices they must move to an online energy plan - it's a simple step to take, just move to dual fuel, pay by direct debit and sign up to an online plan. You don't even have to stick with a traditional supplier any more if you don't want to."

For more information please contact:
Jo Ganly, uSwitch.com on 0207 802 2915 or joganly@uswitch.com

About uSwitch:
uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and telephone-based comparison and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones, personal finance products and car insurance.

Website: http://www.uswitch.com


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