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Consumers fearful of switching to smaller energy suppliers

26 April 2012

Brits are reluctant to switch to a small energy supplier, despite confidence in Britain’s big six suppliers being at an all-time low.

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Research has revealed that just 52% of consumers would switch to an energy supplier outside of the big six, despite widespread disillusionment with the country’s biggest utility firms.

Just 19% of consumers said they are happy to stay with one of the big six energy suppliers, while fears over security and supply prevent others from switching to a smaller provider.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to energy suppliers many consumers are caught in a trap - they're unhappy with the big six, they like what smaller suppliers have to offer, but they're too frightened to try one out,” said Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, which carried out the research.

“But their fears are completely unfounded and could easily be laid to rest with the right education and reassurance. This would allow consumers to enjoy far more choice.”

More than three quarters of Brits said they would consider switching to a smaller supplier, but fear factors are holding them back.

It was found that 35% of customers would be concerned about the supplier going out of business, while 28% said they would be frightened of suddenly losing their supply.

“The fact is that smaller suppliers offer competitive prices and a genuine alternative to being with the big six. Consumers will be losing out if unfounded fears prevent them from snapping up such deals,” added Ms Robinson.

“There is no risk of losing your supply, either while switching or at a later date. If anything happened to your supplier, Ofgem would step in so you would always be guaranteed supply.”

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