Ofgem is considering making it harder for new challenger companies to enter the energy market, citing concerns over poor customer service and lack of financial resilience. The energy regulator has launched a review that is likely to result in a reversal of the last major shake-up of rules 15 years ago, which was designed to encourage competitors to take on the big six companies that dominate the UK market. There are 66 suppliers and the new, smaller players have taken about a fifth of market share, up from 1% six years ago. Last month, 35% of the 500,000 switches that households made between suppliers were from the big six to small and medium-sized rivals. It has caused headaches for the likes of British Gas, which lost 823,000 customer accounts in four months last year and is in the process of cutting 4,000 jobs. Two of the other big suppliers, SSE and npower, are merging in response to the competition from new entrants. While some small suppliers have faced customer service problems, many others have been praised for their service. The top six energy companies in a recent customer service poll were all small suppliers, with the top slot taken by Octopus Energy.
Guardian 11th June 2018 read more »
Telegraph 11th June 2018 read more »