Change Your Supplier

Pre 1998, when the domestic energy markets deregulated and were opened up to competition, there was no real choice for consumers.

Brief History

Electricity consumers were supplied by their local ‘board’ (here in Rayleigh, our local board was EEB – Eastern Electricity Board).

Gas was supplied nationally by British Gas.

These suppliers provided a set of tariffs, and as a domestic user, you were constrained to one of these tariffs, depending on your meter type (e.g. single rate, day/night rate, etc.).

Only larger business consumers were allowed to contract their energy with other suppliers.

  • 1990 – Market Opened for Largest 1 MW+ Consumers
  • 1994 – Market Opened for 100 kW+ Customers
  • 1998 – Market Opened for small business + domestic consumers

So, from 1998, households have been able to look outside their incumbent suppliers – and look across a range of other national suppliers, some long established players and a number of innovative new market entrants, which are often termed as ‘challenger’ suppliers.

These were seismic shifts in the enegy market, changing all of the ways suppliers thought about their customer base, driving new innovations, better quality services and a much more focussed view on offering competitive pricing.

Why this is important

Since these changes took place over twenty years ago, the challenge for the regulator and industry players in general has always been one of consumer adoption…what the industry refer to as ‘switching rates’.

The government regulator, OFGEM have looked at changes to rules in an attempt to improve switching, to modest success.

As at 2019, OFGEMs analysis of the big 6 supplier data, shows a low number of consumers switched between suppliers to better their deal – just 20.83% for electricity and 20.48% for gas.

There may be myriad reasons for this, but our belief is that energy isn’t that well understood by people, that kW, kWh, EACs, MPANs, M-Numbers, etc. aren’t well understood, hence people lack the confidence to dig too deeply into the process – and don’t truly know if they got the best deal, or not.

There’s also lots and lots of choice in the market.  Remember, we used to have a choice of one supplier for our electricity (our local board), and British Gas for our gas.  At the time of writing, OFGEM has listed 140 licensed suppliers for the domestic electricity market.  Some of these focus on particular regional areas, some focus more on green or renewable energy.  Others are some of the former electricity ‘boards’ rebranded or consolidated, and some are large players from overseas, entering the UK markets.

One of the biggest misconceptions to overcome is that ‘it’s all the same – energy is energy – it doesn’t matter who I get it from’.

Energy today is a dynamic market – and shopping around for alternative deals is more akin to the insurance or mortgage markets, where switching is an established norm.

How we can help

We have a deep understanding of the UK energy markets, and are able to work across a wide range of energy suppliers to collate their offerings and help determine which is best for you.

This takes into account the amount of energy you use, how you use it, how you interact with your supplier when there is a problem and any other support you may require (e.g. vulnerable persons).

We understand the complexities of tariff pricing and the supplier switching process, along with the common pitfalls that don’t often get discovered until you receive your initial bills.

Let our experts guide you through the process, explaining everything as we go, removing industry jargon and making the process simple to follow.  Once you’ve seen the different options available, and how much money you can save, along with the additional things your supplier is able to provide you with – we promise you won’t look back.


how can we help you?

Get in touch to discuss how Belbridge Energy can help you save money on your energy bills.

We offer a range of solutions, from tariff checking, supplier switching, or energy assessments and checking for potential efficiency grants and initiatives.

Discover how to dramatically reduce your energy spending