Energy regulator Ofgem has welcomed the success of energy competition, which has seen around 50% of all Scottish customers change their energy suppliers. However, Ofgem's review of the energy market showed that savings for Scottish customers could be greater if Scotland had a competitive wholesale market.
Steve Smith, Ofgem's managing director of markets, says, “Customers are still getting a great deal from energy competition and are changing their suppliers in similar numbers — whatever their income or social background. We are encouraged that pensioners, a group who had previously lagged behind in terms of switching rates, are now changing suppliers at comparable rates to other age groups.
“Customers who have never switched can save on average around £75 for a dual fuel deal, providing they shop around for the best offer. Savings can also be made by moving to direct debit and by asking your energy supplier for advice on energy efficiency,” Smith continues. “But, there are signs that the energy market has some way to go before it matures. There are still barriers for prepayment customers and customers in debt, which Ofgem is working to remove. Customers in Scotland are also hampered by a lack of competition in the wholesale electricity market.”
Competitive pressure on suppliers is increasing as they battle for market share. More than 60% of all switchers are changing suppliers for the first time, and this is steadily eroding the former monopoly suppliers' market share.
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